Saturday, August 1, 2015

Meditation for Beginners: 8 Ways to Quiet the Mind

When you live in a world of stressed workaholics, it’s hard to find time to slow down and recharge. Clearing the tumultuous mind for some momentary quiet is considered a luxury people don’t think they can afford. But much like Po from Kung Fu Panda, your “inner peace” is just a steady breath away—if only you want to find it. Here are some ways on how to meditate and achieve that ever elusive peace.

1. Know and understand the benefits of meditation.

Stressed? Anxious? Irritable? Overthinking worrywart? Not only can meditating boost your resilience to these agitating concerns, it will also lower your blood pressure and improve your blood circulation. When you meditate, your heart rate and respiratory rate slows, you perspire less, and the deep relaxation just makes you feel so darn good about yourself. Meditating helps your mind focus on what’s truly important rather than wandering off and overthinking everything. As you continue your meditative practice, you will learn how to steady your thoughts and bring your attention back when your mind drifts off to other insignificant things. It will help you focus on the here and now.

2. Plot yourself down in one spot that’s conducive to meditation. 

Block off all your distractions for a few minutes and pick a nice and quiet place for you to be still. Make sure you won’t be disturbed by incessant phone calls and pesky errands waiting to be done. Go ahead and unplug. You owe it to yourself to sit down and relax in your most comfortable position. You can go for the typical cross-legged seating position on the floor or on a soft cushion, or you can simply sit down properly on a chair if that’s the most relaxing for you. Make sure you don’t slouch, though. You always want your posture to remain upright instead of damaging your spine.

3. Be mindful.

Being mindful means being aware not only of what’s around you but also of how your own body feels. Do you have any parts of the body that are tight? Release the tension and soften. Make sure your skin is not being pulled or getting squished anywhere. Focus on your breath—breathe deeply and slowly. Close your eyes and take note of how your chest inflates and deflates with every inhalation and exhalation. Just be sure that you don’t force your breaths to come. Let your natural pace take hold of you, and keep doing so until your breaths become longer, fuller, deeper. This will help make you feel more relaxed and calm. It may be difficult for you as a beginner to keep your focus on your breath, but every time you find yourself wandering off, just do your best to gently coax your way back to your proper attention. Concentrating should never be strained. It should be done slowly and with a welcoming attitude. A persistent thought or two will always try to make its way into your mind and break your focus, so simply take your loving attention back to your breath and your body.

4. If it helps, put on some tunes.

Some people find that it’s easier to meditate when there are gentle and soft ambient sounds in the background. You can also look for guided audio meditation tracks that can give you some helpful meditative instructions on the right way to focus. Don’t be intimidated by different guides—just pick one that suits you best as there are plenty of approaches to meditating. You should be sure of what you are looking for though, because sometimes, the best soundtracks for calming panicked nerves might not be the best songs to listen to when you are just trying to find deeper relaxation. You can also choose from sounds of nature such as waterfall sounds, raindrops, or waves of the ocean. Another option is to listen to Native American flutes and rums. Whatever music you decide to play, make sure the songs are not too distracting that they take away the focus of your practice. Some people practice in total silence, too. Do not be afraid to experiment with varying techniques.

5. Listen to your body.

Before you even begin, make sure your body is in the rights state as well. If it’s cold and you need to keep yourself warm, then by all means, grab a jacket or wrap yourself in a blanket. If your stomach is empty and your growling tummy is making you extremely uncomfortable, grab a bite to eat first. Meditating may be all about centering the mind, but if your body is not centered along with it, you’re not going to be able to concentrate at all.

6. Time your practice.

To avoid having to constantly think about whether or not your time is up, why not set up a timer for your practice? Your watch or your mobile phone will do, or you can search for online meditation timers that have soothing alarm sounds to gently stir you out of your meditative state.

7. Manage your expectations and learn to let go.

As with anything, the subtle art of meditation takes time. You will eventually get better at focusing your mind as you keep practicing, so do not worry if you find it hard to concentrate at the beginning. The health benefits will also come gradually—don’t expect to have a full body change after just one session. There are also a variety of ways people respond to every meditation session—some even have visions. But at the end of the day, when you get out of even just five minutes of meditation and you feel lighter and calmer, then that in itself is already an achievement. There is no right or wrong here.

8. Learn to have an attitude of gratitude for your practice.

The fact that you made a conscious effort to meditate is already your first step to succeeding.  Don’t try to compete with others. Be thankful enough for the blessing of a few minutes of peace and quiet—you deserve it.

*This article was first seen on The Philippine Online Chronicles HERE.


  1. Thank you sharing this information it will realy helpful for bigneers meditation center in baner

    1. No problem! I certainly hope it will help you and your friends:) Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Hi, Like your sense of humour and the gifs are awesome!
    Beginners Guided Meditation

    1. Hello Bren,

      Haha thanks a lot! I'm glad I was able to get a few laughs from you:) Your site looks great, too, by the way!


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