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How to Start Meditating in 7 Steps. A Beginner’s Guide

are you considering to start meditating?

If you have never meditated before, don’t worry. This practice is a very personal experience. You make of it what works for you, your health and your goal.

Today, we see meditation prescribed as a remedy for stress, anxiety, depression or any other health-related problem. We see this practice spreading from yoga studios to offices, businesses, military and police divisions.

It has become a practice modality that serves people of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels, which puts you in the perfect position as a beginner.

This guide will provide you with some basic steps to begin your meditation practice. But before you learn to meditate, you need to know what meditation is.

Cómo comenzar a meditar fácilmente en tu día a día.

Meditation is a mindfulness practice. It teaches you to sit with the thoughts that are going through your mind, or with the feelings or bodily sensations that you may feel while sitting. Meditation allows these experiences to exist without reacting to them.

Meditation is not about stopping the flow of our thinking mind, which is impossible. Rather, it is about recognizing that we are thinking and feeling human beings who have the choice and power to react to those thoughts and feelings. We do this through meditation.

Meditation is about stillness. The world bombards us with information every day. Meditation is a practice that takes us away from these external noises so that we can give ourselves a mental break. This pause allows us to refresh our perspective by training our mind in awareness.

Meditation has also been shown to reduce stress, control anxiety, help with memory loss and information retention, as well as improve our sleep, relationships and overall attitude towards life.

Prepare your space

Before learning to meditate, you will need to create a space for yourself. Humans are natural nesters; we crave comfort and space where we can feel at home.

Our meditation space is no different; it serves as a home for your spiritual practice. This space can be anywhere in your home, your office, or somewhere you feel comfortable or spend much of your time. It is not necessary that this space be super fancy or that you spend a lot of money on its decoration. Just choose a peaceful corner where you know you won’t be disturbed.

Find your seat

This is probably the most important step in your practice. Finding the right seat for your meditation is paramount.

why?

Because if you are physically uncomfortable while sitting, you are going to hate meditation. Your body will ache, and you won’t be able to concentrate on anything or find any relaxation.

With that in mind, here are some tips to get you started on finding the right seat:

  • If you want to sit on the floor, on cushions or a yoga mat, sit cross-legged or with one ankle in front of the other. If you notice that your knees are higher than your hips, you will need to raise yourself up on something higher, such as a cushion or extra cushions.
  • This is important because once your knees are higher than your hips, your back begins to round as you sit. This rounding is quite uncomfortable, as you try to sit tall and keep your spine high during meditation. Therefore, stand up higher so that your knees can descend, allowing your spine to remain erect without much effort on your part.
  • If you want to sit in a chair, feel free to do so. There is no rule in meditation against sitting in a chair or on the floor. Again, comfort is the key. Just make sure your feet touch the floor so they don’t dangle while you are sitting.
  • Finally, if you want to sit on the floor but feel the need for extra support, sit against a wall. This way, your back will still have support.
  • Find your breath
  • Once you are comfortable and seated, rest your hands wherever you want (in your lap or on your knees) and close your eyes.

The first step in learning to meditate is to find your breath. While sitting, tune into the following breathing exercise:

  • Breathe in fully through your nose, filling your belly and lungs
  • Breathe out completely through your nose, filling your belly and lungs
  • Repeat this while inhaling and exhaling normally, and as you do so, begin to relax the physical body
  • Relax the shoulder blades, arms, hands, legs and feet
  • Let the belly soften as you breathe: you don’t need to tuck it in or “contract the core” in any way
  • See if you can drop your chin slightly to make the nape of your neck longer; this will prevent your neck and head from hurting as you hold this long spine posture
  • Finally, relax the muscles of the face: the jaw, eyes and between the eyebrows
  • As the body begins to relax, hold your breath. Now, add a little visualization to help the mind. Visualize the breath going in through the nose, into the throat, down into the lungs and belly, and then visualize it coming back out the same way.

Give it a color (perhaps white or silver), if that helps. Visualize it going into your body and out of your body. Next, begin to feel what the breath feels like: is it cold when it enters your nose? How does it feel when it enters your lungs? And is it warm when it exits through your nose? Is it full or shallow?

how does your body react to the breath: is it relaxing or nervous? Can you inhale and exhale completely, or does the breath get trapped somewhere?

None of the answers are right or wrong. They are simply the way you are going to become aware of your body and your breath.

Distracting the mind

The biggest challenge of meditation is to keep the mind engaged while the body is relaxed.

Think of your mind as a small child: it gets distracted by shiny objects and random things. Your job as a practitioner is to metaphorically take that child by the hand and guide it back to your center. In this case, that center is the breath. It is your anchor.

Don’t be discouraged if you wander away. It’s a normal part of the process. It is said that we have 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day.

We can’t just turn them off. So, if you get distracted, realize you got sidetracked and come back to the breath. After all, this coming and going of consciousness is what meditation is really all about.

Another way to distract the mind is to give it something tangible to do. In meditation, one of the easiest tools for doing this is counting.

When breathing in, count to 4. When breathing out, count to 4. When this time is too short, count to 6, 8 or 10.

Basically, you breathe in to the count of your choice and then breathe out to the same count. Once you have completed the count, start over.

This simple exercise gives your mind a logical task. Yes, you will probably still have random thoughts that catch your attention, but as we have already said, this is part of the process. Notice when you get distracted and return to your breathing and counting.

Option to use affirmations

For some people, counting is too dry. Likewise, you may have a day when you just need a little motivation and inspiration. In these cases, affirmations are a great tool in your meditation practice.

Affirmations are words or phrases that you repeat to yourself as you meditate. They serve as anchors, just like breathing and counting. When you get mentally distracted, you can return to your affirmation. You can say your affirmation out loud or to yourself, depending on where you are practicing.

Some examples of affirmations are

  • I breathe in fully; I breathe out fully.
  • I am enough.
  • I am love and I am loved.
  • I am complete.


You can also use Sanskrit affirmations or mantras. These are said to carry a higher vibrational frequency because they are expressed in the sacred Sanskrit language.

Some examples are:

  • So Ham – which translates as “I am.” It is often practiced by inhaling when saying So, and exhaling when saying Ham.
  • Sat Nam – which translates as “True Identity”. It is a seed mantra that activates the 7 major chakra systems in the body.
  • Om – which is the universal sound and the one most people are familiar with in yoga classes. It is usually practiced by sticking out the O and closing the lips on the M to create a humming vibration in the mouth and body.

Use guided meditations to help you

You may feel like you need someone to guide you in meditation if you find it difficult to do it on your own. Fortunately, there are a plethora of online videos via YouTube and meditation apps on your phone that are widely available. Some are free, while others have a subscription option.

Keep it simple

Meditation isn’t always going to be easy. Some days you’re going to be busy, tired, apathetic or unavailable, and that’s okay.

Meditation is a practice that will always be present. As humans, we are constantly striving to perfect some routine or regimen

While it’s good to be disciplined with meditation, don’t let it become a chore to cross off the to-do list. Let it simply be a respite for you; a sort of mental vacation for sacred self-reflection.

This is where this practice really thrives and pays off tenfold.

If you want to learn to meditate, these 7 tips will help you map out a plan to get started. They are simple and perfect for beginners, making this meditation practice very accessible to everyone.

Meditation is beneficial for reduce stress and anxiety, but most beneficial is building your inner awareness. In this way, you will be able to observe your inner and outer world without a knee-jerk reaction, but with more compassion, pause and reflection.

Ismael Abogado

Ismael Abogado

Psychologist and constant learner of the mind and soul.

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