Although the practice of meditation is an excellent way for people to clear their minds, live more authentically and learn to be present in each moment, those who have never tried it for themselves may be hesitant.
This is based on the fear of it being too complicated and time-consuming. If your idea of meditation, based on what you have seen in movies or read in books, involves having to set aside hours of every day in order to fully achieve enlightenment, you may be encouraged to know that this need not be the case. With help from a few meditation kit essentials and basic guiding principles, you can meditate effectively in 30 minutes or less, leaving plenty of time for you to go about your day. Study and follow the 10 steps below, and you will quickly discover that meditation is more about quality than quantity.
1. Keep Meditation Supplements In One Convenient Place
Some people who meditate choose to integrate certain accessories into the practice to maximize their comfort and concentration. These can include a rug or mat to sit on, a device that plays soothing music, inspirational rocks or crystals and an incense burner with scented incense sticks. If you enjoy using meditation supplements but also prefer to engage in brief sessions, store all of your supplies together in a tote or bin for easy access. Keep the storage container in the same place, near or in your meditation space.
2. Practice In One Dedicated Space
Dedicate a single area in your home to practicing meditation, as this helps you to not only stay in the habit of daily engagement, but also to accomplish your goal efficiently. When you are able to simply walk into a room that is already conducive to meditation and get started without having to set up, you do not have to worry about spending precious minutes on preparation. Keep in mind that the space you use does not need to be large, just comfortable.
3. Do Some Stretches To Relax Your Muscles
Even if you are pressed for time, you can benefit from doing some simple muscle stretches for about 30 seconds to one minute before you start meditating. This helps to keep your limbs and torso relaxed, tension-free and cramp-free during your practice. Try a variety of stretches, such as lifting your arms above your head, doing light leg lunges, twisting your torso from side to side with your feet in place and standing on your tiptoes for a full-body stretch.
4. Sit In A Non-Restrictive Position
Once you have loosened your muscles, take a moment to assume a sitting position that allows you to meditate comfortably. Avoid positions that may cause a distraction during your practice; for example, crossing your legs too tightly may result in restricted blood flow and the tingling feeling of limbs “falling asleep.” Refrain from hunching your back and shoulders as well. Basic positions such as sitting on a soft chair with your feet on the ground or on the floor with your legs extended in front are good options.
5. Close Your Eyes And Begin Rhythmic Breathing
Proceed with your brief meditation session by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling to a count of four. Give yourself just a few moments to acclimatize your mind and body to this breathing technique before you actually begin meditating. As you proceed, your rhythmic breathing should continue naturally, requiring no conscious thought or acknowledgment as you clear your mind. Keep your eyes closed throughout the session in order to discourage visual wandering and breaks in focus.
6. Start Repeating Your Mantra Silently Or Out Loud
Chanting a mantra during meditation, either silently or out loud, is not essential, yet is effective in helping some people stay centered within the process. If you choose to integrate a mantra into your routine, save some precious moments of time by deciding beforehand on a particular sound or phrase that you would like to use. Repeat your chant each time that you exhale so as to maintain a soothing, peaceful flow of energy and encourage an open mental pathway.
7. Work On Clearing Your Mind
Clearing your mind and allowing thoughts to just “be” is at the heart of your meditation practice. You can effectively accomplish this under time constraints, but do not be discouraged if you go through a trial and error process at first. Concentrate on letting thoughts pass through your mind as they are, and refrain from assigning emotions and value judgments to these thoughts. Mastering meditation, even if you only have time to do it in small increments, is such an asset to your journey of self-discovery.
8. Bring Your Mind Back To The Center If Your Thoughts Stray
As you are acclimatizing yourself to meditation, you are likely to find yourself becoming distracted by a thought or two rather than being able to recognize and release each thought as it originates. If you are engaging in sessions that last under half an hour in duration, you may be prone to frustration and worry in regard to your ability to meditate efficiently. Remember that practice makes perfect, and missteps are expected. Work to release a thought as soon as you find it clouding your head space.
9. Maintain An Aura Of Positivity, Light, And Love
One of the easiest ways to make peace with your meditation process as you sort out the rough spots is to stay positive. Strive to go about your life with an optimistic, loving and accepting countenance; when you live by these principles consistently, there is no effort required in needing to adjust your mindset specifically for your meditation sessions. If you should get off-track while meditating, address the situation with a lighthearted, forgiving, positive and self-loving attitude.
10. Take A Minute To Re-Acclimatize To Your Surroundings
As you complete your meditation journey each day, spend just a minute or two sitting quietly as you readjust to your surroundings. The temptation to jump right back into your daily tasks may be strong when you are on a tight schedule, but remember that your mind and body can benefit from this brief acclimation process. Unwind with a few deep breaths, stand up slowly, stretch once more, and go forth in enjoying your day mindfully, authentically and gratefully.
The more experience that you gain in meditating, the easier it becomes to achieve mental and spiritual fulfillment in just a brief amount of time each day. If you are under time constraints due to a strict work or personal schedule, try setting a timer for ten minutes or so before you meditate, and practice as thoroughly as you can in that time frame. Remember that meditating for only a few minutes daily is better for your overall growth and well-being than not meditating at all!