How can I make myself meditate?

How does meditation work? Meditation explained in simple terms (part 1)

27 Jan

Until two years ago I thought yoga and meditation were about the most boring thing you can do in your free time.

With the best will in the world, I couldn't imagine what it would be to just sit cross-legged somewhere with your eyes closed or do super slow gymnastics on a mat.

But then I started working in management in the music industry and quickly realized that I urgently needed something to relieve stress and somehow calm my thoughts in the evening.

There was hardly anyone around me who did not rave about how much yoga and meditation help and luckily I closed my prejudice drawer and attended my first yoga class on a Monday morning at 7:00 a.m. However, after trying pretty much every sport from horse riding to boxing, I had never found a sport that captivated me like yoga. It's probably because yoga is much more than just a little stretching on a yoga mat, it is ultimately a complete philosophy of life.

Through yoga, I was immersed in a whole new world, in which it was a matter of becoming aware of your own breath and being in the here and now. It was about being with yourself, accepting that you are right where you are, not who does the better handstand. Yoga connects the physical, spiritual and emotional level and helps to center me.

I came to meditate through yoga. I was used to having my thoughts floating around everywhere, being unfocused and very exhausted in the evening. Since I've been meditating regularly, this state has been a thing of the past. I am concentrated, relaxed, focused and am starting to understand what is going on in my head.

I have been meditating for 20-30 minutes in the morning and in the evening for a year now and I can actually no longer imagine my life without meditation. Meditating is one of those things in life that you wish you had started earlier.

 

Learn to meditate in 10 easy steps

 

1. Start slowly

In my experience, it is most beneficial to start with short time units, i.e. 2-3 minutes. What felt like the first 30 times I started meditating was relatively frustrating. I managed maybe 5 seconds not to immediately think after the best thought. Focusing for just 2 minutes at the beginning makes you more likely to stick with it because you will have a sense of achievement more quickly. Then after a week you can just add 2 minutes. The best thing to do is to set an alarm clock.

2. Focus on your breath

Meditating helps you to gain distance from your thoughts. To do that, the first step is to shift your focus elsewhere. For meditation, sit comfortably in a quiet place and close your eyes. For the first few weeks, just focus on your breath and how the air touches your nose every time you inhale and exhale. When you find that your focus is back on your thoughts, just come back to your breath. If you like, you can use the mantra “Let go” and say “Let go” in your mind every time you breathe in and “go” when you breathe out.

3. Make it a habit

Once you have got up and are perhaps late, it can very well happen that you postpone meditating until the next day. To prevent that from happening and to develop your routine, meditating should be the very first thing you do.

I meditate in bed right after waking up in the morning. Before I even open my eyes, I sit down comfortably and start meditating. This is now an integral part of my morning routine.

4. You can't go wrong

Because meditating is so powerful, many think that it is bound to be insanely complicated and that there are a lot of things you can do wrong. Here I can calm you down. The strength lies in simplicity. The art of calming your mind and finding inner peace actually lies in focusing solely on your breath. So you really can't go wrong. It is completely normal for you to have a difficult time at the beginning and to hang on to your thoughts. If you notice that your focus is no longer on your breath, but on your shopping for tomorrow evening, then just bring the focus back.

5. Develop an awareness of yourself

When you have gained a feeling for meditation, you can do a quick check-in at the beginning of each meditation. Be very conscious of your body. How do you feel? Are you stressed? Or annoyed? How does your body feel Where are you tense Be very conscious of yourself and your body, but do not evaluate the state.

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6. Be loving towards yourself

Your thoughts will wander and you will wander with them. This is completely normal. Treat yourself lovingly when you notice that you have lost focus on your breath and just come back. You can use your facial muscles and smile at any time.

7. Be curious

Initially, meditating can be strange and strange. Just be curious who you get to know inside you when you are completely with yourself.

8. Become the observer of your thoughts

The goal of meditation is to realize that you are not your thoughts, but rather the space that contains the thoughts. You are the one who can observe the thoughts and thus also distance oneself from them. A simple exercise while meditating is imagining a big screen in front of your inner eye on which your thoughts are moving. You are the one who looks at the screen and can consciously decide which thoughts to pursue.

When we meditate, we want to come to the place where we are very calm and at rest within ourselves. You can imagine it a bit like the place above the clouds when you are flying in an airplane and suddenly the sky is clear. Our thoughts are like clouds, but the sun is always shining over them and meditation is like your plane.

9. Different meditations

When you have meditated for a while and become familiar with it, you can begin to try different types of meditation. For example, every evening during my meditation I consciously go through all the things for which I am grateful and visualize my day in detail during my morning meditation. There are also a variety of mantras that can be spoken.

Here you will find the second part of “Meditating simply explained”, in which I will show you different meditations.

10. Apps, books, and websites that can help you learn to meditate

With the heart of a Buddha: healing ways to self-acceptance and joie de vivre - Tara broke

Mini meditations by Ulrich Hoffmann

7Mind (German-speaking meditation app)

Headspace (English language meditation app)

Tara Brach (English language meditations for download)

 

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