Meditation practice is actually very simple, but it’s not easy.
“I’ve tried meditating a few times, but it’s so tough. My mind just keeps wandering around and I cannot focus.”
Sounds familiar? You’re not alone.
We’re living in a world where we’re constantly stimulated with an insane amount of information and distraction. Meditation is more needed now than ever because it helps us focus better and reduce distraction.
Meditation practice is actually very simple, but it’s not easy. It requires full attention and setting an intention. Yet millions of people meditate every single day because of the benefits of meditation.
This article provides a guide on how to meditate for beginners.
The Simplest Way to Meditate – Counting
There are tons of meditation methods that you can find online, including simple breathing, mantra, body scan, walking meditation, and so on.
I’ve tried a few of them, but I found this one the easiest and most effective way to train our minds to focus.
So, what is it?
It’s simply counting.
Sounds simple? Yes.
Is it easy? Not quite, for beginners.
How to meditate:
- Find a comfortable position to sit, with your feet on the ground or cross (I don’t recommend laying down as you may end up falling asleep).
- Close your eyes.
- Start noticing your breathing.
- Inhale and exhale slowly.
- Notice the temperature, the speed, and the length and depth of your breathing,
- Start counting backward – I recommend starting from 50 if you just getting started (You may also choose to count forward, however, I find backward more effective because it requires more focus and attention of your brain).
- 50, 49, 48… try to do it at a steady pace. Do not rush through.
- Keep your eyes closed.
- At any point, if you lose track of the counts, start from the beginning again, 50, 49, 48…
- Count all the way until you hit 0.
- If you were able to count without being distracted and you think it’s too short, you may do it again, starting at any number you like.
- As you get a hang of it over time, try increasing your starting count to 100, 200, or 300.
Benefits of Meditation
Do this for 14 days in a row, and you shall notice several things:
- You feel more at peace with yourself, with the people around you, and with the things that happened to you.
- You are calmer and don’t get agitated as easily.
- You can focus better.
- Your head is less clouded by random thoughts.
- You have an increased level of awareness.
- You’re more empathetic and compassionate.
- You have more good days than bad days because your perspective of things has changed.
How to Build a Routine for Meditation
You need to build a system to retain your meditation schedule.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced with my meditation journey is consistency. There are so many things that happen in our day: dinner with friends, family visits, football games, movie nights, etc.
This makes having a consistent routine extremely hard. If we don’t have the right intention to build a habit or have a routine, our meditation practice may fall off very easily.
To make sure you can stick to doing this 14 days in a row, you need to build a habit/schedule for this activity.
- Identify one activity that you do on auto pilot every day: brushing your teeth, showering, reading the news, having lunch or dinner, going to bed, etc.
- Fit 10 minutes of meditation BEFORE or AFTER the selected activity.
- For example, “I will spend 10 minutes meditating after a shower in the morning.”
- This technique is called habit stacking, from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book is the reason why I can still keep up with my meditation after 2 years. I highly highly recommend it if you want to make significant changes in your life with small steps and a proven system.
- Counting is a form of mindfulness practice. It’s simple that anyone can do it.
- Meditation is proven to provide a lot of benefits mentally and psychologically.
- You need to build a system/schedule to sustain your meditation practice. Try applying the technique from Atomic Habits by James Clear.
I would love to hear how this worked or didn’t work for you, and the effect you’ve experienced with meditation. If you have other meditation methods that you prefer, I’d love to hear that as well, comment below! 🙂