Meditation Made Easy: How to Meditate for People Who Don't Like to Meditate

Meditation is starting to catch up with “just drink water!” as some sort of wellness cure-all. But how does one go from "Am I even doing this right?" to Master of Zen? (Spoiler alert: You don't.)

First things first, we need to address the #1 most common misconception when it comes to starting a meditation practice:

Meditation is not about clearing your mind completely until you’ve reached a state of mystical enlightenment.

Instead, think of it as a mental workout, a way to train your mind to focus and become more aware of your thoughts and emotions. And just like how one workout isn’t going to take you from couch potato to six pack abs, being consistent and showing up is way more important than achieving a specific outcome.

If the thought of sitting still and "doing nothing" fills you with dread, here are 7 tips to help:

1. Start small.

Keep it seriously simple. Start with 5 minutes - then work your way up gradually. It might not seem like it, but even just a few minutes of focused breathing can make a HUGE difference.

2. Get comfy.

You don't have to sit on the floor or cross your legs if that's not comfortable for you. Find a position that allows you to relax – whether that’s on the couch, bed, or even at your office desk.

3. Do it at the same time, everytime.

Set an alarm for the same time, every time you plan to do it. Science says this helps build a habit! (Mentally prepare for your brain to get really creative with the excuses once the alarm goes off. Do it anyway.)

4. Don't judge or shame yourself.

It's completely normal for your mind to wander or get distracted. Simply observe your thoughts as passing clouds, then gently guide your focus back to your breath. Shaming yourself for something everyone goes through will just create more stress, which is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.

5. Try to kick it old school.

There is no shortage of apps and online resources that offer guided meditations for beginners, but sometimes, finding the “perfect” one can take even longer than the actual meditation itself! If that's you, try doing it the good ol' fashioned way: by simply being present.

6. Don't compare your practice with others.

You don’t have to be up at 6am, meditating at sunrise, or wearing the most perfect yoga clothes. Everyone's journey is unique and there is no "right" way to meditate. The most important thing is that you’re showing up!

Remember, the goal of meditation isn't to achieve some sort of perfect state of mind or being. The goal is to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions, and to learn how to be more present. With enough practice, you can build the mental muscles needed to improve your focus, reduce stress, and live a more mindful life.

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