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Meditation for Beginners

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In recent years, meditation has gained popularity for its numerous reported health benefits. Not only has it been associated with reducing heart rate and blood pressure, but it has also become a popular technique for increasing one’s ability to cope with stress. Regardless of the reason for your interest in meditation, developing a meditation routine can be a great way to take time out of your day for yourself.

New to Meditation?

When people first hear about meditation or are recommended to meditate, they often think, “I can’t sit there and relax for 30 minutes, I have way too much to do”. If this is your initial thought, it is time to start meditating.

There are many different types of meditation. As someone who is new to this practice, the form of meditation that is easiest to begin with is called “concentration meditation”. This involves focusing on a single point—this can be your breath, a word, a sound, or an image. By concentrating on this one single item, it helps your mind from wandering to the next item on your to-do list.

Ready? Follow these 5 Simple Steps:

  1. Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down, in a quiet environment.
  2. Close your eyes and let your muscles relax as best as you can.
  3. Find your focus. This may include focusing on a word, a sound, or an image. As a beginner, it is recommended to continue focusing on your breath. Breath naturally and pay attention to how your body moves when inhaling and exhaling.
  4. When first beginning, aim to meditate for 3-5 minutes. Slowly increase your time to 20 minutes.
  5. When you have finished, let your body slowly adjust. Open your eyes gradually, taking several deep breaths. Slowly start to move your body and stretch.

Additional Tips:

  • Make meditation a habit by performing it at the same time every day. For example, first thing in the morning, before eating, or before bed. Commit to performing this daily for at least a month.
  • When your mind wanders, bring it back to focusing on your breathing. If needed, try counting each breath until you get to 10, and then repeat.
  • Don’t rush. Remove all distractions, relax, and enjoy this time to take care of yourself.
  • Avoid caffeine and smoking before beginning meditation, as these may make it more difficult to focus.

Check out the attached PDF for a comparison of a few of our favourite mindfulness apps!

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