So you’ve heard the benefits of meditation before, you get it, you know it will help improve your sleep, regulate your emotions, and to help you manage life’s craziness right now.
But still for some reason it can be so difficult to get started. How do I sit still? What do I do? What happens if I have a lot of thoughts? I think I’ve left the kettle on – better go check that, right this second, don’t want the house to burn down!
I get it, I’ve been there before. I’ve been meditating for 7 years now and am now a meditation teacher helping people bring meditation into their day-to-day lives. My meditation practices now are steeped into my daily life. But it didn’t always used to be this way.
I have always been fascinated by habits and I love rituals. I think of rituals as adding that sense of meaning and magic into your day-to-day life.
Personally, my favourite rituals that incorporate my formal meditation practice is a morning 20 minute self-guided meditation when I wake up. My focus at the moment, is relaxing my body and bringing my attention into my body. This is helping me to calm my nervous system – so important.
Lately with life being a little more intense than normal I’ve been reaching for an afternoon meditation as well, between 5-10 minutes as a little top up and time to come back to my centre.
At different points of my life I’ve loved falling asleep to a meditation, but truth be told I’ve gone back to my old faithful, watching favourite sitcom re-runs to fall asleep. I’ve done this since I was a child, I used to fall asleep watching Friends re-runs, something about listening to people in the background soothes me. I know I’m definitely not alone with this.
And then there is the informal meditation practice – being mindful or living in the present moment. So how do I bring this into my life? Moving meditations as much as I can, walking, yoga, or even running at the moment are some of my favourite way.
Eating mindfully (when I remember), and mindfully creating is my favourite way to become present. I find when I am creating some art, purely for myself or for joy my mind chatter significantly reduces. I also LOVE writing and so journalling is a ritual of mine that I bring into my day-to-day life. From writing down what I am releasing to what I am wanting to bring into my life.
Bottom line, I live and breath meditation and mindfulness practices in my life. I teach them. I love them.
BUT all of this, would not have been possible if I didn’t start where I could, 7 years ago.
So where did it all begin?
Well I dove in head first, plopped my meditation cushion (because surely that is what I need) down on the ground and I started to ‘meditate’. After what felt like the LONGESSTTTT time in the world I decided to check my phone and pretty quickly gave up.
See my expectations were far too high, I often err on the side of ‘hard on myself’, which I am sure you can relate to. And so I knew I needed to set the expectation bar low to help myself follow through.
I started with guided meditations and it didn’t matter how many times my mind drifted somewhere else I was meditating. And that is how I began my meditation journey but you have to begin somewhere. So this is why I am so passionate about helping people find meditation in whatever way they can. I think of guided meditations as the gateway drug to the meditation community.
So let’s dive into 5 reasons to start with guided meditations, and if you’re keen I have a special offer for you at the bottom to dive straight in.
- Don’t overthink where you begin
So you want to meditate? What type of meditation should you do, how long should it be? I think you’ve had enough now, you should stop. When it’s just you and yourself sitting down to meditate it’s really easy to listen to the voices within your head to ‘stop’ or ‘give up’ or ‘why bother’. Well guess what? That is the mental chatter within your mind that you are supposed to be observing and not engaging with. So when you first get started it’s really easy to almost talk yourself out of meditating.
This is why I love guided meditations they take the guess work out of it. You press PLAY and that is all you have to do! Once you’ve pressed play you listen and you tune into what they are saying to the best of your ability and tick you’ve meditated. It’s really that simple.
- Embrace different styles of meditation
There are so many different styles of meditation out there, no seriously there is. So it’s important to know that if something doesn’t feel right or you don’t enjoy it, that’s okay, it simply might not work for you. To begin with I really loved and found visualisation meditations quite easy, it’s what I gel with the most. And whenever someone would take me through a guided breath or body scan meditation I found them impossible and hated it!
I’ve now come to a place of enjoying these and seeing their benefit, but if you made me do it all those years back I would have given up. In fact, I mostly did, when someone took me through that as an exercise I would 100% tune out. Whoops, but you get it. There are SO many different styles of meditation you can find and interact with, so pick and chose what works best for you.
- Different meditations for different moods
This is so important there are so many meditations out there for different moods. Wanting to start you morning with intention? Got you covered. Wanting to release stress and overwhelm? There is something out there for you.
Wanting to focus on cultivating kindness, turning down your negative self talk or slowing down? There is something for you. Actually they are all available within my Inner Calm Meditation Album, special offer at the bottom for you.
- You receive ALL the same benefits as self-guided meditations
Guess what? You still receive ALL the same benefits as someone who is doing a self-guided meditation. So wanting to sleep better? Have more energy, clearer thinking? Want to reduce your stress and become less reactive in your life and to loved ones? Guided meditations are going to be able to help you. AND there about a million times easier to get started with than self guided meditations.
Why stress and bother about guiding yourself through a meditation when you can focus on listening and tuning into the guided meditation.
- If you are feeling particularly stressed or overthinking
There are times when I still love a guided meditation, when I know sitting down to meditate and ‘wrangle’ with my thoughts is going to be near impossible and so I pop a guided meditation into my ears. Or if I am wanting to cultivate a particular feeling or experience a guided meditation is perfect for this.
So if you are feeling particularly stressed or overthinking, why bother trying to wrestle with your thoughts and cultivate that stillness within your mind, use the resources and tools around you and tune into a guided meditation.
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