How To Get Started With Meditating
I talk a lot about meditation when people ask what I've been doing during "quarantine" or what I've been doing to cope with the stress and anxiety of the uncertain future. I'm a big believer in meditating and it has been a large part of my growth to be the best possible version of myself. So I thought I'd share my personal thoughts on how to get started.
If you're new to meditation, I highly recommend starting with a guided meditation from an app. There are lots of good apps and I would suggest you try all of the free trials they offer to find which one works best for you.
When I first began to practice meditating I started with the app Headspace. They have a 10 day free trial and each practice is 10 minutes long.
Now having experimented with many different apps, I would recommend you start with the free trial of 10% Happier because the beginning lessons are very short and they accompany videos about the how's and why's of meditation.
Another app you could try is Calm. They probably have the best background sounds if you wanted to hear some ocean waves or rain drops during your practice.
The latest app I tried was Waking Up. I can't really say how much I liked it because I only used it once and then I found Oak, my favorite meditation app.
Oak is currently my favorite because I've reached a point in my practice where I don't use guided meditations as much anymore and instead I have my own personal routine. I also like the "badges" that Oak gives you as you complete more and more sessions. It makes it fun and the reward pathway in your brain lights up when something external tells you that you accomplished something. It subconsciously helps to keep you consistently practicing. Oak also has simple breathing exercises for energy, calm, or sleep which are fantastic.
Now if you were to say, "Tell me exactly what you think I should do to start a meditation practice."
I would say:
Go through the free trials and cancel the subscription before they charge your card on each of the following apps in this order:
I would also say stick with it. Don't give up if you don't feel anything. You're going to need at least 7 days in a row to start feeling the benefits but really it takes 21 days to make it a habit. Make a commitment to yourself and take responsibility.
First thing in the morning or right before bed is best. I personally like to meditate first thing in the morning after I go for a walk because I feel that it primes my brain for the day.
Once you try all the apps above, you can then pick your favorite and pay for their service if you like. The choice is yours.
I hope you find this helpful and inspired to start your own meditation practice. If you go all in, I promise you will find the profound benefits that the Dalai Lama speaks of here.