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Learn how to meditate

A lot of people are intimidated by meditation. They think it’s weird, to hard or time consuming and that you have to be a “certain way” to be able to pull it off. But I say: if you can sit down and if you can breath then you can meditate!

By: Petra Axlund Stegman

 

Have you ever thought to yourself that meditation is just for new age hippies? That you are too restless and not spiritual enough to pull it off. And seriously - you are way too busy to just sit on a pillow and do nothing.If so, that's it totally ok and totally normal. Most people have this idea of what meditation is and that idea stops them from even trying. Here's the ting: meditation is simple – but not easy. Just like with everything else you need to practice and you need to priorities to get it into your daily routine.

I’ve had a regular meditation practice for more than 15 years now. I have fallen off the meditation wagon many, many times so I am here to help you get started, not to set the bar to high and actually get a regular meditation practice in your life. For me meditation is like working out. I do it. I don't always love it. I often come up with excuses why i shouldn't do it. But I know it makes me feel so much better. It is a stress reliever. I might not get bigger biceps or flatter belly ... BUT I become calmer, happier and kinder. I'll go with the latter anytime!

I prefer to meditate the first thing in the morning. Before I look at my phone or open my e-mail. If I start scrolling or checking messages my brain goes straight into “work mode” and it makes it hard to stop the mind from drifting and me thinking about everything i have to do that day. But there is no right or wrong time to meditate. Find a time that works for you. And then stick to that time every day. It's like making a really important meeting with yourself. And bosses don't cancel plans, right?

Usually I sit in silence but some days I put on some music in the background. My tip is to choose music with no lyrics, or lyrics in Sanskrit, and with a melody that is not over powering. You don't want top be distracted by a beat or the lyrics. Sounds of the nature also works really well for me. You just want something soothing in the background. Another good thing with music is that you can pick a song that is say 20 minutes long, and then you don’t have to worry about how long you’ve been sitting or feel the need to look at the clock. You just meditate for the whole song. Chanting is also pretty cool, that’s when you pick a song where they repeat a mantra and you sing along. Read more here.

I also firmly believe it is important that you create a sacred space for yourself and your meditation practice in your home. It can be a meditation room, but it can also be a corner in your bedroom or inside your walk-in-closet. Here you will create an altar that you’ll decorate with things that are important to you (it does not have to be Buddha statues and crystals, it can be a framed photo of your loved once, a flower or whatever).

In the beginning of your meditation practice (or just days you feel that you need it) it might be easier for you to do a Guided Meditation. Then you’ll have someone talking you thru the whole thing, to help you stay with your breath and stay present to what is. Go check out my Guided Meditations here.