According to a study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, regular meditation can reduce stress and improve the overall wellbeing of a person.
Meditation is an ancient science that has its root in ancient India. Later, the Buddhists adopted meditation as a way to attain nirvana.
Gradually, it spread along the ancient silk routes to reach the rest of the world. In the modern age, the art of meditation has left the boundaries of spiritualism and become a powerful means of finding mental peace and calm.
The effects of meditation can be particularly beneficial for executives who experience high-stress levels due to constant work pressure, regular meetings, and job insecurity.
Meditation can improve the productivity of executives by improving their creativity, concentration, and cognitive skills.
Let us learn the meditation techniques for beginners that will help you stay calm, happy, and healthy.
Step by Step Meditation Techniques for Beginners:
Step 1: Choose a Convenient Place and Time
Meditation provides a great relaxing experience and hence, you must do it at the time and place that’s convenient for you. Hence, the first step for the meditation techniques for beginners is to choose a time when you are not likely to be disturbed.
You may practice it in the morning once you get up, or before going to sleep. You can also practice meditation for a few minutes between two meetings at the office.
The idea is to choose a quiet and peaceful place that can make the meditation experience more relaxing.
Step 2: Warm Up
Warming up before meditation can have a tremendous influence on your mind and help you to focus on your breathing. So, try to do stretching exercises for a few minutes before beginning your meditation session.
You can simply do a few sit-ups or walk briskly for a few minutes if that’s feasible for you. The idea is to loosen the muscles, reduce stiffness, and relax your body.
It is an important step for the meditation techniques for beginners as it will help you avoid numbness and tingling in the limbs while you sit still during the practice.
Physical activities like stretching will also improve the stress-relieving benefits of meditation and encourage your mind to concentrate better.
Even if you are practicing meditation at your workplace, warming up for a minute or two won’t be too difficult for you.
Step 3: Wear Comfortable Clothing
Dressing in comfortable clothing is an important step for meditation techniques for beginners. Make sure the clothes you wear are not too tight and the material is soothing.
Also, if the weather is too cold or warm, wear appropriate clothing to avoid discomfort because if you start sweating or feeling too cold, you will not be able to concentrate. This will hamper the benefits you can achieve.
If you practice meditation at your workplace, remove your tie and jacket before meditation as these clothing can cause some discomfort.
Step 4: Control Your Thoughts
Take a few deep breathes to provoke a meditative state. Try to remove unwanted thoughts from your mind. You can imagine a cloud over your head and put all your thoughts into that cloud. Just imagine everything that’s in your mind passes through it.
This will clear your mind and help you enter a deep state of relaxation needed to begin your meditation session.
You can also try a meditation headband that monitors and improves your meditation practice and guides you to a calm mind.
Step 5: Meditate with Deep Breathing
Deep breathing in and out before meditation forms an integral part of the meditation techniques for beginners to prepare your mind and body. Deep breaths can bring your mind into a peaceful meditative state.
Take deep breathes. Continue breathing in and out while keeping your entire focus on the process. Put your hands on your belly and feel the air as it enters your body. Similarly, focus on the air moving out of the lungs.
Here is how to do it:
Initially, practice it for 5 to 10 minutes and increase the duration gradually as you gain better control over your mind.
If you find it difficult to focus on breathing, chant a mantra such as ‘Om’ slowly in an even tone. You can also switch on soft instrumental music to help you concentrate better.
These meditation techniques for beginners are of particular importance for the executives who practice it in the office where constant noise can distract their mind and prevent them from focusing. The music will nullify the noise and help you concentrate.
Find more advice on meditation in our list of books on yoga and meditation.
Simple Exercise for Meditation Beginners
Step #1: Sit Relaxed
Place a comfortable set or cushion in one room and sit relaxed.
Step #2: Check Your Posture
Note what both your legs are presently doing. Cross your legs in front (If seated on a cushion). If you’re on a chair, just rest your feet bottoms on the floor. Ensure you remain comfortable. Now straighten—but don’t stiffen– your upper body. Your spine will adopt a natural curvature.
Then, check what your two arms are doing. Set your upper arms to be parallel to the upper body while resting their palms on your legs at your most natural angle.
Drop your chin slightly and drop your gaze gently downward (but don’t shut your eyes). Simply let whatever appears in front of your eyes remain there without over-focusing on it.
Step #3: Listen To Your Breath
Listen to the natural physical sensations of your breathing as the air moves through your mouse/nose, the rising/falling of your chest and/or belly.
At some point, your attention will wander from the breath to other places. Notice this when it happens. Don’t judge/worry. Simply return your attention gently to the breath.
Be empathetic about your straying mind even if it’s doing so constantly—that’s normal anyway. Now, you don’t wrestle with your thoughts. Rather, you train to observe them without reacting then sitting back and paying attention.
Keep coming back to your natural breath time and again, without judging or expecting.
Step #4: When Ready, Slowly Lift Your Gaze
Take some moments and identify any sounds permeating the environment. Listen to your body. How does it feel right now? What thoughts and emotions are you experiencing?
Repeat as needed and re-learn.
Maybe you began meditating, but gave up on it, or may you haven’t even started because you’re skeptical about meditation in general.
Whichever the case, we recommend you reading “Unplug”. Meditations made easy! You’ll be meditating before you even finish the book.
Common Mistakes Made by Meditation Beginners
You could be just starting off with an aim to cure your long-running stress at your firm.
Or you’re just experimenting in search of happiness after a flurry of team meetings, networking events, and business pitches.
The thing is, like in every other therapy, there are some potential pitfalls on your way. Give these a wide birth in your journey:
1. Choosing the wrong meditation for your work and body type: Determine what’s in line with your executive life and follow it.
2. Having unrealistic goals: Don’t over-expect. Sure meditation helps but truth be told, meditation is not a magic bullet to solve all your troubles.
3. You’re not consistent: You must be persistent.
4. Don’t overcomplicate matters: Stop aiming for the perfect. Nothing is. Do meditation for beginners simple.
5. Being conservative: Be ready to explore other techniques if things are not working out.
6. You keep comparing yourself with others: It should be about ME, not your fellow officials.
What do you desire the most in your life? Promotion? Success? Better salary? Well… Happiness is usually the most neglected choice. But, if you give it a thought, you will realize that all the other desires finally lead to happiness.
However, the paradox is executives never seem to find and retain happiness even when they consciously go after it, in spite of the money, position, and power they achieve.
This is exactly where meditation can step in as a practical solution.
If you have any suggestions to make the practice of meditation easier, please leave a comment to let us know.