Our Step by Step Guide
Commit to doing meditation. Challenge yourself. Meditation is when you think about your breathing. When you do meditation, it can be for 5 minutes or 10 minutes, or 20 minutes. However long you wish to make it. The important thing is building consistency in your practice.
There are many types of meditation so that every person can find their style. We will talk about the types and styles in this blog post, but they all have their own in-depth definitions, benefits, and challenges. We will discuss a step-by-step guide to building a meditation practice – from finding time in your schedule to choosing which type of guided meditations that best suit your needs!
- What is your motivation
- Find a time & space
- Start small – a few minutes
- Set your environment
- Guided meditations
- Give self-compassion
- Reflect on your session
- Try different types
- Get an accountability partner
- Join a community
1. Consider your motivation for meditating
Some people do meditate to find calmness, but it also has many other benefits. Meditation can help you with pain management, boosting the immune system, and even increasing creativity. It can also memory function, improving emotional control, and reducing symptoms of depression among other things.
In an 8-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress (Healthline, 2020).
A meditation practice can also improve your sleep quality by reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, as well as improving duration and depth.
2. Find a time and space that is comfortable for you
The time and space could vary depending on what your goal with meditation is. Different meditation practices focus on different areas of the body. You may want to start by reading about some meditation techniques that appeal to you. If your goal is to get better sleep, you’ll want to try sleep meditation, called Yoga Nidra, which focuses primarily on the “going-to-sleep” stage at night.
Most people find it helpful to practice in a more quiet area where they can be left alone with their breath. Some don’t have the option of a quiet space and look to take a break anywhere. Places to meditate could be meditation gardens, parks, yoga studios. Anywhere you can escape from any external stimulation for a while is helpful.
3. Start with 3-5 minutes of meditation per day
Then try to gradually increase this amount to 10 in the span of a week, if possible.
The meditation time could vary depending on what you want to get out of it. There are many techniques that can be practiced for a few minutes or longer. However, meditation is most effective when done for at least 20 minutes each day.
The duration of time is completely up to you. Choose how long it feels best for your schedule and goals. You can start with 3-5 minutes. If that feels too short, try adding 5 or 10 minutes in a few days so that it becomes routine again – and soon you’ll find yourself meditating for 20-30 minutes without even noticing! And if 25 minutes sounds like too much, begin with 15-25 minutes per day, then increase to 20-30 minutes when it begins to feel easier and more natural. Your goal is not to force these sessions of an arbitrary length but rather to let the habit unfold at its own pace.
4. Make sure the environment around you is supportive
Turn off electronics and don’t have anyone else in the room with you while you’re meditating if possible.
Its true meditation can happen anywhere, but our senses are also a powerful way to stimulate meditation. Engage in practices that emphasize the use of your senses in a quiet environment. This is a good way to keep your goals and intentions at the forefront during your practice. With each sense used, it’s easier for you to become more aware of what is happening around you without being distracted by outside forces. Focus on your different senses.
Tip: Breath deeply from one nostril
The nose exhales stale air which has been rebounding through your sinus cavity and lungs (leaving microbes behind). Clarity will come with improved breathing patterns! Imagine cleansing waves or prana (air) passing down through the nasal passages while inhaling deeply through one nostril.
5. Guided meditations
If it helps, consider using guided meditations or recordings from experts on topics you individually want to work on.
Guided meditation is helpful because they give voice to the meditation. They help you focus on your thoughts or calmness.
Calm, sleep, stress relief, and loving-kindness meditation are just a few of the meditation themes. There’s also guided meditation for anxiety, PTSD, overeating, and addiction.
Our favorite guided meditation – Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Change One Belief
Or The 6 Phase Meditation by Vishen Lakhiani
6. Have lots of self-compassion
Don’t be discouraged if thoughts come up during your meditation; just acknowledge them and let them go when they do without judging yourself for having these thoughts.
Things will come up and thoughts will pop into your head during your practice. They always will and especially will in the beginning. Notice them and let the thought go without judging yourself for having those thoughts. Meditation is all about getting used to not being interrupted by your own mind.
This uninterrupted state will take practice to reach which is what meditation is all about. It helps you get good at regulating your brain-body connection and the connection with your highest self.
7. Reflect on your time
After finishing a session, take some time to reflect on changes in your mind and body throughout the day.
After the session, go back to your regular day but take time to notice your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Take the time to reflect on what went well and what didn’t work so well.
Do you feel you are in more of a flow state after meditation? Try using the practice to get in touch with your intuition – or gut feeling as some call it. See if it helped you reach a realization that you couldn’t have arrived at without consistent practice. You may have also received guidance directly from or during meditation.
Do you feel calmer, less reactive throughout the day? Meditation has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels and heart rate. Creating a consistent practice reduces stress hormone secretion by the amygdala which makes you calmer on an ongoing basis. It also impacts its users on a cellular level, slowing the production of free radicals in cells. Meditation leads to a sense of control over and heightened sensitivity to one’s emotions that also helps with self-preservation. This awareness allows for better regulation of emotional responses when confronted with an alluring situation or threat.
8. Try different types
You could also try taking a type of class (e.g., mindfulness, transcendental) because different types will appeal to different people’s preferences/needs.
Different types of meditation can be done alone, in a group setting, using chanting, voice guidance, music accompaniment, or without any outer influences.
Mindfulness meditation is often done in a group setting. In this style, people go inward to focus on their breathing with the intention of staying focused on what they’re doing inwardly while also connecting with others around them and the outside world. Mindfulness meditation has been found to reduce stress and can even improve your immune system function.
Emotional intelligence can also be emphasized during your sessions by processing your feelings related to past events or present thoughts/sensations. This ultimately strengthens your nervous system as well as emotional regulation.
This meditation is used to regulate emotional responses and to cultivate empathy, which can help with the reconciliation of conflicts or struggles in relationships as well as other aspects of life such as work performance.
Another favorite technique to try is taking some time for self-compassion meditation if any feelings of self-criticism, shame, or guilt are present. Shame and guilt have been personally one of my biggest undertakings. I can be so hard on myself so self-compassion as part of a consistent routine was so helpful to me. Along with daily affirmations, this technique has been something I can easily pick up when being so down on myself in early recovery.
9. Grab an accountability partner
An accountability partner can be extremely helpful when trying to stick to a practice. Talking with someone who has experience practicing meditation about their experiences while learning different types of practice would best suit you as an individual person trying to build a meditation practice.
In any practice, it’s easy to tell ourselves that we are doing well even though we’re really struggling. This is why accountability for staying in a consistent practice is important. Meditation is about bringing as much honesty into the field as possible and not minimizing our struggles or successes.
10. Join a community like ours
If meditation seems difficult as you get started, join us on our membership platform for free! We have a 21-day challenge that our community participates in, come join us! We’ll get you set up with an accountability partner. There are many life-changing experiences that people have witnessed during meditation and they are happening every day.
There are also so many apps, podcasts, and books available on the topic that can help or answer any questions that may arise during your practice. You have the power to transform your life and habits significantly. Satori Way is here to help set the stage with what is right for you, join us as a free member, and check out our 5-day course here!