4 Steps to Start Meditating

Bottom Line Up Front: Meditating is really good for your health. Integrating it into your schedule isn’t too hard. There is technology available to let you start meditating quickly.

Buddha-9897

I have always believed meditation was healthy. Fine-tuning your mind has to be good, right? I had never decided I needed to make it part of my life though until last year. Here are the major factors that drove me to start meditating:

  • I redefined how I saw fitness. Whereas I used to think “health and fitness” was all about exercise and food I started to see how stress, relationships, and environment all factored into how I look, felt, and performed.
  • I noticed time and time again on multiple blogs and podcasts that a common trait of what I considered to be successful and healthy people was that they meditated in some form, usually in the morning.
  • There were cheap (free or low-cost) technological aids to allow one to begin meditating without taking a class or reading a book.

Here are the 4 Steps I Used to Begin Meditating

  1. I made it part of my morning routine. Important things for me happen in the morning. I work best, think best, and perform best early.
  2. I decided I would just do it for just 10 minutes. Many people will find it hard to do something new if the barrier to entry is too high. 10 minutes is basically nothing.
  3. I found the right place. My office has a great chair (just not at my standing desk). The door can be locked. It is very quiet at 6 AM.
  4. I got some tech. I downloaded the two most popular apps and tried them both. I found the overwhelming majority of people were using one of two apps: Headspace and Calm. Both offer free and paid options. Get some headphone and turn on the app. Pretty easy.

The Results

I found that I did enjoy sitting quietly and thinking. I have not quite made meditation something I do every day just yet. Sometimes I am ready to get to work writing (like today) or I just feel like getting straight to exercise. I do it multiple times per week though. Each time I choose 5-15 minutes using the Calm app. I initially chose Headspace and paid for the premium subscription (most people will do something just because they paid for it), but I felt like I couldn’t get into it. It has no background sounds and uses a British man’s voice to guide you. I was cognitively wandering the whole time (a common reason why people quit meditating). I prefer the subtle background options in Calm like a beach or rain as well as the American woman’s voice. I still find it very hard to eliminate outside thought and stay “present” (this is being mindful). I am working on it each session.

I am sold on meditation’s value and know this is a staple practice I should continue for life like daily activity, exercise, good nutrition, and proper sleep. I am also very aware as a meditator, I have a ton to learn. I am the equivalent of a guy who lifted something heavy a few time and realized it makes you stronger.

QUESTION: Have you ever tried meditation? What were the results? For those gurus out there, what resources do you use? What type of meditation do you practice? Post thoughts to comments.

References & Further Reading