Serene moment: A brunette woman meditating on the California seashore, embracing tranquility by the sea.

How to Start Meditating


By now most of us have flirted with the idea of meditation. How could we not? The benefits are well-documented and include: less stress, more concentration, improved mindfulness, better sleep, emotional regulation and even pain management (just to name a few). But, we also all know that meditation is easier said than done. A clear mind is not always easy given the chaos of our lives and carving out even a few minutes can be a chore. But, since it is so lauded by practitioners and laymen alike, it’s worth it to give a meditation practice a real shot. Here are five tips to help you get started.


Be realistic

Before you even get started, it’s time to get real. How much time can you actually devote to a daily meditation practice? Twenty minutes? That’s amazing! But if it’s not true, you’re not going to follow through. If five minutes is all you have, start there.


Set a schedule

Turning meditation into a practice involves consistency. So, the more you can make it a regular part of your day the better. Maybe you have five minutes as you wait for your coffee to brew. Or ten minutes before turning out the light for bed. This can work especially well if you attach meditation to something you already do daily (like that morning coffee)—incorporating it into an existing routine gives you no reason to ditch it.


Set the tone and space

While the pros can (and do!) meditate anywhere, at the start you might need a bit more encouragement. A quiet and comfortable space can really help keep things calm and focused. If you use marijuana to manage anxiety or as part of a wind down routine, this could be part of your meditation prep in setting the tone.


Start with a guided meditation or breath work

Chances are, you’re not going to be a mindfulness pro the first time you really commit to meditation. If you need help, that’s completely okay. There are plenty of apps, podcasts and programs to help guide your meditation if you find it hard to get started on your own. And if you prefer not to listen to someone else, you can incorporate some simple breath exercises (we’re big fans of box breathing, look it up!).


Remember, it’s a practice

While there’s an assumption that meditation is all about clearing your mind, the truth is, meditation is more about learning more about your own mental processes. If your mind is never really clear—even after you’ve meditated quite a bit—that’s okay. The goal is about getting to a place where you can be aware of your thoughts, while also giving yourself a break from them. Mindfulness meditation (a specific practice of meditation) suggests that acknowledging the thoughts and feelings as they come to you while you’re meditating is best, but then to attempt to bring your attention back to your chosen focus (often your breath or a mantra).


What are the different types of meditation?

We’ve mentioned a few, but there are different schools of meditation resulting in different techniques. Here’s a brief overview of three of the more popular ones.


Mindfulness meditation

Typically a focus on breath, and the attempt to focus on thoughts, feelings and sensations as they come up, but while controlling your response to them.


Transcendental meditation

Also called TM, this form usually focuses on a mantra or word that is repeated in order to calm the mind.


Guided meditation

As its name suggests, guided meditation involves listening to a guide (whether IRL or recorded) who can help you relax or focus on certain themes.

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