MEDITATION TECHNIQUES FOR BEGINNERS: HOW TO START AND WHY YOU NEED TO
Have you been feeling stressed lately? Maybe a bit anxious over the stress your teen is dealing with about the coming evaluations at school? These meditation techniques for beginners are just what you need.
Regardless of whether you are the stressed-out parent of a teen (or let’s face it, any aged child), or you are that stressed out teen, it isn’t healthy to be stressed.
I am so pleased to have a guest post by Anna of Abrazo and Coze. She offers solutions to take the stress out of family life.
In the teenage years, negative stress can have long term adverse effects for an individual, so it’s especially important for youth to work at reducing their stress levels.
Although the information in this post is relevant to all people regardless of age, I’m going to focus on the youth.
Don’t get me wrong. All hope is not lost if you’re well past the teen years. That isn’t the case.
I’m focussing on teens because they will have the biggest long term advantage in making changes to their lifestyle, and these beginner meditation techniques are going to have the biggest impact on teens.
Meditation has many benefits, but the best, in my opinion, is that it not only reduces stress but also improves your brain functioning.
Before we go over the meditation techniques for beginners, let’s have a look at how meditation can improve your academic performance.
Benefits of Meditation For Students
Meditation doesn’t make us smarter, but these meditation techniques for beginners improve our brain functioning in multiple ways, all of which can lead to better grades.
Here are some additional study tips unrelated to meditation that can also help you get better grades.
These meditation techniques will help you improve your school success by:
- Improving focus
A quick meditation before school (on the way to school?) or before homework and studying is a great way to ensure you’ll be better able to listen to the teacher and get the work completed without being so distracted.
- Meditation changes your brain structure over a longer term period so that your ability to learn improves. Brain plasticity is your brain’s ability to create new connections between neurons.
- The modifications to brain structures happen when those neural pathways are used frequently.
- That means you need to use these meditation techniques for beginners for a very long period of time. Daily meditation is a good habit to cultivate.
Here are other tips to help you improve your life.
- Your study efforts will then reap better results without an increase in effort. You still have to study, but you’ll be able to recall the information when you need it (like for exams)
In other words, put these meditation techniques for beginners into practice and your grades are likely to rise… you’ll focus on your lessons better, remember more, and recall that information more easily.
Of course, there are other benefits of meditation, too. Regular meditation improves creativity, boosts immunity, and strengthens mental health.
There are also physical benefits such as better heart health. You might be surprised to learn that meditation can even lessen age and racial biases.
Meditation Techniques for Beginners
There are different types of meditation, and some are more challenging than others.
Today, we’re only going to focus on the meditation techniques for beginners, and by the time you finish reading this, you should have a good idea of how to start boosting your brain power through meditation.
Whichever technique you choose, you’ll start seeing benefits by meditating at least twenty minutes each day for a few weeks.
Making meditation a lifelong practice will yield the best results.
Fortunately, meditation techniques for beginners can easily be added to an already busy lifestyle.
Binaural Beats Meditation
Binaural beats meditation is one of the best meditation techniques for beginners simply because it’s so incredibly easy.
All you need to do is plug in your headphones and start listening.
In only fifteen minutes a day – lying in bed before you go to sleep, or upon waking in the morning, or even sitting in a quiet place during your lunch break – you’ll start to notice the benefits after only a couple of weeks.
Binaural beats, although not always named that, have existed as long as we’ve had brains.
In the most basic description, they would be called brain waves that are based on sound frequencies.
For a more detailed explanation, description, and history pop over to this site and read all about it.
I’ve used free YouTube videos (admittedly, there is usually an ad at the start), including this one:
I’ve also used free apps from the Google Play store. If you have an iPhone, there are free apps for you in that list, too.
The basic premise of binaural beats is that the frequency of beat behind the music causes your brain’s theta waves to align to a similar beat, causing a trance-like state.
You will also get the benefits of calm, a reduction in stress, and possibly heightened awareness.
Of those who have listened before bed, some have claimed weird or vibrant dreams as a result.
As far as meditation techniques for beginners go, breathing meditation is another easy one.
Because it is short, you can do it before or after a binaural beats meditation, to heighten the benefits of each.
Essentially, you spend at least five minutes focussing on your breathing, ideally twice a day.
If you are about to enter a stressful or challenging situation (such as an exam, for instance) take a few minutes for breathing meditation.
It will help prepare you to tackle the situation with a calm mind and a strong memory recall.
To be successful with breathing meditation, you should follow these steps:
1. Find a comfortable location
You can sit in a chair, or on a cushion on the floor. Your back should be straight, but not stiff. Rest your hands wherever they’re comfortable.
Ideally, your tongue should naturally rest on the roof of your mouth (when your mouth is closed), however, as long as you’re sitting upright, let your tongue rest where it’s comfortable.
If you are in the midst of a stressful situation, you might find it useful to begin with an exaggerated breath.
Inhale deeply over a few seconds and then exhale stretched over a few seconds as well. Then proceed.
2. Relax your body
In order to fully take advantage of breathing meditation, you need to start with a quick relaxation activity that will lead towards the meditation.
Start by noticing your body. Notice its shape, the space it takes up, and the weight of it.
As you relax, let yourself follow the sensations around your body. Notice the feeling of sitting on the chair or cushion, of your connection with the chair or floor.
Let yourself relax.
Consciously release any tension in your body. I find success starting at my head, and thinking about releasing tension as I move downward, from my neck, shoulders, arms, torso, back, legs, right to my toes.
Breath normally, without extra thought as you relax your body.
3. Pay attention to your breath
Feel your breath as you inhale and exhale. No need to modify your breathing. Simply breathe.
Notice where you feel you’re breathing in your body.
Do you feel it in your nostrils? Throat? Chest? Abdomen?
Continue to breathe naturally as you notice the feelings of your breath in your body.
Focus on your breath.
Feel as one breath begins and as it ends. Note the sensations as one breath transitions to the next.
4. Redirect yourself when your mind wanders
It is completely normal for your mind to wander, especially when you’re a beginner.
When you notice your thoughts have drifted away from your breath, simply give yourself a gentle reminder to focus on your breathing.
In your head, you can say “breath” or “wandering” to help redirect your focus.
5. Relax more deeply
After about five minutes, transition your thinking from your breath to your body.
As you notice the sensations of your body sitting, relax more deeply. If it helps, start at your head and work downward as you release any remaining tension.
Before you conclude the breathing meditation, take a brief moment to appreciate the effort and time you dedicated to this meditation.
It is important to show gratitude toward yourself when you take the time to do something for self-improvement.
This quotation sums up the ease with which you can make daily meditation an integral part of your life.
If you have time to breathe you have time to meditate. You breathe when you walk. You breathe when you stand. You breathe when you lie down.
All it takes Is twenty minutes. Just a simple investment of your time.
That’s twenty minutes of meditation, and that’s all it takes to see results.
How long do you spend lying in bed trying to fall asleep that you could instead use for meditation?
Consider the benefits and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s worth a try.
If you incorporate meditation into your daily evening routine you will soon be far ahead of where you’re at today.
Once you’ve made it a habit instead of searching for meditation techniques for beginners, you’ll be searching for advanced techniques.
Soon enough, you’ll feel like a pro – especially if your teachers start asking what you’ve been doing differently after noticing an improvement in your focus, attention, and success in their classes.
Have you ever meditated before? I’d love to hear all about your experience in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this post, please help to share it on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook because I need your help to spread the word about the life-changing power of meditation.
Anna is an ordinary, easy-going Canadian mom to three girls. She has the requisite mountain of laundry (either dirty waiting to be washed and dried, or clean waiting to be folded and put away), her children get dirty and sometimes live life naked. Her goal at Abrazo and Coze is to empower laid back families by providing practical solutions to everyday problems without the stress of aiming for SuperParent status. Follow Anna on Pinterest.