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Relaxation Techniques

As a beginner, meditation can feel frustrating, to say the least. You might know all the benefits—health, happiness, productivity—but it doesn’t make mastering your own mind any easier. Sometimes, it may even feel like filtering out your own intrusive thoughts is impossible! Fortunately, meditation may not always be easy, but you can make it easier for you by finding the meditation technique that works best for you. Meditation comes in many forms, but as long as you’re actively working to quiet your mind, you’ll still reap the same benefits no matter which style you find most successful. Try these meditation techniques for beginners to get better at your meditation sessions, one small step at a time.

Breathing Meditation

This is one of the most simple and straightforward forms of meditation. To practice it, find a comfortable place to sit, and close your eyes. Breathe through your nose, and draw your attention toward your breathing as you continue inhaling and exhaling naturally. If your mind starts to wander, don’t dwell or criticize yourself. Simply bring your focus back to your breathing, and continue meditating.

Mantra Meditation

Like the breathing meditation, this meditation technique starts with you seated in a comfortable position. From there, you’ll quietly (or silently) repeat a specific word or phrase, known as a mantra, to yourself. One easy mantra is “in, out,” with the word “in” spoken as you inhale, and “out” as you exhale. You can also switch this mantra with the traditional “aum” instead.

Walking Meditation

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to sit still for long, your meditation should include movement! Try to find a pleasing environment, like a garden or green space. Then, simply direct your attention toward the movements of your body as you walk: notice how your arms swing back and forth, the way your legs bend, how the ground feels against your feet. Try to focus only on walking, gently redirecting wandering thoughts back to the moment.

Empty Mind Meditation

To become more aware of yourself, without having any specific focus like breathing or walking, try this technique. Sit with your eyes closed in a comfortable position, and allow all thoughts to flow freely through your mind. Try not to dwell on them or criticize them, just label them as “thoughts” and let them go without attachment. You might want to try this beginner meditation technique for anxiety, as it allows you to let your thoughts flow freely, without making you feel as if you need to completely clear your mind.

With any of these mantras, if thoughts intrude into your mind, simply redirect them toward your goal. It’s important to remember—especially as you first get started—to be gentle with yourself, and to allow yourself to learn slowly.

As a beginner, you shouldn’t expect yourself to meditate for extended periods of time; instead, try to meditate for just a few minutes before working your way up to more time. Carve out some time each day to practice, using any or all of these meditation techniques, and you may find the habit to be totally life-changing.

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