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The Beginner’s Guide To Meditation

The Beginner’s Guide To Meditation


Many of us spend our days in a constant state of distraction, unhappiness and overwhelm, finding it hard to turn the brain off and be present in our day. Meditation is an incredible solution to this that offers an easy and effective way to find inner calm, peace and relaxation in an otherwise ‘hectic’ world.

Meditation may look like this extremely complicated exercise where you have to stand on your head and chant om, but it is actually way more simple than that. And the benefits of a regular habit of meditation are unlimited.

So for those who would like to tap into this amazing activity, here is a beginners guide that will show you exactly how easy it is to get started!


Make sure you wont be disturbed

So this may seem quite obvious but you really need to choose the right time to meditate. It needs to be when you wont be disturbed, so for example if you know there’s a chance the kids might burst in or you will be worrying about how long is left on the pie you have in the oven, this may not be the right time.

I like to get up early in the morning before my son wakes, this ensures that I will have very little on my mind and it will be at it’s most focused and less fatigued. For you it could be late at night or on your lunch break at work, find what suits you.

Make sure that the temperature in the room you are meditating in is comfortable for you also, you will not be able to focus if you are feeling too warm or cold.


Sit or lie comfortably

Meditation is meant to be relaxing and enjoyable, and a key element of this is to make sure you are comfortably sitting or lying down.

Some people find that lying down makes them fall into some super comfy accidental naps, and prefer to be sitting up in a chair with their hands on their lap. Others like to go cross legged, some like to really relax and lie on the floor on a matt or on the bed.

Personally I like to see what I feel like doing on the day, but mostly I like to lie down.


Take some deep breaths

In order to relax your body it can be good to start with some deep breaths. In through the nose, filling the lungs as much as you can and out through the mouth, you can do as many of these as you like.

I normally do about 5 or so and after that I can really feel my heartbeat slowing down and my body falling into a state of relaxation.



Once you have done your deep breaths you can return to your normal breathing. Try to keep your attention on the feeling of the air leaving your lungs and your chest moving down, and the feeling of the air entering your lungs through the nose and filling your chest up as it rises.

Also try to have more air coming out on the exhale than the inhale, this means that you are expelling more used air and making room for more fresh air to enter the lungs.

You may find that thoughts begin to come into your head and try to carry you away with them. If this does happen, all you need to do is gently bring your attention back to your breathing.

If you really feel like you need something to focus on rather than your breathing, you can play some meditation music or else listen to some chimes.

I like to use the app Stop, Breathe and Think for a chime noise to focus on. It’s free and you can set the timer to the desired length of your meditation, and also how often you want to hear the chime noise. I usually do 20 second chime intervals and I focus on the sound of the chime plus the sensation of my breathing.

You can also count your breaths too if that helps you to be more aware of them. You could count one for each in breath and two for each out breath. Or you could even count to ten breaths and then go back to one and count to ten again and so on, it’s all about finding what works for you.


When your thoughts take you with them

An important aspect of meditation is to be kind with yourself if you find that you keep getting pulled into a long sequence of thoughts.

When I first began meditating I thought the idea was to banish all thoughts from your head and sit in silence, but this is not the case. I would get so frustrated at myself that I wasn’t doing it ‘perfectly’. It always ended up that wrestling with my thoughts made it even harder to focus, the idea is to let the thoughts float through your head rather than fighting with them, what you resist, persists.

And although you may find at the beginning you are just bombarded with thoughts, be gentle with yourself and just bring your attention back to your breathing.

Your mental muscle is a bit like the muscle in your body, you need to use it and strengthen it to see any improvement. By regularly practising, you are building up your ability to focus and you will soon be able to watch your thoughts drift on by like coloured balloons. Being aware of them, but not being carried away.


How long should you meditate for?

To begin with you may want to try meditating for just a few minutes at a time, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. Just like exercising at the gym, the more you practice and build muscle, the more you push yourself to do.

I would try with 5 minutes to begin with. If you find it easy then increase the time, if you find it too difficult then start even shorter. Again there is no set rule for meditation, you go at your own rate and progress whenever you feel you are improving.


Open your eyes

It can be helpful to have a timer set to let you know when you are done, you could use your phone or most meditation apps will do this for you within the sessions.

Once you hear the timer go off that’s you, open your eyes.

You should feel fresh and revived. It is usually after a session of meditation that you will receive those AHA moments, as your brain is less focused on worries or memories and able to think clearly.

You have officially just meditated, and it doesn’t take very long at all before you start seeing the benefits in your life.


The Benefits of Meditation

There are countless benefits to a regular habit of meditation, for example decreased stress and less anxiety. You can find some of the best ones in my blog post 7 Benefits of meditation.

One of the best benefits I have found is that you are essentially training your brain to be in control of your thoughts. I learned through meditation that we are not our thoughts, we are an awareness of our thoughts. 

In training your brain to stay in the moment rather than obsessing over the past or future, you are taking control and are less likely to go off on a tangent over something that happened five years ago, or worry over something you are imagining for the future.

Instead you can enjoy the peace and beauty of the present moment. Your point of power is in the present moment and this is where you will find the most joy.

This is a powerful yet extremely easy introduction to meditation, and it is great for those who would like to start and ease themselves in. As always if you have any questions or comments please leave them below, I love to hear from you!

Wishing you avalanches of joy,




24 thoughts on “The Beginner’s Guide To Meditation”

  • Avalanches of joy! I love that. One thing I’ve heard people complain about with meditation is their discomfort with sitting upright or crosslegged for long periods. I like that you’re encouraging people to lay down, instead. I think there’s a difference between intent in meditating and in taking a nap. I really need a more regular mediation practice, thanks for the kick in the pants!

    • yea i find it quite uncomfortable to sit cross legged and being comfortable is one of the most important parts of meditation so i believe it’s grand to lie down if you’re comfier that way! glad you enjoyed the post!

  • See I love this because we put so much emphasis on getting as much done as we possibly can be we do so with complete disregard for our own mental health, That’s arguably more important though because if our own well being isn’t centered, then everything else we do will pretty much suffer really. But meditation is definitely a good way to combat that issue. Luckily you don’t need hours a day to do so contrary to popular belief. If anything 15 min will do. Definitely some good info on pointing out the significance of meditation along with how. Pretty cool

    • You are so right, if we don’t take time for our mental health then we can’t function at an effective capacity. Meditation can really help with the clarity needed to follow your path of least resistance which will make everything we do an absolute joy. I find through meditation that I really enjoy the ‘boring’ past of my day more, I have a new sense of appreciation and gratitude for the present moment!

  • Meditation has so many great benefits, my favorite being stress relief. I love laying down and meditating, I just recently learned that you could do this and I love it because I have a really bad low back. This is encouraging for me to practice it more often. Thanks for this information!

  • Hello! Great site for a beginner ! I really appreciate how thorough you are in this article. As an experienced meditator, I can tell you that meditation has completely changed my world, It has opened me up to expansive thinking and a peace that is just lovely. I am so happy to know that meditation is even now being taught in preschool..imagine children knowing this skill all their lives!
    Thank you for doing such a great joy..may you also live in an abundance of flowing peace…
    in peace and gratitude, ariel

    • Hey Ariel glad to hear you like the article, I am so happy to hear that you are experiencing great benefits from a regular habit of meditation. I completely agree with you that it opens you up to an expansion of thinking, I find that I see people and situations completely differently than I used to, things aren’t so black and white!
      And yes meditation in schools is amazing, being taught how to meditate from a young age is an incredible tool for a child to have that will benefit them through all of life! Thanks for the comment and blessings to you 🙂

  • Thanks for some great advice Colleen. I really must start meditating. I keep saying I will try it but as yet I hadn’t even thought of meditating lying down. I think though that I will try sitting up and see where that takes me.

    Making sure that you’re not disturbed is also great advice. Although the only chance that I get is at the end of a very busy day. Would you still recommend I try meditating even after a busy day?

    • Hey owain thanks for the comment! Yes I would definitely recommend meditation at the end of a long day, it can help you unwind and de stress so that you can fall asleep easier. Usually our brains are filled with thoughts after a busy day and we can find it hard to sleep. Meditation is a way to focus the mind and we are less likely to get carried away with your thoughts and can fall asleep faster!

  • My wife suffers from major anxiety and physical issues. She has been told many times by doctors and friends to try meditation. And she has many times. The problem is that she ends up being more anxious then when she began.

    • I am sorry to hear that Joseph,maybe some simple mindfulness or grounding exercises might be a more gentle way to ease her anxiety. But if meditation does not work for her then maybe she could explore some different techniques for example EFT/tapping is an amazingly easy way to clear stress and anxiety from the body, there are some great YouTube videos that will show you the tapping sequence and the great thing is that with tapping you can feel the results immediately, definitely check it out!

  • I used to meditate daily, wherever I was. But I somehow stopped doing it altogether. As it was super beneficial, I am thinking of getting back into it. Do you have any suggestions for sitting or lying down positions for people who have a big arch in their back?

    • Hey Nadia, yes I really think you should get back into meditation, it is so beneficial in many ways!
      Great question, there are a number of stretching exercises you could try before meditation that will loosen your back muscles before you meditate, here is a good article on stretches http://www.bodiempowerment.com/posture-correct-your-exaggerated-low-back-arch/
      As mentioned in the article I believe it is extremely subjective to each person so if you find putting a cushion under your back helps try that,it’s all about your own comfort so definitely try a few different ways and see what works for you!

  • This is a great beginners guide. I think this is something I also should do in the morning before my kids wake up. Right now, I feel I am in a constant state of distraction, unhappiness and overwhelm, and I find it hard to turn the brain off. Just like you describe it! I will follow your guide and try this out from now on. I am convinced that this is something that will help me a lot. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey marika I am glad to hear that you are willing to try meditation, it can really help put some perspective and give you the inner peace that we all crave. Good luck and let me know how you get on!

  • You offer some good advice. Meditation can do wonders for clearing the mind. You can take meditation into deeper levels but that takes time and commitment. The tips you offer here can leave you with a sense of positive self-awareness.

  • Thank you so much for this article! I have so much stress in my life at the current moment and it’s so nice to find solutions to help relieve that tension. This article is so well organized and thought out, I have to try it for myself. Thank you for this!

    • Thanks for such a lovely comment razzy, sorry to hear that you are stressed at the minute but as you say definitely try meditation, it has worked wonders for me!

  • Well, you can compliment yourself because you have done a great job with this article. It is very good and when I saw the benefits of meditating, I decided to start doing it from now on.
    Thank you for this.

  • Hi Colleen,
    I really enjoyed reading your post about how to meditate. I never read anything about how it should be done but I do meditate in my own way which is exactly how you described it here. I do experience the benefits of meditating and seeing how it improves my life in many different ways. LIke you I am one of the happiest people I know and most people that know me can see this about me. Most of it I would say is having good vibrations along with emotional intelligence. Combine the 2 and take full control of yourself. You definitely enlightened me with this article and I appreciate what you’re doing. Keep it up
    All the Best,

    • Thanks for the amazing comment alex, i am so happy to hear you enjoy meditating and that you notice the benefits of it in your life. I completely agree with you when you say that feeling happy is a mix of good vibrations and emotional intelligence, both are very important.
      I also love hearing that you are one of the happiest people you know, and i wish you all the happiness and good vibes in the world 🙂

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