A Beginner’s Guide on How to Start Meditating
Lynne Goldberg—an esteemed mindfulness and meditation teacher and co-founder of the Breethe App—shares how to start meditating daily with five easy yet impactful tips.
Congratulations! You’ve made the wonderful decision to start a meditation practice. But since deciding isn’t necessarily doing, here are five tips to help you easily incorporate a daily practice into your routine.
How to Start Meditating Regularly
These beginner meditation tips will not only guide you to start a daily meditation practice, but will also help you stick to it for the long haul.
1. Start small + “habit piggyback”
It’s okay to start small; even 10 or 15 minutes a day can offer incredible health benefits.
Similar to learning a new language, consistency is more important than session length. Brief yet consistent sessions—for example, 15 minutes at a time—are better for your brain’s overall health than long meditations every once in a while.
Personally, I like to meditate first thing in the morning before the day becomes too hectic. Try building it into your routine by anchoring, or “piggybacking,” it to the morning habits you’re already used to doing. This makes it a bit easier to get started.
For example, wake up, brush your teeth, take your HUM vitamins (Calm Sweet Calm daily for me!), meditate, and then have your morning cup of coffee or tea. If you’re already accustomed to taking your vitamins, just remember to add a brief meditation session before you caffeinate.
2. Designate a Meditation Space
To get cozy, choose a quiet spot in your home and make it your dedicated sanctuary.
Get your favorite chair or cushion and turn it into your regular meditation spot. By doing so, it won’t take long before you begin to associate this space with your practice. This will help remind you and encourage you to keep it up. It’ll also instill a sense of calm every time you enter that space.
I like to light a candle so that I associate a sense of smell and soothing light with my space. Plus, I look forward to this tranquil atmosphere, which makes me want to practice more.
3. Define Your Motives
To define your motive (or set your intention), consider this question: What’s your “why”?
Perhaps you want to start meditating because you:
- would like to be nicer to your spouse
- often feel anxious
- want to sleep better
Whatever your intention may be, put reminders of it everywhere: on your bathroom mirror, your screensaver, and pinned to your fridge. This will help you remember your motive on those days when you wake up ten minutes late, feel rushed, and really don’t feel like meditating that morning.
Essentially, remembering your intention can help you push through any resistance.
4. Track Your Progress + Enlist Others
We made this tip super easy with the Breethe App. It has an alarm and reminder function, as well as a tracker that counts the hours and consecutive days of your meditation practice.
Trust me—these progress reports will help you stay motivated. It’s fun to see how far you’ve come!
Also, I love what our staff at Breethe has started to do. They call it “Breethe BFFs.” They ask a friend or family member to essentially be their meditation partner. Each person schedules this time on their calendar, whether it’s daily or a few times a week. They select a meditation in the app and practice together on the phone or Zoom.
For example, a regular work break becomes not only a great self-care moment, but also a beautiful way to connect more with a friend or family member. It also adds an accountability factor, so you’re easily able to track progress and more likely to stick with it.
5. Reward Yourself
When you reward yourself, your brain will associate an extra level of happiness with your effort. In turn, this will help you stay consistent.
Such a reward can be as simple as congratulating yourself with some positive self-talk, or treating yourself with a cup of hot tea or some relaxation time.
Behavioral change research suggests it can take anywhere from weeks to months to successfully form a new habit, so stick with it.
As you learn how to start meditating, you’re building your attention muscle. And, like any other muscle in the body, you have to stay with it before you notice changes. While they may not come immediately, you’ll begin to reap the rewards over time.
Happy meditating, friends!