Meditation serves as both preventive and curative measures for stress, but beginners find it especially difficult to get it right. Due to the lack of a calm mind and unwavering focus, 80% people quit meditating within the first week itself.
To simplify the process of meditation, here is a step-by-step guide to help you get the basic right.
Fix a time- Choose a specific time and stick to it, even if you fail at meditating, you should try at least just stay put in a calm environment at the designated time. Ideally, try to meditate early in the morning and in an open environment to minimize distractions.
Start small- Do not aim to meditate for half an hour right on the first day itself. Start with meditating for 5 minutes and then gradually escalate. 30 minutes of regular meditation is enough when you form the habit of meditating on your own.
Choose your preferred method of meditation- Some people meditate to soothing music while some by repeating affirmations. There are people who meditate by playing musical instruments like the piano and harmonium. For beginners, the easiest is by repeating a mantra or affirmation. Anything from 'I have the power of the universe within me', 'I am much stronger and stronger than I give myself credit for', 'I accept and love myself the way I am' to chanting the mantra 'Om' repeatedly will help as well.
Stay focused- During the first few days, your attention will get diverted. Whenever your attention sways, just try to bring your focus back to whatever it is that you are focusing on. Whether it is repeating chants or concentrating on an object, keep bringing your focus back. If you think the song or music is not enough to keep you focused, look for an alternative. Do not try to meditate to your favorite song; there would be no surprise element. Instead, look for music that you are unfamiliar with; a better option would be to play something that is related to nature- rain shower, voices of the birds, etc.
Stay in the present- As a continuation of the above point, whenever your mind wavers to random thoughts; try to bring it back to the present. The idea is to be wakeful and aware of yourself, your surroundings, and your inner power. A good way is by focusing on your breath, which serves the dual purpose of keeping you focused and calming your mind through deep breathing.
Join a group- There are various kind of groups that organize group meditation. It is always easier to have guidance and the yogi or teacher would especially guide you better after a thorough understanding of your personality and requirements. It is recommended that you go to these group meditation sessions alone and not with a friend, unless you absolutely sure that meditation is what you would be concentrating on.
Just like anything that is new, meditation too is difficult for people who are just starting off. However, you need to be persistent and committed, and it would historically pay off.