When you’re a beginner, and you want to learn how to meditate, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. There are so many meditation resources out there these days. There are meditation apps, online courses and Instagram tips. However, at the end of the day, all you need are a few simple principles. And most importantly, some self-love and patience.

When I started meditation as a beginner, I couldn’t get my mind to settle. It felt uncomfortable to be quiet, and I became completely aware of the thoughts whirring in my head. I realized that the contents of these thoughts weren’t new. It’s just that I was only then becoming aware of them.

Over time, I became comfortable sitting in silence and learnt how to direct my mind. I also discovered how to set up my meditation practice in a meaningful way. This has given me a strong foundation, and I have been able to go deeper into meditation over the years.

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Meditation is a Practice

As the title suggests, Meditation is a practice, and like any new routine, it takes time to learn the basics. It also takes time to find your own relationship with it as well as your way of making it meaningful.

There are five simple ways to establish your own meditative practice. These will become like a best friend and will be there for you as you grow into it.

Here are five tips for establishing a Meditation practice as a beginner.

1. Choose the best time of day for you

Are you a morning person or an evening person? Chose a time of day where you will be most engaged with your practice, free of distractions and able to focus. Traditionally the time before sunrise or after sunset are best because the body is producing melatonin, the relaxation hormone.

2. Create a steady routine

Part of establishing a steady routine is being inspired to sit down and practice. Create a space in your home that generates feelings of love and beauty. Have specific comfortable clothes specifically for meditation and a designated eye mask and shawl.

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3. Set a timer

When you know, there is a beginning and end to your meditation practice it’s easier to let go. The mind can be at ease, knowing it doesn’t have to be aware of the next appointment. Have an alarm on your phone that is gentle like the sound of chimes, and this will bring you out of meditation easily.

4. The breath is your best companion

When you’re starting out with meditation, the most straightforward way to practice is to focus on the in breath and out breath. Synchronizing the mind and your attention with the breath is extremely relaxing. When thoughts come up, let them pass and bring your mind back to the breath.

5. Be free of expectations

When you sit down to meditate, it takes time for your body to settle and then your mind and then it can take time getting used to being still and noticing what comes up. So have no expectations. The benefits of meditation are in the process, and that includes everything that happens within it.

As a beginner, these five tips you will help you establish an inspired and regular meditation practice. Put everything in your favor with these simple routines, and they will have extended and lasting benefits. Most importantly, they will help you meditate with an attitude of self-love and compassion.

Interested in more? Check out how to use meditate to relieve stress.