The Fundamentals: 6 Simple Meditation Tips
Follow this expert guidance to make mindfulness part of your daily life.
Meditation is a skill. "It's something you have to learn and practise", says Megan Jones Bell, PsyD, the chief science officer at Headspace and a Nike Performance Council member. "But meditation is also an experience, a direct connection with the present moment".
Jones Bell works to help people find that present moment and stay there, whether they're sitting, training or competing. Here, she shares six concepts that can help you start meditating regularly.
- Rely on an Expert
If you've never meditated before, don't be afraid to use a guide, such as the Headspace app, to help you along. Look for a series that lets you start small and move towards mastery.
- Make It a Daily Habit
When you're just getting started, it's less about how long you practise and more about how often. That means it's better to practise for 10 minutes every day than for an hour once a week. Try to practise daily at the same time, in the same place. Start with small chunks of time and build up your duration once your routine is solid.
- Get Comfortable
You can sit on a cushion or on a chair with your back supported. Don't worry about "perfect" meditation form. What's important is that you are able to let go of any tension.
- Take It to Go
If you're feeling too restless to sit, try a walking meditation in a quiet, open space. Slowly and steadily, take 10 to 15 steps in one direction, focusing on the rise and fall of each foot. Pause, breathe, let the thoughts come and go, then turn around and retrace your steps.
- Zero In
Mindfulness means being fully engaged in the present moment, whatever you're doing. When you're meditating, try to witness your thoughts, feelings and sensations, but don't grasp at them. Eventually, you can apply this practice to your workouts, recovery, relationships and more.
- Give It a Month
Change doesn't happen overnight. Make a note of your start date and try committing to a month of regular practice right off the bat. This builds mental muscle that can lead to you becoming more mindful day-to-day.