Our Blog
Woman meditating in yoga pose

5 Ways to Make Meditation More Accessible

Meditation is a mindfulness exercise used to help achieve mental clarity and calm the mind. It has become a buzzword in the health and wellness industry, with proven benefits including reducing stress, anxiety and depression. More recent research suggests meditation may also slow down age-related thinning of the brain.

5 tips to starting your meditation practice:

1. Find space

Carve out a small area of your home that can be your meditation space. Keep it clean and free of clutter so it’s a welcoming space for you.

2. Get comfortable and quiet

If you’re going to be sitting with no distractions for any length of time, you’ll need to be comfortable! Find yourself a cushion or block to sit on that will allow you to remain still for the duration of your meditation. Turn your phone off or on silent to limit distractions.

3. Start slow

Remember that meditation is a practice not a performance and that sitting still with no distractions is hard! So be kind to yourself and start slow so you won’t feel discouraged and give up. Start with 3-5 minute sessions before slowly increasing the length of your meditation, as you get more comfortable. It can be helpful to set a timer to prevent you from constantly checking the time.

4. Calm the mind + focus on the breath

Meditation is about calming the mind, not clearing it. The goal is to have your mind focused on one thing, such as the act of breathing, rather than jumping from thought to thought.

Focusing on the breath:

  • Sit comfortably and quietly.
  • Close your eyes if that’s comfortable for you and deepen the breath.
  • With each exhale, count down from 10 (ex. Inhale, exhale 10, inhale, exhale, 9 …) When you get to 1, start back again at 10 again.
  • At some point you’ll likely find that you’ve lost count and you’re planning your to-do list! When this happens, be kind to yourself and simply start the count down again at 10.

Or try one of these meditation apps! Calm, Headspace, Oak

5. Set a reminder alarm

Sometimes the hardest part of starting a meditation practice is just remembering to do it. So in the beginning set a reminder on your phone with hopes that it will eventually become part of your daily routine.

Sources:

  • Lazar et. al. (2005). Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. Neuroreport, 16(17): 1893 – 1897
  • Davidson et. al. (2003). Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindful Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine 65:564-570
  • Lengacher, et al (2009). Randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for survivors of breast cancer. Psycho-oncology. 18: 1261-1272
  • Praissman, S. (2008). Mindfulness-based stress reduction: A literature review and clinician’s guide. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Share This Page:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email