Peace of mind: Meditation guide for beginners

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Meditation is an invaluable tool for relaxation. It has many health benefits. It wards off the physical damage caused by stress, boosts your immune function and basically helps relaxes your body. So how do you start meditating? Here are a few simple steps on how to learn to meditate.

Firstly, choose the time and place. You need to set a time each day for meditation. It may be the start of the day or it may be the end of the day. It is recommended that you meditate at the start of the day because that is the time of the day when you are least tired and your mind is still fresh. However, it is really up to you. After you have allocated a time to meditate, you need to set a place for you to meditate in. Preferably it is somewhere that is calming and relaxing and away from all noise and distraction. You need to be away from the television set, or any house phone and mobile phones. You could also put on some gentle, calming music that is repetitive and gentle. This will create an environment that is relaxing for you.

Secondly, relax your whole body. Sit with your back straight. It does not have to be in any particular position. The most important part is to remember that your back must be straight. This will help with your breathing later on.

Thirdly, remember you control your own thoughts and not the other way round. Reject all the negative thoughts and try to empty your mind. You need to be patient. Don’t expect that you’ll be able to successfully silence your mind on your first try. If you were told to not think of a pink elephant, your mind will straight away think of a pink elephant. That is how difficult it is. Remember to be patient.

Fourthly, try to concentrate on something. It will be difficult to control your thoughts with just your inner mind alone. So try an easier way first. Choose something to focus your attention on. It may be a simple mantra or you could be concentrating on a flower or a candle. You could also try listening to your heart beat and try to focus on that.

Once you are able to focus, you can now focus on silencing your mind. Remember, be patient and you too will soon be able to enjoy the benefits that meditation has to offer.

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