How to Build a Meditation Practice: Tools +Tips From a Former Hater

how to build a meditation practice
Meditation is simply a vacation for your brain.

I have a confession to make:

I spent 30+ years of my life thinking I could never build a meditation practice.

While I knew that a meditation practice was something I needed in my life, I was so resistant to starting. I knew that my constant negative self-talk could be helped by getting into right relationship with my brain. But I was SO resistant toward meditation that it took me years of telling myself I should get into it before I actually made myself get into it.

I thought meditation was boring.

I thought it was a waste of time.

I thought I could never be good at it because my mind is constantly moving a mile a minute.

I thought I’d never learn how to slow it down.

Now that I’ve gotten better at taking away the power of my thoughts, I realize that the voice of my intuition is becoming stronger. The signals have always been there, I just haven’t been present enough to listen. So if you think you have any intuitive/psychic/mystic gifts, building a meditation practice will help you learn how to hear your guides and pay attention to the signs + symbols all around you.

Even if you’re not into all that hippie mumbo-jumbo, meditation provides a host of benefits, from  helping with anger management to improving overall stress levels and easing anxiety.

Now that I’m learning to love meditation, I am SO grateful for it. I don’t have a daily practice (I’m working on that), but I try to do 20-30 minutes a few times a week and it has helped my mental state immensely. I’m certain that I would never have experienced crystal visions if I hadn’t started working on meditation first. I fact, the entire rediscovery of my spiritual side has coincided with my meditation practice.

I’m certainly no expert, but I wanted to share a few tips and tools that helped me fall in love with meditation.

Tools to Help You Build a Meditation Practice

Hypnosis Videos

I started meditating with the help of hypnosis videos on YouTube. Sure, they seem a little bit cheesy at first, but I found them to be a lot easier to follow than guided meditations and much more effective than just trying to focus on music alone. I found Journeys With Janyi to be really helpful in getting me started down the path. 

Binaural Beats

Once I was ready to graduate from hypnosis/guided meditations, my mom recommended listening to binuaral beats to help with focus and to get into a deeper meditative state. They’re a game-changer! I’m not going to pretend like I understand how they work, but basically they’re recorded at a specific frequency that encourages brainwave activity. These days, I exclusively listen to either binaural beats or ocean sounds when I’m meditating. There are tons of free videos on YouTube.

Meditating with Crystals

I’ve found that using crystals for meditation has had a huge impact on my ability to focus during meditation. I like to place a crystal on my third eye during meditation. If I’m feeling especially antsy, anxious, or out-of-whack, I’ll also place additional crystals on my heart and root chakras. For me, having multiple points of contact makes it much easier to stay aware of my body. I like to use an especially heavy crystal on my root chakra for a deep feeling of groundedness.

Try a Meditation App

I haven’t used them myself, but I have loads of friends who swear by meditation apps like Headspace. They’re a great option if you’re short on time and just want to get into a daily practice.

Tips to Help You Build a Meditation Practice

It’s Okay to Fall Asleep

Don’t believe anyone who tells you that there’s one right way to do anything. I meditate lying down because I find it to be the easiest way for me to slip into a state of deep relaxation. When I first started meditating, I almost always ended up falling asleep. Instead of fighting it, I carved out enough time so that it was okay if I fell asleep. Sometimes I meditated before bed and put on an 8 hour track that kept playing until my phone died. Or I would choose a 30 minute track that jolted me awake when the next video started to autoplay on YouTube.

These days I find it easier to stay awake and my sessions last 20-30 minutes. But I found that giving myself space to fall asleep took some of the pressure off to meditate.

Think of Meditation as a Vacation for your Brain

Nne of my major hurdles toward meditation is the fact that I thought it was boring. But once I started to get a little bit better at it, I realized what all the fuss is about.  Meditation brings about that sense of calm and serenity that I usually only feel when I’m on vacation. You know that sensation when you’re lying on a beach with nowhere else to be and nothing you have to do so you can just lie there listening to the sounds of the birds and the wind and the ocean? That’s meditation. That’s letting go of the woulds and coulds and shoulds so that you can just enjoy where you are in the moment. Unfortunately, most of us are really bad about cultivating mindfulness outside of rare vacations.

By building a meditation practice, you can learn to give yourself that gift of presence, awareness, and inner relaxation.

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