My First Meditation Experience - How to Make Meditating More Comfortable
As someone who grew up surrounded by the creative arts and trained in dance and musical theatre for several years, meditation was something I had heard of many times before. In fact, it was at age fourteen that I first took part in this mysterious activity that, to me, was shrouded in mystery. I remember it well - sitting down on the floor and closing my eyes, listening to the teacher’s instructions and trying to get comfortable. Shifting positions. Then shifting again. And again…
This was my main problem with meditation at the time - I could not seem to stop myself from getting distracted by things like my posture or annoying itches on my forehead. As you can imagine, this was infuriating. I was trying my best to engage in something presented to me as a way to relax and destress, yet it was causing me more anxiety than I had felt before sitting down to start.
I have struggled with this problem for years, and have fallen in and out of practising meditation throughout this time. However, something has changed (or I wouldn’t still be doing it!). I am now able to get distracted by whatever distracts me, yet not let it affect me. I try and think something along the lines of “It’s okay to lose focus, just set that thought aside”. Of course, this sounds much easier than it actually is; a lot of the time I don’t notice I am thinking about something else until minutes later. But mostly, this technique allows me to meditate for longer without getting annoyed at myself. Distraction is natural - the human brain has an incredible amount of processes going on inside it at any given time, and these don’t just stop when you meditate. It’s okay to get distracted, and it’s okay to (occasionally) get annoyed at yourself. But if it starts to get in the way of what you want to achieve, maybe this method will work for you, too.
Some tips that help me when meditating:
Finding whatever position is most comfortable for you.
Even if the meditation you’re listening to says sit in a chair or on the floor, there is no point in doing this if it causes you pain or discomfort. I almost always lie down to meditate, because I am much more able to relax my neck and shoulders there. This is why all of the meditations I write are for in bed - whatever position you need to be in is fine.
Turning the lights off.
Again, this is a personal thing, but I cannot meditate effectively with the lights on. It just doesn’t work for me. You might find the opposite, but I have to be in total darkness to feel in the zone (and that’s fine!). If it works for you, stick to it.
Wearing the right clothes.
It sounds silly, but if you meditate for a long time, your body can actually cool down. Sometimes you’re left shivering by the end of a session; this is why you should wear something that helps counter this, like a jumper. You can always take it off if you’re feeling too warm.
Turning off notifications.
This is essential - make sure your phone isn’t going to interrupt you as you meditate. Turn on do not disturb or, even better, turn off notifications altogether. This will make for a much smoother experience.
In the end, meditation is a very personal thing, and nothing is wrong. At the end of the day, if it works for you and makes you feel relaxed, it’s good. If you want to listen to one of our free sleep meditations/stories, you can find us on Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.