We know how beneficial a daily meditation practice can be, but starting said practice can feel a little daunting. That’s why we checked in with Michelle Zarrin, an inspirational speaker, meditation teacher (her meditations have received more than 1 million downloads worldwide on the Insight Timer app) and spiritual guide, for her top five tips for beginners.
1. There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Meditation
Zarrin says that beginners shouldn’t expect to become experts in one day. Start by meditating for just one minute a day and add on one minute each additional day. “With meditation practice, all we have to do is maintain the discipline each day,” she notes. Even if you don’t feel like you’re getting something out of your mindful minutes at first, you’re still building the base for a successful practice.
2. Consistency Is Key
Practice might not make perfect, but it is essential to success in meditation. Per Zarrin, “Beginners have to commit to finding a window of time each day to meditate and produce temporary peace and clarity.” To reap any lasting benefits, a daily practice is necessary, even if you can only commit to three minutes a day.
3. Your Mind Will Wander During Meditation
A common misconception about meditation, Zarrin tells us, is that your mind will always completely shut off. Sometimes, your brain will be totally still and silent, but other times your mind will run rampant with thoughts, and that’s normal. “This is what the mind is designed to do, it is designed to think,” Zarrin notes. “Through a meditation practice, you’ll learn the art of moving past the thoughts, into the quiet part of yourself where your truth, purpose, peace and joy reside.”
4. Value Quality Over Quantity
This one is kind of the same idea as "work smarter, not harder." Just because you don't have hours to devote to your budding meditation practice doesn't mean it won't work. On the contrary, sometimes your biggest breakthroughs will come when you only have five minutes in the morning to slow down and refocus your mind. It's not about the time you put into meditating; it's the intention and effort.
5. Don’t Set Expectations
“The more we expect results from our meditation practice,” Zarrin says, “the less we will attain results.” Going into it expecting to be transformed immediately will only set you up for failure. Know that it will take time to see results and, as corny as it sounds, simply enjoy the journey.