Right, first off, lets get things straight - despite what you may have heard, meditation isn't about 'quietening your mind'!
For anyone that is new to meditation or those that haven't found a practise that suits them yet, meditation won't lead you to 'stop thinking' however it might lead you to find a calmer, more relaxed state of mind and who doesn't need that?
The purpose is not to change and shut off our thoughts but to make ourselves aware of our thoughts, which should result in us being able to live more efficiently and mindfully.
Our minds are working constantly to generate thoughts, whether we are attempting to meditate or not. Instead of trying to stop our thoughts, through meditaion we are trying to see them more clearly, bringing clarity and insight into our crazy lives.
Basically there is no right or wrong to mediating and it cannot be measured by how great your posture is whilst sitting still in the perfect lotus pose for 20 minutes!
Here are my top tips for starting your own meditation journey:
1. Find somewhere comfortable to SIT. It can be on the floor, a chair on a train, on a bus, by the sea - anywhere, but just be sitting comfortably. Whatever you do don't lie down, as more often than not meditating with your spine flat will result in some seriously heaving snoring - lovely - but you've gotta be awake to meditate!
2. Try an App. There are so many meditation apps about now, some might not suit you at all but one could help you get started! I personally find Headspace a great one.
3. Don't put so much pressure on yourself. Just think of meditating as taking a little bit of time to yourself, without any distractions - rather than expecting to find the 'inner you' or 'enlightenment'. Amazing if that does happen to you but don't expect it and please, please tell me all your secrets if you do get lucky!
4. Start small. 10 minutes can feel like an eternity if you are new to meditating so make it easier for yourself and start with 3-5 minutes once or twice a day. Feel free to even set a timer so you know when you can finish, but if your'e using your phone remember to switch to aeroplane mode first!
5. Ignore all the rules and do whats right for you! If you can lie down and meditate and not fall asleep, do it! If you have to be the same chair, in the same room with music playing then fine, get on with it! Just find what works and brings you ease and don't stress otherwise its kinda pointless!