Meditation comes in many forms. In a nutshell, it is the act of focusing on your thoughts and feelings and letting yourself simply exist in the present moment. You can do it on your way to work, when you first wake up in the morning or while you are eating lunch.
It doesn’t matter where you do it and it doesn’t matter when. If you are looking for a way to relieve stress and refocus your mind that fits into your schedule and makes you feel the most comfortable, it might be worth giving meditation a try.
Here are a few things you can expect when you first try meditation.
1. At first, time will move slowly
Let’s say, at first, you set a timer on your phone for five minutes to give this whole meditation thing a try. Starting small is a good idea for one main reason: the first time you meditate, those five minutes you sit there with your eyes closed (or however you choose to meditate) will seem like the longest five minutes of your life.
Do your best to stay focused and refrain from checking the time. This is something that will gradually disappear if you decide to try meditating again on more of a consistent basis. Eventually you will find it much harder to stop meditating when your timer goes off because time will seem to move far too quickly.
This is actually a good thing, though it might seem like more of a struggle at first. It means you are able to separate yourself temporarily from the passing of time to focus on the present, which is one of many goals you should work to achieve while meditating.
2. Your mind will wander, and that’s okay
Have you ever been in a quiet room trying to complete a task and suddenly realize you have been completely spaced out for the past 10 minutes when you should have been working?
Our minds wander pretty easily even in everyday life. So it is pretty safe to say that when you are intentionally sitting still in a quiet place trying to clear your head, your mind will want to do just about everything except calm down.
Your first time meditating, this is completely normal. Learning how to quiet your mind and keep it relatively focused is an acquired skill. It takes a lot of practice and in some cases months of meditating to refine the learned ability.
Staying focused while you’re meditating doesn’t necessarily mean you have to keep bringing your thoughts back to one thing and one thing only. Throughout one 10-minute meditation session you might think about 20 different things, and that’s fine if it serves as a benefit to you. Here are a few ideas of things you can focus on while meditating.
3. You will feel extremely self aware
Part of what makes meditation so beneficial to our emotional health is that it makes us more aware not only of our physical surroundings but our personal existence. Depending on how you look at it, this can be a really amazing benefit … or it can seem a little scary and overwhelming. At least at first.
Meditating, more often than not, opens us up to the most raw emotions deep within ourselves, even the ones we thought we had buried a long time ago. This isn’t always flattering, and can leave you feeling uncomfortably exposed even when it’s just you alone in a room.
It is okay to feel this way when you first try meditating. It takes some getting used to. We spend the majority of our time focusing on everything but what we are actually feeling. To force ourselves to hone in on our feelings is a big step, but it is worth the leap. Being aware of how we feel is how we can begin to deal with stress and roadblocks in our lives.
4. You won’t want to just do it once
The first time you sit down to meditate, it is impossible to know exactly how it will go. Everyone is different, and how your mind and body will react to the practice isn’t something you can predict.
When you first decide to give meditation a try, you might have to use an “I’ll just try it once and see how it goes” line to convince yourself it’s worth your time. That’s fine if that’s what gets you to the point where you are ready to try it, but be prepared to turn a one-time commitment into a daily routine.
Meditation, if catered to your needs and desires, will likely become something you want to repeat regularly. Check out these suggestions for incorporating different forms of meditation into your daily life.
5. You will feel more refreshed than you expected
Different people will tell you different things about how meditating the first time is going to make you feel afterward. It is hard to have expectations when you have never taken the time to quiet your mind and open yourself up to your thoughts and feelings.
It is very likely that you will feel much more refreshed and relaxed after meditating the first time than you thought you would. Sitting still and letting your thoughts and emotions surround you can potentially be a life-changing experience. You might be pleasantly surprised.
The benefits of meditation are seemingly endless. Meditating not only gives you more energy, but it also decreases your anxiety and sharpens your mind. You will find yourself much more aware of your surroundings and yourself once you have tried meditating even just once, and you will not be sorry you did.
The act of meditating means something a little different for everyone, but that’s the point. It is meant to be an individually-crafted method for focusing on what is most important to you and managing stress.
If you want to give it a go, don’t let anything stop you: just try it. After you do it once, you probably won’t want to stop.