How to Meditate with Eight Easy Tips – Yes, Even You


Eight Tips for Easy Meditation

Years ago, when I would be gripped with feelings of anxiety and stress, someone suggested that I meditate. I stated emphatically that I was too busy with young kids and a career to sit quietly for a stretch of time alone. The truth was that it intimidated me. HOW could I ever quiet my mind to do that? I was not of those Zen people whom I envied so much.

Fast forward about 15 years and a few major life crises, and meditation has become ingrained in my daily life. And no, I don’t sit yogi style on a mat for an hour chanting or even carve out time every day consciously. But it can be so simple to incorporate enough meditation to bring a sense of grounding and emotional power into your life.  

Why Meditate?

There are a multitude of mental and physical health benefits from meditation which have been proven for the ages. My husband always chuckles saying that people couldn’t have gotten it wrong for over 6,000 years!  

Forms of meditation have helped me handle some enormous stressors for more than a decade, and now assist me as I muddle through the crazy world of change that seems to come post 50 years of age. While I love this powerful age, it doesn’t come without its emotional challenges:  kids begin to soar, parents age significantly, perhaps you are able to retire (ha), and there are physical changes. And of course, in all this, we are blessed with the somewhat overwhelming life-phase called “Now What?”

This is just life, and most of it is truly wondrous. However, sometimes I find myself weepy while cooking or folding laundry, and those are the moments when I am allowing myself to feel the underlying seismic shift that is beginning to occur.  They are also the moments when I am reminded how valuable pausing and grounding myself is to help bring perspective and quiet.

Where Can You Meditate?

Meditation is this amazingly simple tool that you can practice at home or easily bring on the road. You can do it alone in a room with music or while you’re driving someone to sports. I’ve meditated in kayaks, on planes, walking my dogs and while food shopping. I’ve used this tool standing in a hallway before walking into a challenging Board of Directors meeting. This morning while making eggs, I had a solid five-minute session of mindfully stirring and “stepping out” of my space.

The real answer is that you can meditate ANYWHERE and at ANYTIME. It is the easiest, most transportable, and most inexpensive self-care tool you’ll ever find.

Eight Easy Tips to Meditate

If you knew me 13 years ago, you’d know how much the following statement is true – I promise you that if I can meditate – YOU definitely can!  Here are eight very simple tips and tricks for bringing the practice of meditation into your life in easy, bite sized chunks.

Meditate daily, even if for a short time

Meditation is a present centered, non-judging awareness. With practice, you’ll find you are increasingly at home in your life—peaceful, clear and openhearted. Whether it’s 5-minutes, 15-minutes, or 25-minutes, what most matters is the rhythm of a daily practice. Take 5 minutes in the bathroom to practice your breathing or focus on your steps as you walk. Any conscious intention around centering your mind will build over time.

Attitude is everything

The biggest reason people quit meditation is because they judge themselves for how they are practicing and come with expectations. Please don’t turn meditation into a “should”! Instead, choose to cultivate mindfulness because you care about living true to your heart.

Pay attention to your posture

When many people think of meditating, they imagine a yogi sitting cross-legged on the floor. You can meditate in any position that feels comfortable to you (including standing and walking) as long as it promotes a sense of alertness, openness, and ease.

Arrive in your body

Scanning your body with your awareness will help you shift out of thinking and connect with vitality, openness, and relaxation. You might begin by bringing a smile to your lips, as this sends a message of ease to your entire nervous system. And then, starting at the scalp, move your attention slowly downward, relaxing and softening different parts of the body. As you relax, become aware, from the inside out, of the sensations and energy moving through your body.

Select an anchor for presence

Your anchor is a “home-base” that you can return to when you are distracted. This will help you quiet your mind and more fully open to the present moment. You can use your breath, sensations in your body, sounds in the area, etc. It’s all about being aware of yourself.

Keep coming back

While quieting the mind supports meditation, there is a misconception that the goal of meditation is to get rid of thoughts. Please don’t be at war with thoughts. Instead of judging when you are distracted, gently “relax back” by returning your attention to the sounds, sensations and feelings that are happening. Allow your anchor to be in the foreground and become aware of your changing moment-to-moment experience.

Use a personalized mantra

A mantra is a word, phrase, or syllable that you repeat during your meditation practice. You can say it out loud or silently in your mind. Choose something that is based on why you’re meditating. For example, “I am calm” or “I am conquering my fears” are both effective. It’s about finding something personal to you that can help ground you.

Just Be Kind

If you encounter difficult emotions such as fear, sadness or hurt, offer yourself kindness. You might put a hand gently over your heart and send a message of care to the vulnerable place inside you. Mindfulness and heartfulness are inseparable: the more you bring these qualities to your inner life, the more they will enrich your relationships and ripple out into our world.

The greatest thing about meditation is that it’s all about you. You are the expert on you. Find the wonderful things that work for you and stick with that.  There are billions of paths to bliss; make yours a happy one.

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Hi All, I’m Rebecca! I’ve worked in marketing strategy in the healthcare and wellness industry since college and my MBA for 20+ years (yikes!!). I’m blessed to have combined my geeky professional self with my passions: awareness of and mental health supports for disenfranchised populations and communities. I volunteer in educating the greater community about the real experiences of those in (and out of) recovery from the disease of addiction. I was so honored to give a TED talk in 2019 about removing stigma and shame by simply shifting the language we use, as this is near and dear me. Yet, at the end of the day, my family is everything in my world. I live with my husband Mike and two teenage sons in Lee, along with a crazy cattle dog (Maggie), cat (Leia), fish, 100 snails and soon to be chickens. While a Jersey shore girl at heart, living in MA and NH since the late 90s has fully converted me to a New England sports fan and avid skier, hiker and kayaker. I guess I’m a perfectly imperfect, harmonious, and happy runner, who cares deeply for humans, and Mother Nature. Follow me on Instagram @mommabear5786 to see what life in a house of boys, recovery, loud music, a bit of attitude, and nature looks like!