10 Easiest Tips For Practicing Mindfulness Meditation Anywhere

Want to start meditating, but can’t seem to get into it? These tips have got your back!

These days, it feels like there’s always some new crisis waiting just around the corner. We are bombarded with troubling news day and night, and when you pile that on top of the stresses of daily life, it can be a little overwhelming at times. It’s no wonder people have been seeking ways to calm that inner turbulence, and many have turned to practice mindfulness and meditation.

However, these practices are difficult and time-consuming to master, which can make it frustrating when you’re starting out. Early failures can be discouraging for beginners and can prevent them from being able to fully reap the benefits of mindfulness.

I myself have struggled with practicing mindfulness for years, but I’ve finally gotten into a rhythm, and I thought I could share some of the helpful tips I’ve learned with other beginners who may be hesitant to try mindfulness due to the work that goes in.

The first 5 tips on this list are like my own personal recipe for how to meditate when you’re starting out. The last 5 tips are things I learned along the way that made it much easier to keep up the daily practice of meditation. If you’ve tried meditation before and just couldn’t stick with it, these tips are for you!

Here are the 10 easiest tips for practicing mindfulness meditation:

Start meditation with some light stretching
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1. Start with some light stretching

It can be difficult to relax and let go of our train of thinking when practicing mindfulness, but a helpful first step is to relax your body. We carry so much tension in our neck, shoulders, and back, and it’s a good idea to release some of that tension before settling into meditation. A quick 5 to 10-minute stretch will relax your body and help your mind to relax as well.

I have found that when my body is full of tension, it’s hard to let my mind be at ease, so I’ve made it a habit to stretch before I begin the meditation process. This tip is especially helpful if you, like me, get sore muscles and body aches frequently. A good stretch does wonder to relax both your body and mind: give it a try!

Make sure you are in a comfortable position
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2. Make sure you are in a comfortable position

Once your muscles are relaxed, make sure you are in a comfortable position that you can stay in for the duration of the meditation. Whether this means sitting traditionally, laying down, or anything in between, just make sure you are comfortable.

If your body is in a strange position, your mind will continue to draw attention to it throughout the meditation, and this distraction can be difficult to overcome for beginners.

Different positions will work better for different people. I have chronic back pain, so I always lie down when I meditate, and I find it helps me focus on my breathing and being present in the moment.

Others prefer sitting in the traditional pose, cross-legged with the hands resting on the knees. Try out different things, and when you find a position that's comfortable, go ahead and begin the meditation.

Begin the meditation with open eyes
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3. Begin the meditation with open eyes

When you begin meditating, start with your eyes open. Focus on your breath, but leave your eyes open so you can get acclimated to your surroundings. Take in everything around you without judgment: if you’re annoyed by a particular sight or sound, accept the fact that it’s there, and then let go of your focus on it.

Return your focus to your breathing after you’ve acknowledged the interruptions. This is easier said than done, and it will take time to switch from judging the world to perceiving it. 

It still takes me a few minutes to get used to what’s going on around me when I begin to meditate, and at times it’s even discouraged me to the point of giving up. Go easy on yourself when you’re starting out. It will be difficult, but the peace of mind you can find through mindfulness and meditation is worth the journey to get there.

Once you’ve gotten acclimated to your surroundings, close your eyes
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4. Once you’ve gotten acclimated to your surroundings, close your eyes

When you’re ready, close your eyes and begin by focusing on your breath. Take slow, deep breaths and try to quiet your mind. Closing your eyes will help you to shift your focus from the outside world to your own thoughts. The end goal is to be able to sit and be at peace with your thoughts as they come and go, but don’t expect this to happen right away. 

Depending on my surroundings and state of mind, it can take several minutes for me to transition from judging my surroundings to simply perceiving them. I used to get so frustrated when minutes passed and I still found myself judging the world around me, but the harder you try to let go, the harder letting go becomes. Give yourself time and you’ll find it gets easier and easier to get to that quiet, calm headspace.

Know that your mind will wander
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5. Know that your mind will wander

It’s natural for the mind to wander and get distracted. No matter how hard you try to block out the world around you, our brains are programmed to be aware of it. You will notice things, the trick is to try not to focus on them for too long.

Once you realize that you are focusing on something other than your breath, and judging or trying to figure out what it is, you should gently return your focus to your breath. Do NOT beat yourself up for losing focus: it happens to everyone and you’re not helping yourself by dealing out punishments. 

I used to get so down on myself for getting distracted that I would miss the point of the exercise and give up altogether. Eventually, I realized that beating myself up for not being great at meditation right away was preventing me from being able to reap the benefits of practicing mindfulness and meditation.

So, don’t judge yourself. It’s not easy to quiet the inner critic, but once you do you’ll feel ten times lighter, and it is possible so, don’t give up!

If you're still having trouble getting into meditation, or with meditating every day - which in my opinion is the hardest part!

Don’t try to set a specific time of day or night to meditate if you don't have a set schedule
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6. Don’t try to set a specific time of day or night to meditate if you don't have a set schedule

Working meditation into your schedule can be incredibly difficult, especially if your life is so busy that your days all look different. Life is hectic, and starting something new is always a challenge, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t commit to a set meditation time every day. Instead, try linking meditation to something you know you’ll do every day, like eating or sleeping.

I’ve linked my daily meditation to breakfast. I find it’s a great way to set my mood and intentions for the day, while also appreciating the food I’m eating. I’ve even found that I prepare myself healthier and tastier breakfasts so that I can enjoy them and the rest of my day to the fullest! I highly recommend this advice to people who think they are too busy to start meditating. 

Work mindfulness practices into your life slowly
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7. Work mindfulness practices into your life slowly

If you’re having trouble sitting down for traditional meditation, try taking a smaller first step. Mindfulness is about slowing down your thought processes and being present in the moment, and this is something you can do anywhere. All it takes is slowing down to appreciate what you do and the benefits you get from it.

I find it easiest to practice mindfulness while I eat, especially if it’s a meal I’ve prepared myself. I used to hate cooking for myself because I saw it as a chore, but practicing mindfulness has helped me to appreciate the process of both making and eating food.

It’s as simple as slowing down while you eat to think about where your food comes from, and to savor the flavors and textures of what you’re eating rather than just stuffing in nutrients quickly so you can get on with your busy day. If meditation is too daunting, try just taking a few moments a day to appreciate the things around you.

Try meditating outside for the first couple of times
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8. Try meditating outside for the first couple of times

Weather permitting, meditating outside is a great way to relax. Fresh air and natural light have a way of naturally putting our minds and bodies at ease, and the great outdoors has plenty of these in stock for free! Now, there can be lots of distractions outside, so if you're just starting out, you might want to find a nice quiet place, like a hiking trail or a local park.

I try to get outside to meditate whenever possible. I like to go to different hiking trails and parks when I can, but on nice and quiet days, I find just sitting out in my yard in the sunlight with fresh air all around me helps to calm and quiet my mind. If your goal in meditation is to grant yourself a calmer and quieter mind, I highly recommend getting out into the great outdoors.

If you’re stuck inside, make sure the room is clean and smells nice
Image Source: pexels.com

9. If you’re stuck inside, make sure the room is clean and smells nice

It can be incredibly difficult to meditate when you’re surrounded by a mess. Even if you can’t see the mess because your eyes are closed, your mind is aware of it, and studies have shown that a buildup of clutter and mess has a negative effect on the way your brain functions.

Take a few minutes to tidy up the room and light a candle or spray something that smells nice. Being surrounded by a clean space will help your mind relax and be at ease.

I always make sure to clear out any visible garbage and wipe down the surfaces in the room before I meditate. I also usually have a candlelit to create a nice smell and some ambiance (wooden wick candles are my favorite for meditation). Meditation is ten times easier for me after I’ve cleaned up the room I’m meditating in. Try out this tip; you won’t be disappointed!

Play relaxing instrumental music
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10. Play relaxing instrumental music

Calming your mind through mindfulness and meditation takes a long time to master, and two of the most frustrating aspects of meditation for beginners are dealing with distractions and their own inner critics. One thing you can do to help yourself relax and let go of the inner critic when you’re starting out is to listen to music.

Try to avoid music with lyrics, as they can distract your focus, but other than that, get creative! Try different things: classical music, soul music, the scores to movies or video games, nature sounds, whatever you like! Listening to something, preferably through headphones, can help keep out distractions from the outside world and help you ignore your inner critic.

I love this tip because the hardest thing about getting into meditation for me was just trying to relax and slow my brain down. I find instrumental music and nature sounds like waterfalls and birds chirping really help to calm my mind and get me in good mental space.

My inner critic is loud and almost always present, and if you're like me, you may find that it sticks around even after you seem to have tried everything to get rid of it. Playing music you enjoy is a great way to quiet that inner critic and get some space to be able to enjoy your life. And at the end of the day, that's what mindfulness and meditation are all about.

Practicing mindfulness and meditation isn’t easy in the beginning, and it’s all too easy to get discouraged from a few early failures and give up on the idea altogether, but don’t! Use these tips to help you get started on the right foot, and remember that the most difficult thing about meditation is doing it every day.

If you can manage that, no matter how long your meditations last or how often you get distracted, you will reap the benefits of meditation. You’ll enjoy a lifeless plagued by anxiety and stress, you’ll be more aware of and at peace with your surroundings.

You may even find yourself sleeping better! Do yourself a favor and use these tips to get meditation integrated into your daily life. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll start to reap the benefits!

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