If you look at popular publications, you might think everyone is spending their days sitting in meditation. While this generalization isn’t true, many people are turning to the practice to manage their emotions, fight mental illness and reduce stress.
If you are curious about the practice, there’s no better time than the present. You don’t need any money — you can find everything you need for free. Follow this guide and begin reaping the benefits of guided meditation for women today.
Find a Quiet Location
According to Buddhist tradition, Siddhartha reached enlightenment by sitting under a Bodhi tree and contemplating suffering. You don’t necessarily need to go out in nature for your practice, although a quiet corner of your garden or balcony can make an ideal space. You do need a place where you can sit for ten to twenty minutes without interruption.
Ideas for locating your meditation space include the following:
- Your bed: This location is ideal if you tend to drift off while you meditate, or if you experiment with sleep hypnosis.
- A quiet yoga corner: If you have a studio apartment, you can create a meditation space with a folding screen, a yoga mat, and your favorite pillows for comfort.
- Your garden: If you have a yard, you might consider devoting a corner of it to your practice. You can plant a reflective garden or install a water feature to block outside noises.
Some practitioners will tell you that you need to sit in a predefined position to meditate correctly. Thank them kindly for their insight — then get comfortable however you like. You can even meditate standing up, although many people enjoy lying down or reclining.
The bottom line? Get comfortable. If you have back issues like degenerative disc disease, for example, you might find it too distracting to try to sit cross-legged on the floor. If lying back on your couch does the trick, go for it.
Set an Intention
What do you hope to accomplish in your meditation practice? This question is paramount, as you must establish an intention to achieve peak benefits.
When setting your intentions, try to make them positive instead of punitive. For example, instead of stating, “I need to stop overeating,” say, “I want to demonstrate self-love by nourishing my body with healthy foods.” When you set a prohibition against a behavior, your mind, being a wily monkey, automatically starts looking for workarounds. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy or undisciplined — merely human. However, when you begin devoting mental energy toward those things you want to do, your creative brain likewise gets to work at making that dream a reality.
Let Your Breath Become Your Anchor
In nearly any guided meditation for women, you will find your guide asking you to focus on your breath. This practice serves as an anchor. As your thoughts start to wander, you can redirect them to the task at hand nonjudgmentally by returning your attention to your inhales and exhales.
Your breath also helps to relax your body, and you’ll likely find your deep-breathing practice starts to spill over into other areas of your life when you need to find calm. Your guide may suggest a breathing technique to follow. If not, you can try 2-to-1 breathing, which activates your parasympathetic nervous system, the part responsible for restoring inner peace.
Find the Best Resources
You can find a variety of centers and retreats to help you on your journey if you want to learn to meditate. Some groups operate on a volunteer basis where you can learn techniques for free. Some retreats cost a pretty penny. Before you part with your hard-earned cash, make sure you’re ready to take an in-depth look inside yourself, which some find profoundly uncomfortable.
What if you are cash-strapped? Meditation doesn’t cost anything, and you can find guided videos on YouTube to start your practice. With the help of the internet, you can locate scripts for everything from overcoming depression to honing your acting talent.
Commit to Consistency
Finally, meditation might not look like you’re doing much to an outsider — but it is heavy-duty mind-training nevertheless. You can’t take a vacation from your brain, which means that you have a lifetime of accumulated external messages and outside stimuli to process. Transformation takes time, so treat yourself gently. You will start to see the benefits in small, yet significant improvements in your self-talk and behavior.
If you are meditating to heal from complex PTSD, for example, you may have years of abuse to process. Your problems didn’t arise overnight, and a single session isn’t enough to bring you peace. However, if you dedicate 20 minutes daily to your practice — even if it’s right before you fall asleep — you can eventually find peace.
Reap the Benefits of Guided Meditation for Women Through Your Practice
Guided meditation offers a host of benefits for women. By following the steps above, you can explore the perks and improve your life and sense of well-being.