How to meditate: the best tips to get started

Written by: Christina Pichler, 10.06.2021

Whether you are a yogi, guru or student – inner peace, greater resistance to stress and relaxation is something everyone of us could use!

Meditation is not just a trend and also not a “quick fix” for all of your problems. Meditation has been around for thousands of years and is still being practiced in many different cultures to this day. The word meditation itself comes from the Latin “meditatio”, which means something like “thinking” – a meditation should lead, among other things, to deep relaxation and, in religious terms, even to enlightenment. It includes both mindfulness and concentration exercises and can take on many forms. The most important thing: it helps you to cope better with your everyday life by making you more balanced and relaxed. You dont believe that? Just give it a try!

One great thing about Meditation: Everyone can learn it! So do not be afraid if you are still a beginner, because we have many tips for you today!

But why meditate at all?

Meditation, in any form, has many advantages some will even help you improve your studying! Meditation reduces your stress level – which can be essential in exam phases! Your stress resistance will also be stronger in everyday life! Situations that used to irritate you will leave you totally unbothered.

People who meditate regularly also report that their life has suddenly become much more balanced and, above all, their sleep has improved too.

Another student bonus: your attention and ability to concentrate will improve as well! You will also be able to handle certain fears better – with the help of various breathing exercises. If your knees tremble before every oral exam or when you have to present something – try meditation! Here you will find even more tips against exam anxiety.

I’m a beginner – where do I even start?

1. Define a goal

Every new beginning is a little rocky at first. Learning to meditate will need some time, just like learning a new instrument, a new language or sport. Having a goal is important because it helps you remember why you started at times when you are difficult to motivate!

Do you want to incorporate a 10 – minute meditation into your morning routine? Would you like to bring more peace and serenity into your everyday life? Or do you just want to have a tool at hand that can support you in difficult situations? Define a clear goal at the beginning of your journey.

2. Strength lies in rest

There is no 4-week program for enlightenment and no one-size-fits-all solution either. Meditation can – and will look a little different for everyone! The most important thing to keep in mind: give yourself time to learn. Don’t force yourself to sit still for an hour during your first meditation. After all, meditation should help you to relax and not torture you!

3. Take your time

Very important: take the time to meditate! Especially at the beginning it is important to consciously take time out of your day to meditate and focus on yourself! You don’t have to start meditating every day, but especially in stressful phases, when you think “I really don’t have the time” – you probably need relaxation the most.

4. Make it a habit

From 0 to 100 doesn’t work for you? No problem! Find a schedule that suits you. Perhaps the best time for you to meditate is right after waking up, perhaps you prefer to meditate while falling asleep or on the bus on the way to university. It doesn’t matter when or where, what matters is that you stick with it, because a new habit only forms after about 30 days.

5. Drop all expectations

What does one think about while meditating? You heard that you shouldn’t think at all while meditating, but your head is buzzing with thoughts? Drop all expectations and just wait and see what comes your way. In meditation there is no right and no wrong.

6. Get rid of disruptive factors

Always online, always available. That is exactly what stresses you out! In order to find peace, it is important to get rid of disruptive factors. Preferably before you start your meditation! Turn off your cell phone, close the windows if you live on a noisy street, tell your roommates not to bother you for the next few minutes and nothing will stand in your way!

7. Find the right position (for yourself)

During meditation, your attention should not be on external factors, but on yourself and your inner consciousness! Find a position that allows you to sit or stand in a relaxed manner. The most famous position is the lotus position, where you sit similar to sitting cross-legged, but the surfaces of your feet point upwards. Your hands can rest gently on your knees – you can put your palms down or open them up, depending on your preference. Another option would be to hold various mudras. Here is a list of simple mudras with instructions and an explanation of their effects!

8. Breathe!

Everything starts with the breath. When you have found the right place and the right position, you can start to breathe consciously. You can put a hand on your stomach to practice, because the breath should go really deep. Try to feel how your stomach rises slowly when you inhale and how it makes itself smaller again when you exhale!

Controlling your breath will have a positive impact on you. After just a few breaths you will already notice how you calm down and arrive in the very moment.

Deinen Atem zu kontrollieren wird dich positiv beeinflussen. Schon nach wenigen Atemzügen wirst du merken, wie du ruhiger wirst und im Moment ankommst.

9. Meditation Techniques

As mentioned above, there is not one style of meditation that is suitable for everyone. Roughly, one can differentiate between active and passive types of meditation. An active type of meditation is, for example, walking meditation! Here you walk at a calm, steady pace while you concentrate on your breathing and try to be aware of every step. Passive meditation includes things like quiet meditation – you sit in a comfortable position, try to let go of all thoughts and breathe deeply in and out. You see, there are many different techniques to meditate!

10. Dare to experiment

There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to meditation, so we advise you to try different approaches in order to find the method that suits you best. Perhaps the easiest way to meditate for you is sitting down – perhaps you prefer to go for a walk. Taking a deep breath on a long train journey can also be meditation! No matter where and how, try to leave everyday life behind you for a few moments and find center yourself. For all those who do not quite know how and what there are also guided meditations – more on this in the next point:

11. Meditation-App

Not quite sure how meditation works? Are you too restless to just sit there and wait and see if something happens? Closing your eyes and just going through with it is nothing for you? Then try a guided meditation! This can be done, for example, with the help of the meditation app Headspace! It is a widely used tool to facilitate access to meditation. You can choose from various guided meditations in the app and we guarantee you will find something for you!

12. Online courses

You can also find guided meditations online, for example on YouTube, which can help you to familiarize yourself with this subject. These instructions are often free and bring you new input.

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13. Meditate together

You don’t want to meditate alone, with an app or online? Why not look for people who have similar interests and want to meditate with you? There are many groups, led by a professional or even meditation institutes that work holistically with mediation. Let yourself be inspired by the possibilities or simply find peace and quiet in everyday life with friends in a park.

Meditation is not just for vegans, Birkenstock wearers and yogis – but for everyone. It relaxes, makes your everyday life easier and, in the best case, even strengthens your attention and concentration.

We hope our tips could help you out and start your Meditation Adventure!

We wish you good relaxation!

Your STUWO Team

Questions?

We are happy to help!