1. Do not try too hard. One of the main reasons people have trouble meditating is that they try to force it. This causes the body to tense up and negates the relaxation needed to acquire deep meditation. When attempting to meditate, take a carefree attitude into it. “If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.” This simple thought process alone should allow your mind and body to relax, and help you settle into a good meditation.
2. Use visualization. There are many ways to meditate. Some involve completely clearing the mind and allowing messages from a “higher source” to come in. However, many people have trouble clearing their minds. Another option is to visualize. This is something that most of us should be able to do easily. For instance, you can visualize yourself walking to an elevator. You get in and push a button for down; then every time you exhale, you go down a level in the elevator, and you make it a point to relax more. With every floor you drop, exhale, and relax even more. Eventually, you’ll go down ten levels or so and you should be far more relaxed and ready to take the visualization into whatever direction you wish to go (you may not realize it, but you’ll be well into a meditation by the time you reach the tenth level J). And to come out of the meditation, simply get back in the elevator, and press the up button. Each floor you stop at on the way up will cause you to wake up more and more, until you reach the top floor and you are completely out of the meditation. Try this, and see how it works for you.
3. Use guided meditations. There are numerous CDs, YouTube videos, and other media that can guide your mediation. Somebody is speaking and all you have to do is listen to his or her voice. Usually some type of visualization is utilized with certain chimes and melodies playing in the background. You just sit back, get comfortable, listen, and follow directions. The guided meditations will bring you in and out of a session.
4. Meditate right when you wake up, or right before going to bed. For some people, the sluggishness that comes from being sleepy or tired creates the perfect conditions for meditating. Their minds and bodies are relaxed. They are in a calm state removed from the fast pace of life. I personally have had some of my best mediations in the morning when I was groggy. My mind did not have time to start overthinking and the stressors of the day had not begun. So if you’ve tried to mediate during the day unsuccessfully, wait until your body is a bit tired and relaxed. It may prove to be perfect conditions for an insightful trip into your inner self.
5. If you still have trouble meditating, just breathe. Seriously…. Close your eyes, take six to ten deep controlled breaths, and open your eyes. Allow your nervous system to reset itself. Allow your muscles to relax. Give your brain a break from all the hectic commotion of life. Try to structure your life to do the breathing a couple of times a day. Or just do the breathing whenever you think of it. It may not be a deep Zen-like meditation, but it can be of a great benefit and actually help you with your meditations in the future. Your mind and body will be accustomed to relaxing.