How To Meditate For Beginners

How to meditate and free your mindIt’s easy today, more than ever to get wrapped up in the world’s problems. We, as a human race are currently inundated with technology, the news, politics, cultural conflicts, racism, financial stresses and family circumstances.

So is life as they might say, but does it have to be this way? Although you can’t always change what goes on around you there may be a method to growing your capacity and your inner strength from within.

This method is called “meditation”; which is free of charge and can also bestow many physical and mental health benefits. Plus, after some practice you may enter a sacred place for yourself where you receive answers to some of life’s harder questions in the form of understanding yourself better.

There are many pills, gadgets and a lot of advice to combat the major issues of stress, anxiety and depression, but perhaps if there was ever anything that should draw more attention it’s meditation.

There have been many studies conducted on the efficacy of meditation; with some showing promising results while others reflected that there has never been a health benefit at all.

This seems a bit redundant, because the whole purpose of meditation is to get away from the normalized, conceptual-form of human thinking. To, for a time, forget all innovation, all past, all present and to be released from the unforeseen future as well.

Meditation is the idea of releasing yourself from “all things human” and perhaps to allow your brain to quietly take over for a while; without the need for R.E.M. sleep or that cliche “human-sounding” voice that’s in your head. If this sounds good to you and you believe that you might like to suspend yourself for a while then read on.

Proper Meditation Becomes A Lifestyle

Meditating to it’s fullest extant is not something that is achieved immediately. It does require consistency and schedule and it may take your higher mind some time to get used to shedding all of the inundation of the “realities” of life.

This being said, getting started with meditation does require some discipline. It’s been estimate that it takes roughly 21 days for a new habit to form. If you feel that meditating is important to you enough to rejuvenate yourself then make the commitment for 3 weeks and start out small.

Put Yourself In A Comfortable Place

There are different schools of thought here, but what works for you is enough. Just because some people choose to sit in a certain pose doesn’t mean that you need to if the pose is uncomfortable for you.

It is a good idea to set aside a place that is peaceful from common noises such as vehicle ambiance, people ambiance and entertainment ambiance.

A very quiet nature preserve or a special place in your home can work fine. It’s understandable that it can be hard to identify a good place such as this, but if you put some thought into it you can probably determine a zone that makes you feel much more at peace.

Get your body relaxed first. Try to sit with healthy posture, but make sure that it doesn’t cause any muscle groups to ache. If you need to wear special clothing that feels good to the skin such as pajamas – then do so.

If at night you require taking a good soak in the tub first with some lavender oil and/or Epsom salts to get your body relaxed – then do so.

Room Ambiance

Many people feel that guided meditation is the way to go. If this feels right to you then work from this, but the idea of meditation is to eliminate any reminders of life for a time being.

Music can be OK, but make sure that it is extremely simple and soothing. Nothing that contains any notes or instruments that your brain really needs to focus on. Ideally, quiet space is best, but to get started a simple meditative sound track like these ones can be good to get going.

Meditative Water Sounds

Relaxation Track

Candles and aromatherapy products can be greatly helpful. Scent is something that has a major influence over ourselves. Candles and aromatherapy products that are pleasant to you absolutely can be a good idea.

Breathing Techniques

There are plenty of breathing techniques available designed to help you reach a more relaxed state that is ready for deeper meditation.

Many of them focus on monitoring your breath and counting to a certain number. Sometimes this is a breathing count of 3 seconds while others are 7 seconds. The only issue with this may be the fact that it gives your mind an excuse to have that inner-dialogue again; which kind of degrades the whole point of meditation.

The simple truth is that every person is different. You can breath in as much as you can, no matter how old or young you are to the extent of your lungs and this should be enough. If you need to get started by counting as you breath then go ahead, but try to get to a point where you can take even the thought of numbers out of your mind.

The whole point is to stop thinking. Focus on breathing rather than thinking about your breathing.

  • Breath in as deep as you can and hold it for simply until you need to exhale – let your body guide you
  • Then exhale as evenly as you breathed in
  • Hold for a short while until your body desires that you breath again
  • Then repeat

The idea here is to eliminate all distractions from the outside world and your mind.

Quieting The Mind

Quieting the mind takes time and practice. The first few times you practice meditation there is a good chance that you will experience one or more of the following:

  • The inability to shut off the voice in your head
  • A feeling of restlessness or that the whole world is going on around you
  • That something bad could happen while you are taking refuge from daily life
  • Worrying about meeting a quota of meditation time
  • A simple fear that something will interrupt this sacred time with yourself

These are all very normal feelings and thoughts and are yet again a reflection of just how much outside pressure we take upon ourselves.

Perhaps one of the best ways to start meditating is to start out doing so for very short intervals. 5 – 10 minutes may be just what you need to get the feeling down.

You may also consider; when first starting a routine of meditation, to set aside time for short moments like this throughout the day. You will probably spend the first week or so learning how to quiet the mind and remember that this is something new for your body and mind to get used to.

Just because it’s called meditation and is supposed to be relaxing does not mean that it isn’t easy to get into. But imagine looking forward to a state where it requires little-to-no effort to go into.

A Word On Trance

Trance seems to have a negative connotation. Many people are afraid of being hypnotized for instance; believing that they will lose control over themselves or may not wake from a state of trance/hypnosis. The honest truth is that trance is an everyday part of life.

Have you ever wandered into a super-market with a predetermined item in mind and then suddenly found yourself staring at a shelf of food items; blanking out for several seconds and then coming to and realizing what you were there for?

Have you ever sat down to read a book and then after reading for a while; realized that 3 pages later you have no idea what you just read?

People “zone out” all day long. Your brain craves this. People go into trance when driving, shopping, watching TV or even taking tests. It’s just a normal part of life and there is nothing wrong with it. And it also can’t be thought of as day-dreaming when your brain gives you a brief respite from everything, all-together. Including thought processes.

Need To Take Baby Steps?

It’s OK if you need to do some basic leg-work first before you can start getting involved in meditation. There are actually many low-keyed activities that you can do that require only simple thought, but that also have similar, therapeutic benefits as well, because they can offer you a break from the demands of life. Here is a small list of simple activities that you may gravitate towards.

  • Working jigsaw puzzles – challenging enough, but keeps your mind focused on only one thing.
  • Coloring – yes, adult coloring books are becoming popular. Mainly because you don’t have to draw the lines to make the designs, but can rather just focus on adding in the colors that appease you.
  • Sculpting with clay or even Play-Doh
  • Building with Legos
  • Jewelry making
  • Crocheting
  • Teach yourself how to play an instrument
  • Constructing models of structures, fictional characters or even vehicles out of odds-and-ends laying around the house – Unlock your creativity and keep a box of spare parts and pieces that you find. A little paint, some junk and some glue can go a long way

If these things seem like child-play to you; then this is the point. Children find interesting ways to distract themselves and to just have fun. There is a child in all of us that at some point or another that needs to come out.

Plus, all of these items beckon the creativity that lives in each of us; even if you consider yourself more left-brained.

How To Stop Panic Attacks At Night

It’s been a long day and now the sun has set and the world is bathed in darkness. It’s night time and it’s getting later and you start to feel the pull of a long day’s sleep. You wrap up all that needs to be done. You move yourself away from the television, brush your teeth, change into your nighttime attire, pull back the sheets, crawl into bed and with the flick of a switch – the light is out. Silence and now you are all to yourself and eagerly awaiting a good night’s sleep. Perhaps you are even married and find that your partner is already fast asleep beside you, but for whatever reason you cannot let down. You may even find yourself jealous or envious of other people who seem to easily fall fast asleep.

According to SleepMed 1 in 3 individuals will experience insomnia at some point in their lives. As the day closes off it can be quite common to experience a panic attack at night. The reasons can be many:

  • Work-related stress
  • Diet
  • Worried about life expectations
  • Feeling like you’re not caught up
  • Feeling that you’re going in the wrong direction in life
  • Financial worries
  • Thoughts of mortality for self and others

The list can go on-and-on and you probably are very aware of this. All of these things have to do with future and events that have yet to unravel or may will never, but somehow the anxiety in your mind tells you that these things will surely be inevitable. Anxiety can easily be triggered by one unpleasant thought; which then causes the mind to spiral out of control and soon enough you feel it in your body. From your breathing to your heart. Deep down inside you know that there is nothing that you need to do to fix tomorrow’s problems, tonight. If you could just get the rest you need you can address any concerns your mind has tomorrow. You know this, but how do you do it? Let’s see if there are some solutions…

Stopping Nighttime Panic Attacks By Removing These From Your Diet

This won’t solve the problem completely, but think of it as an important piece of the puzzle. Do you drink alcohol? do you consume a lot of coffee? can’t get away from sugar? what do these things all have in common? caffeine! and even a consistent dose of caffeine throughout the day may set you up for failure to fall asleep at night. Try to avoid drinking alcohol at night, because alcoholic beverages are a stimulus and a depressant; which is a bad combination. Also try to limit your intake of sugar and don’t assume that it’s all coming from beverages. Many solid foods contain high levels of sugar as well. Even so called “health” foods can contain a lot of sugars so make sure that you read labels and monitor your intake.

Avoid Light Stimulation

This website talks a lot about Light Boxes, but it also points out that they are best used in the morning, because using such a powerful source of light at night can cause sleep issues. Likewise; TV, computer and even smart phone screens can bombard your brain with stimulating signals that can make it difficult to get to sleep. Try to make a pact with yourself to avoid such devices for a couple of hours before sleep. What are the alternatives? working on a puzzle, reading, writing, drawing, shuffling cards. If any of these things seem boring to you then this may be a good idea, because it’s that restlessness of “needing to accomplish something now!” that we all have in us; which can set the mind up for a panic attack at night.

Using Meditation To Ease Anxiety At Night

Meditation may sound like a cliche answer and you’ve probably read about it’s benefits over-and-over again, but the simple truth is that it does work. It may not work immediately and does require discipline and a routine. Many people want to practice or have tried meditation to ease their anxiety, but will admit that they have a hard time sticking with it. This is because when you are fresh to meditation your thoughts want to fight you left-and-right. “This is stupid!”, “I’m wasting my time!”, “My grocery list is more important!”, “I can’t relax!” – these are all common thoughts during your first attempts at meditation and it’s normal. Meditation is about getting your normal voice out of your head and it’s worth it, because you may have some amazing experiences overtime.

Even in the daytime when you start to experience panic coming on, if possible to take 30 seconds to “clear your thoughts” you may find that you feel completely different and “clear-sighted”. Guided meditation is one option or meditating with the accompaniment of sounds or music, but ultimately total quietness while distancing the mind would be ideal. This is also going to be the form that challenges you the most, because you are asking your mind to ignore all that is around you. True meditation is the absence of thought; which you can think of as your little, daily vacation from all of your troubles. Instead of thinking that you are going to miss out – try thinking of it as a gift that you were born with being able to do.

Natural Aids For Creating Positive Drowsiness

Alcohol is an example of an aid that many people turn to at night which can make you feel drowsy, but it can also interrupt your sleep/wake cycle. So that’s not exactly healthy, but there are some natural solutions that can help you over the course of a week get into a routine of actually feeling sleepy before bed time.

  • Calcium tablets
  • Ashwagandha
  • Valerian
  • Melatonin
  • Chamomile tea
  • Magnesium

There are plenty more such as Power to Sleep PM which contains many helpful ingredients such as passionflower ,GABA, lemon balm and hops extract. One word of caution is that just because you may want to conquer having anxiety at night doesn’t mean that you should try loading up on all of these at once. You should test everything out to see how your body responds first. Power to Sleep PM does contain the majority of the active ingredients listed above, but they seem to be the right amount for most people according to the reviews at Amazon.

Adjusting Your Bedroom Environment

It may seem like Hocus Pocus, but having the right bedroom arrangement can really make a difference in whether you are able to get calmed down at night or not. Certain ways that you have furniture angled, how you have your bed positioned and the direction of where your bed is pointed really can change everything. Feng Shui That Makes Sense covers a lot of what you may be interested to know and even has a special section dedicated to bedroom space.

Aromatics To Prevent Having Panic Attacks At Night

Having lit candles are an excellent way to calm the body and mind. One reason is that they can provide a sort of hypnotic, flickering source of light as a substitute for normal lighting such as a bed light. Plus you can have as many as you want. When you get ready to blow them out even the aromatic smoke left over can feel soothing. Three of the most calming scents are lavender, pine and sandalwood. You may want to find candles or scented oils that contain these soothing smells, but you can also find linen sprays to use for your bed sheets, covers and pillows.

Aural Ambiance For Sleeping

Some people cannot sleep with any noise going on around them at all; while others may benefit from this tip. There are certain sounds that you may find will help your mind drift into a sleepy state. For some it may be having the continuous, droning noise of a box fan near by. For others it may be the sound of Tibetan wind chimes or a Rain CD. And even believe it or not some people sleep better with the busy, background chatter of inner-city sounds. Whatever may work for you, if you have never tried aural ambiance before then don’t rule it out quite yet.

Still having trouble with panic attacks during the night OR day time? You may consider trying this approach to managing your anxiety.

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) As An Antidepressant

5-HTP is made from a natural substance that is found in the seeds of the Griffonia Simplicifolia plant. This particular plant is a climbing plant that comes from both Central as well as Western Africa. Hydroxytryptophan; which is actually extracted from the seeds of the plant plays an important and natural role in the synthesis of Serotonin. If you’ve been following this blog then you will learn that Serotonin can be very powerful in regulating both sleep and your mood.

Why Take 5-HTP

Some people may consider taking this as a natural supplement as a supplement to an actual, commercially viable anti-depressant. It is actually popular in some parts of Europe as a method to address depression. The reasons can be many, but some people may desire to support a more natural approach to health or have experienced side effects from their current SSRI medication. It’s also important to note that where you may have no or poor success with an anti-depressant med that trying another with the guidance of your health care professional may yield the results that you need.

5-HTP is one natural supplement to consider so long as you consult with your doctor first to make sure that it’s right for you. It can be found in most health food stores, but one thing to remember is that if you find a brand that works for you – stick with it. The truth is that natural supplements are not regulated by the FDA; which means that different natural supplement companies are free to maintain their own dosages of the supplement. Changing from one brand to another may not be a good idea. Always try to stick with one brand consistently.


5-HTP is taken to help with sleep disorders, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and migraines to name a few. Several trials have been conducted that revealed that taking 50 – 3000 MG consistently for 2 or more weeks can ease the symptoms of depression. Other studies have shown that 5-HTP may be just as effective as most, standard anti-depressant medications.

One thing that you don’t want to attempt is to take both an anti-depressant and Hydroxytryptophan alongside each other, because they can interfere with each other. 5-HTP helps to increase Serotonin production to the brain

5-HTP decarboxylates with Serotonin with an L-amino acid and with the help of vitamin B6 through both the liver (where the majority of Serotonin is produced) and nervous tissue.