3 Quick Tips: How to Start a Meditation Practice

New! I’m trying something new. Every Wednesday you’ll receive “3 Quick Tips” on topics including personal wellness, stress management, confidence, and so much more. The goal: to help you feel good about yourself and your work. This is the first one. Do you have 3 quick tips you’d like to share? Send me an email to find out how to get yours posted.

Meditation is simple in theory, not as simple in practice. I recently brought a daily practice back into my life. It’s the first thing I do in the morning – before coffee, exercise, work. Because I know that if I let it go, I won’t do it. I get up somewhere between 5:30am – 6am to sit in silence.

As a result, I’ve noticed that I’m more focused, calm and productive during the day. Reading Facebook posts and email, I have recently learned of colleagues bringing a daily meditation practice into their lives. Starting on Friday I’ll be sharing some of those stories with you. I want as many people as possible to learn about the benefits and how these practices positively benefit people.

In case you’ve been curious about starting a meditation practice, below are three quick tips to get you started:

Make a commitment. If you think you can’t, you’re right. The act of sitting is first a mental game. Make the commitment to yourself. Make it an appointment on your calendar. Tell your family members. Get yourself into a positive frame of mind.

Be realistic. True, the more you meditate, the more benefit you realize. However, if you are just starting, be realistic. Starting with 30 minutes is probably too much. Can you start with 5 and build from there? That’s how I did it and over time I could comfortably sit for 30 minutes. That didn’t happen right away, it took several years. Every new activity requires baby steps and starting a meditation practice is no different.

Sit. You won’t benefit from the practice if you only think about doing it. Find a quiet place in your home, free of distraction and sit. I find it easiest to focus on my breath. As thoughts creep into your mind notice them and then detach from them by focusing on your breath. Notice the inhale, notice the exhale. That’s the practice. So no fretting if you feel like you’re thinking too much! You can’t stop your thoughts. You can bring yourself back into the present moment quicker over time. The newer you are to the practice, the more your thoughts will flow. Oh, and you might want to set a timer to avoid anxiously wondering “Am I done yet?”

Do you practice meditation? How has it benefited you? I’m looking for people to share their stories, email me if you’d like to be profiled on this blog.

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  • http://www.jungleoflife.com Lance

    Having been meditating (sporadically) for much of the past year, I definitely notice that there’s just this extra sense of peace on those days when I’ve chosen to honor that commitment.

    It’s time for me to really honor that commitment I’ve made (on a daily basis)…

  • http://www.workconsciously.com Chris Edgar

    Hi Stacey, I liked what you said about worrying over “am I done yet?” And, I think, noticing that we’re having a thought like that can actually be a gateway into learning about ourselves — it gives us the opportunity to ask “where else in my life am I saying ‘am I done yet’ and refusing to appreciate what’s happening right now?”

  • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

    Hi Lance – I recently re-started my daily practice and the focus I have is unbelievable. It really does work!

    Hi Chris – I teach that in my workshops and classes – noticing how quick we are to give up. Confidence is a big part of it from my perspective. (personal experience!)

  • Pingback: How to Begin a Meditation Practice - Exercise And Depression Help - Exercise And Depression Help, Yes You Can Move On! - Exercise And Depression Help()

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