Beginner Meditation Techniques

Beginner Meditation Techniques

Meditation has been proven time and time again to be helpful with reducing stress and negative emotions while increasing patience, perspectives, self awareness, and presence. However, many people don’t know how to begin meditating, and often when beginners try the practice, they can leave feeling more frustrated than when they began. Often people’s brains don’t clear up in the way they had hoped. With this article I hope to give you guys some of my personal favorite meditation techniques that are a bit simpler for many than trying to sit up straight and clear your mind. I believe a common misconception about meditation is that the goal is to not think about anything. However, when focusing on this goal I have found meditation to be fruitless and this truly isn’t the goal of meditation. For me the goal of meditation is to calm my mind and body, which is impossible if I’m getting frustrated with myself for thinking during my practice (Mayo Clincic, NCCIH).


Breathing techniques

The first method I want to suggest is breathing techniques. Many cultures and traditions use breathing techniques to conjure up certain feelings whether that be peace, love, acceptance, or determination. The technique focuses on allowing the practitioner to focus on their body and induce presence. There are many different practices but all focus on controlling ones inhales and exhales to bring awareness through breathing patterns. Many of these techniques can be found on Youtube and Spotify with understandable explanations of intention.  I like beginning with this technique because the intricate breathing patterns force someone to focus completely on their breath. By allowing full focus on these patterns it is much easier to guide your mind gently away from thoughts of what needs to be accomplished or what the future holds. This is often the most frustrating part of meditation for beginners.


Music frequencies

This is definitely one of my favorite meditation practices. To use music frequencies I often combine it with another technique to stimulate my brain or body as well. There are many different frequencies available that are said to have certain effects on the body and mind. A quick look on Youtube can avail you frequencies for things like encouraging  motivation, or relaxation. The music often helps me to maintain presence and focus while trying to meditate. It gives you a good grounding point, similar to your breath, to move back to if your mind begins to wander.


Body awareness

My favorite technique to do throughout the day is checking in with my body. For me this means scanning my body, starting at the tip of my left big toe I bring my awareness up through the different parts of my body, focusing on how each limb and muscle feels not trying to change anything. After my initial scan I again do the same thing. This time deeply relaxing each limb as I bring my awareness to it simply by repeating mentally “relax”. This is something I do frequently no matter where I am, as I often feel like I’m about to burst out of my body. However, for a longer session I recommend laying on your floor in a starfish position and continuing the exercise by completing the first two steps and then continuing to focus on having awareness of your body.



Another one of my all time favorites, exercise, can be a great way to meditate. Meditation is any practice that brings about mental clarity and produces a stable, calm state of being. Exercising is the easiest way, in my opinion, to begin understanding the intent of mediation and the goal for one’s headspace while meditating. Here’s what I mean. We’ve all exercised before. Normally, while doing so our minds wander. For me personally, I’m never able to hold onto a thought for long because I’m exercising and exhausting my body. There are other things going on that need my attention outside of my internal chatter. But instead of getting mad at myself for not focusing on my workout, I simply get back to work and focusing. This is a reflection of the goal of meditation. Rather than getting angry while trying to clear your mind, you simply recognize the wandering thoughts and then get back to work. Mediation for me is about gaining awareness and peace with my physical body by letting go of mental constraints. To Meditate while exercising, simply be aware of your workouts! All it takes to meditate while working out is focus on what your body is attempting to do and making sure to do it in the best way you can. The physical exertion working out brings, coupled with the focus on something not dramatic brings about feelings of peace and presense.



This is by far one of the most effective techniques for me while meditating in producing tangible results. Using affirmations is the practice of repeating a word or phrase to oneself in order to reinforce that intended idea in the practitioners head. For example, if someone experienced a rocky childhood and grew up to be the nervous type, continuously repeating “I am safe” positively reinforces the idea that you are in fact safe. Affirmations free people from old thought patterns that no longer serve them. It forces your brain to look at the world in a new light by changing habitual thought patterns. Oftentimes when beginning to use affirmations it can be difficult. Most of us won’t believe the affirmation we’re repeating at first. But this is the point. The idea is to train your brain to get used to this new positive line of thinking rather than habitually whispering to you that you’re not safe, or not motivated, or something like that. You know? Like all the mean things your brain chirps at you throughout the day. Basically, you take these negative ideals you may have about life and repeat contradictions to them in your mind while sitting, or laying, and focusing on your feelings of hope upon repeating the affirmations. You do not have to believe them the first few times you try them. The point is eventually your brain will stop repeating the negative thought to you as frequently such as “I’m not safe” and instead say “ I am safe” ultimately bringing about a real change in one’s attitude and behavior.



This is my favorite technique to meditate however it can be tricky and is the most spoken about one. Basically the idea is to sit with your spinal cord aligned and relaxed, with your hands resting comfortably in your lap. From here you begin to focus on your breath, taking inhales through the nose, and exhales through the mouth. I like to do these big breaths until my body begins to release some of its pent up energy. Sometimes, I shake out my hands to release energy as well. Then begin breathing through your nose and focusing on one point in your body that is affected by this breath through either movement or sensation. As your mind wanders, let it. Don’t try and tell yourself to stop thinking, and definitely don’t get mad at your brain for doing so. It’s literally the organ’s job. Just recognize the thoughts, and accept them . BE COMPLETELY OKAY WITH THEM! If the thoughts are about a negative situation, for the moment being, accept the situation for exactly what it is, and then refocus on the chosen point in your body that’s affected by breath. You can lie down to do this too. A good way to start this technique is to do it before going to sleep.

Ultimately, when it comes to meditation, just find something that deeply relaxes your mind and brings focus to the world around you. I wrote another article on the benefits of meditation that explains how helpful the practice can be.