What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of meditation? An old man sitting cross legged on the floor with his eyes closed chanting a mantra? These outdated and stereotypical views of the practice of meditating are not true.  A person should not avoid participating in an activity that will improve their health and allow them to become  more powerful and productive. 

Getting over the intimidation of trying something new is a giant challenge because mediation is not something that is taught to most people by their parents.  These are some simple tips to allow everyday people to meditate and enjoy all the benefits of the practice.

One of the first things that people have to do is get used to being quiet. This is not a natural state for most Americans. Our lives are constantly filled with sound all the time.  From the television,  to playing music while we are at work.

We do not seem to be comfortable with a quiet time. Sometimes it might be because we are afraid of what we might think or realize about ourselves. At first when you sit down and close your eyes it will feel a little awkward and it is alright to feel a bit self consciousness.  

The goals of meditation are to give your mind a chance to stop producing constant thought and to relax mentally and physically. Stopping your mind from thinking is much more difficult than it sounds. It is a constant struggle to separate yourself from the thoughts that pop into your head. Notice them, recognize them and then let them go and don’t dwell on anything.

One philosophy is to count your breaths. Simply breathe normally and count each breath and notice how it feels to breathe, without thinking of something else. At first this will be very difficult because we are so used to following our thoughts wherever they lead us. We enjoy daydreaming, but for meditation focus on your breathing and let the thoughts you have go. 

A second method to try is to focus your mind on one physical thing or a mental concept or phrase and not to allow yourself to deviate from that thing. When a thought comes up, notice it quickly and let it go and focus back to the object or thing that you are focusing on. 

Many people do meditate and use words or phrases to focus on during these meditations.  However they are not necessary.  The overall benefits a person will reap from practicing meditation each day are going to be a more positive outlook on life.