How to meditate if you're easily distracted and have never done it before

In recent years, meditation has become one of the buzziest words in wellness. This practice of noticing thoughts and becoming more aware of the present moment is accessible for everyone. After all, it is free and can be done any time, in any place. However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean everyone feels comfortable getting started. There are countless preconceived notions about what meditating is really like and how difficult it is to wind down. Especially if you are easily distracted, you may assume meditating just won’t work for you. But, take heart, it is possible to give this practice a try. Here is how to meditate if you’re easily distracted and have never done it before:

Relax

The first step to a successful meditation practice is to be easy on yourself. Consider meditation like any other skill--you are not going to be a pro on the first day. As a result, having a relaxed attitude and realistic expectations is the best way to set yourself up for success.

Arrive to meditate--either in a chair, on a cushion, or in any other position that allows you to feel supported--and begin to focus on your breath or on a short intention--a word or phrase--that is meaningful for you. Just notice when your mind wanders away from that focus. Don’t be frustrated if this happens all the time. Just be aware of it and come back to your breath. Rest assured that you are not the only person who struggles to stay connected at first. Be patient, breathe, and try not to give yourself a hard time.  

Create a Comfortable Environment

In addition to the practice itself, one of the most important aspects of meditation is creating a comfortable meditation space. Whether that is a cushion or chair in a corner of your bedroom, or an entire nook dedicated to meditation, give yourself the time to set up an environment that feels supportive. Lights? Candles? A water feature? Feel free to get creative in making a space you want to show up to every day.

Many people find CBD oil to be especially helpful in calming anxiety. Others prefer essential oils in a diffuser to change the scent of the room. However you do it, setting up your space is key to getting yourself in a meditative mindset.

Minimize Distractions

It’s easy to get distracted by things in your home. Everything from notifications on your cellphone to noisy appliances can take your mind away from your practice. Before you find a seat and drop into your meditation, minimize distractions by silencing your cell phone and fixing any appliances that could be a disruption. Doing these simple tasks will set your mind at ease, so you have less to worry about while you’re in your meditation space.

Wear Breathable Clothing

We may not notice it in our everyday life, but what we wear has a direct impact on how attentive we can be to any given task. If our outfit is too hot, too cold, or too tight, we won’t be able to fully breathe or benefit from the practice. As a result, when meditating, it’s important to wear comfortable clothing that won’t entice us to itch, pull, or otherwise fiddle. Keep it simple, so you can bring your awareness back to your breath.  

Practice and Repeat

Of course, the best way to meditate is to make it a consistent part of your routine. If you find you keep getting distracted, don’t get frustrated. Know that it takes time and practice to retrain your mind. Schedule a time each day that you commit to meditation. As the days and weeks go by, you may find that your mind wanders less, or that your desire to find other distractions decreases. Don’t worry if it isn’t becoming easier as fast as you would like. Know that this is exactly what you are showing up, day in and day out.

Meditation isn’t just something for monks who live in the foothills of the Himalayas. While it’s helpful for them, it is, in fact, especially helpful for everyday people who deal with distraction, stress, anxiety and more on a day-to-day basis. If you tend to get distracted easily, this practice could be incredibly helpful for keeping you focused and grounded in your daily life.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the idea of what your meditation should look or feel like. But, rest assured, everyone’s experience is going to be different. So if you have never meditated before, consider giving some of the above options a try! You could be on your way to blissful awareness in no time.


Guest Post by Amanda Turner