Starting a Meditation Practice at Home
By now you’ve likely heard about the many benefits of meditation, from reducing stress and anxiety to building patience and resiliency. It’s quite possible you’ve even been urged to “start meditating” to help alleviate negative feelings. Meditation is about bringing your awareness to your breath in order to clear your mind and find peace within. With increasing stressors in the outside world, most of us could certainly benefit from this calming daily practice.
All you need to start meditating is your breath and a place to sit and tune out the world. However, if you’re like most, the latter part can be tricky when you’re surrounded by noise and clutter. Creating a space just for this purpose can help you escape from the daily grind to create a regular practice that can offer respite and relaxation.
Get Creative With Available Space
Perhaps you’re lucky and you have an extra room in your home perfect for a meditation space. However, it’s more common for much of our existing interior spaces to be dedicated to other needs, so you may have to get creative. Consider carving out a corner of your bedroom, an office, or a spot in the basement. Using a screen or sheer curtain can help increase privacy. Take the door off an unused closet for the perfect zen hideaway. Another fun idea is to set up a small canvas or sheer tent (available on Amazon), often used in children’s spaces, and create a tiny sanctuary.
Keep It Comfortable
It’s important that your space be comfortable when sitting for long periods of time. We’re often drawn to spaces that have a cozy vibe—those spots that practically beg you to curl up with a good book. To create this in your home, integrate soft items into your space, such as a meditation cushion, blankets, and throw pillows. Some meditation seats will come with a seat back (available on Amazon) if you find it difficult to sit upright without support for long periods of time. Placing a heavier blanket or pillow on your lap will offer a bit of weight that can help you to feel more grounded.
Harness the Power of Sound
The ideal meditation space will consider all of the senses, including hearing. Listening to a guided meditation, calming music, or sounds of nature can be relaxing, while also drowning out other distracting noises within your home. Some accessories to consider bringing into your space would be a bluetooth speaker (available on Amazon), a trickling fountain, or a sound machine. Sound bowls (available on Amazon) and chimes can also enhance the meditative experience.
Add Scents and Aromatherapy
Speaking of senses, don’t discount smell when setting up your meditation space. Go big with incense or scented candles, or keep it minimal with hints of essential oils. Dab some on your skin or use a diffuser (available on Amazon) to disseminate a relaxing scent. Try lavender for relaxation or Palo Santo sticks to clear your space of negative energy.
Bring in Nature
Being in nature has a calming effect that can help facilitate meditation. If you can’t find a spot for relaxation out in the wild, consider bringing the outdoors inside. Houseplants can mimic the soothing effect of trees, and can even help to improve attentiveness and memory. Other items from nature to integrate are rocks and crystals, sand trays (available on Amazon), and a sound machine featuring birds chirping or water falling. If you like a breeze on your face, consider adding a small fan or keeping the windows open.
Create an Altar
Many regular meditators will sit in front of a small altar. Altars are often found in sacred spaces where one holds a ritual. Creating one in your home can help you get deeper into your practice and create a more spiritual connection. Choose a small spot, such as a shelf, table, or even a cardboard box on which to place your items. Select objects with special meaning to you, such as small statues or figures, pieces of nature, special family items or heirlooms, or favorite photos and sayings. Crystals (available on Amazon) can have different meanings, so choose a couple that bring in qualities you want more of in your life.
Choose Soothing Colors
There’s a reason why spas usually skip the bright colors in favor of lighter shades, neutrals, and pastels. These light colors can have a soothing effect, while brighter hues can be too stimulating for this type of space. Cool colors such as greens, blues, and purples are especially recognized for this calming influence. What colors induce a sense of calm in you? Consider your personal preference and then integrate your favorite shades through paint, pillows, blankets, and artwork.
Related: 10 Calming Colors for a Serene Home
Don’t Discount Lighting
The lighting of your space will depend on personal preference. Contemplate what level of light helps you to feel calm and relaxed. Natural light is a bonus if you can find a spot near a window. For spaces with overhead lighting, consider adding a dimmer switch so you can control the brightness to suit your mood. For spaces that feel dark, try incorporating a small lamp, white sheers, or other bright and airy accents. For an evening meditation, candles or string lights (available on Amazon) can add the perfect finishing touch.
Keep it Minimal
You may have noticed that it’s easier to concentrate in clean and minimal spaces. Lots of clutter can block energy from flowing, leaving you feeling distracted and frustrated instead of calm and centered. The clearer your space, the clearer your head, so be choosy about what items to include without overdoing it with unnecessary additions. Regular dusting and tidying will also help to keep your space clear and welcoming.
Bring in Books
Books and journals can be a nice addition to your space. If you need some down time before closing your eyes to meditate, reading a few inspiring passages can help. A journal (available on Amazon) can offer a spot to jot down worries or concerns before meditation, as well as reflections and intuitive thoughts that come up during your breath work.
Make it Personal
For each of these categories, it’s important to consider what works best for you. What makes you feel relaxed or inspired could have the complete opposite effect on a friend or family member. For instance, if you’re over-sensitive to scents, don’t include them in your space. If technology will distract you, skip the phone and speaker. Also, when deciding which objects and accessories to include, consider what items bring you joy and contentment, and incorporate those, leaving the rest behind.
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