Are you struggling to relax and get into a meditative state?
Don’t stress, it takes practice and is something that comes easier over time.
In this article, I’m going to explain how to get into a meditative state and some of the tips that have helped me over the years.
How Do You Get Into a Meditative State?
Meditation isn’t about getting into a meditative state as much as it is being able to spend a good amount of time focusing your mind.
Still, this is a question that comes up a lot and I find myself explaining how to meditate to a lot of people.
For me, getting into a “meditative state” means getting my mind and body into a place where I’m able to meditate most effectively.
This means going through the core principles of meditating. Which, if anyone practices on a regular basis I’m sure you’ll also be able to more comfortably get into your own meditative state.
Here’s what you need to master:
Finding a Relaxing Position Without Disruption
Finding a comfortable position is actually more important than a lot of people give it credit. Especially if you’re new to meditating.
You need to find a position – either sitting or laying down – where you are able to comfortably relax, without falling asleep.
It’s also crucial you’re not disturbed by anyone or any noises. I use headphones as I listen to tracks so I’m able to block out any noise.
Related – Am I sleeping or meditating? How to tell.
Controlling Your Breathing
Being able to focus on and control your breathing is key to reaching a meditative state.
Breathing is the only bodily function that we can do both consciously or unconsciously. By being able to control our breaths, we can influence our subconscious, autonomic nervous system.
Taking those long deep breaths as instructed at the beginning of almost every meditation also helps slow down your heart rate, relax your body, and gives you a point of focus.
Practicing Mental Exercises
Once you’re comfortable and you’ve taken some deep breaths, you’ve prepared yourself to reach a state of meditation.
If you’re using guided meditations, they might take you through some exercises. If you’re doing this by yourself, you can start focusing on images, repeat a mantra over and over, or even just focus on your breathing.
This is where it really takes practice and some time before you can do these exercises without your mind wandering. Even then, it’s not uncommon for the mind to wander on occasion.
What Does It Feel Like to Be in a Meditative State?
I’ve been ponding over how to answer this for some time because I think the answer to this will vary from person-to-person.
I can tell you what it feels like to me, and what being in a meditative state means to most people.
To me, it means being able to focus on whatever it is I’m focusing on during my mediation without being aware of anything else going on around me, and without my mind wandering.
This can be several seconds, a minute or two, or a much longer period.
During some of my best meditations, I’ve literally “lost” time. I’ve come out of the other side, looked at the time, and realized 45-60 minutes have passed.
Yet it felt like just a few minutes. In fact, I’m not sure it felt like any amount of time.
I was in a deep meditative state and unaware of time. Basically, operating on a subconscious level and “somewhere else” mentally.
Now you can see why it was hard for me to explain this, right? The best word that always comes to mind is profound.
I read accounts from other people that sound similar. I notice other people talk about taking this state with them too.
This is something I haven’t thought of in much detail, but it’s also true. When you start meditating effectively it changes your life, the way you think, operate, and more.
I’m able to be much more composed and calm throughout the day. I feel more mentally alert, often I have moments of extreme clarity, the benefits go on and on.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that getting into a meditative state isn’t just about those 15-30 minutes you’re meditating. It has a positive effect on you 24/7.
Related – Not sure if you’re meditating correctly?
In Summary – How to Get Into a Meditative State
To get into a meditative state and to get better at doing so, you need to focus on the core principles of meditation and practice, practice, and practice.
- Finding a posture, time of day, and place that helps you relax
- Controlling your breathing
- Being able to focus on mental exercises
The more you practice, the more you’ll notice you’re able to keep your mind on whatever meditative focus is on.
In time, you’ll be able to scan your body and understand why and how everything feels, lower your stress levels, sleep better, increase your focus during the day, and generally have better control over your brain.
Meditation is one of the most powerful mental tools that everyone has available to them, all you have to do is practice.
You can do it anywhere and anytime you have some quiet time. It’s completely free, and in my opinion, the benefits can be matched by doing anything else.
Image credits -Header Photo by Le Minh Phuong on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.