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Want to take up a meditation practice? You’re in the right place. Let’s dive into all the top tips, tricks, and essentials for meditation.
Meditation seems to have become a bit of a buzzword within the self-care space lately. Everyone online is talking about “meditation” and “mindfulness”.
But what is it REALLY?
Today we’re diving into all things meditation…
What is meditation? Who should meditate? What are the benefits of meditation? How do you meditate? And, best of all, what are the top must-have essentials for meditation?
Let’s jump into it.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice that helps train you to be more aware and present in your mind and emotions.
With many benefits, the Mayo Clinic describes meditation as a “mind-body complementary medicine” that can help produce a tranquil, relaxed, and focused mind.
During meditation, the goal is to eliminate distractions and be present in your mind and body. This can help you sort through jumbled thoughts, stressors, and overwhelming emotions.
As a result, meditation can be a form of stress relief, relaxation, and a way to improve mental and physical well-being.
Why is Meditation Important?
The benefits of meditation are absolutely mind-blowing. They range from relieving everyday stress to lowering blood pressure to even alleviating symptoms of IBS or Ulcerative Colitis. (Yes, meditation is really that powerful.)
When I first heard of meditation, I was less than convinced. In my mind, it was some “woo-woo” practice that was branded as self-care and wellness.
Now, I regret ever doubting the power of meditation.
Benefits of Meditation
Enough about my meditation story… let’s explore the real, science-backed benefits of meditation.
The Mayo Clinic lists these as the main mental, emotional, and physical benefits of meditation:
- Exploring new perspectives on stressful situations
- Building stress-management skills
- Improved self-awareness
- Remaining present in the moment
- Reducing negative thoughts and emotions
- Improving imagination and creativity
- Increasing patience
- Lowering resting heart rate
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving sleep quality
Additionally, meditation has been linked to physical improvements in medical conditions, specifically ones triggered by excess stress, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Sleep problems
- Tension headaches
As you can see, the benefits of mediation are valuable, notable, and powerful.
Before diving into the top essentials for meditation, it’s important that you have a clear “why” backing your meditation practice.
Top 10 Meditation Essentials for Your Meditation Practice
When you’re first starting to meditate, it can feel a bit overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to!
Meditation is something you practice and, over time, it starts to become more natural. Before long, it will become a part of your routine and won’t take such direct focus.
Beginner or not, no matter what phase of your meditation journey you’re in, these 10 essentials for meditation will add value to your practice.
Use these helpful and affordable meditation tools to level up your practice and take your meditation to the next level.
1. Quiet Space
Having a safe, quiet, and distraction-free space is incredibly helpful for meditation. External silence allows you to dive inward and tune into your inner self.
Additionally, outside noises can pose unnecessary distractions that take away from your meditation. Especially as a beginner, it’s important to limit or remove all distractions that could interrupt your focus and evoke unnecessary stress in your meditation practice – which is exactly what we don’t want.
Finding a silent space allows for your meditation to be focused, intentional, meaningful, and still. It’s beautiful!
2. Yoga Mat or Meditation Rug
Setting the tone of your meditation environment is important for shifting your headspace to a meditative state.
Because of this, a specific yoga mat or meditation rug is a key essential for meditation that can really up-level your practice.
I, personally, use my LuluLemon yoga mat. My friend uses a specific area rug to meditate on. Find what works for you and stick with it!
3. Meditation Cushion
Whether you choose to meditate on the floor on your yoga mat (like me) or be seated in a chair, having a meditation cushion is a must. Gotta keep that tush comfortable!
Meditation cushions give you some extra padding and help support good posture during your meditation practice. Comfortability is key!
A well-padded cushion is a total meditation essential for a comfortable and relaxing meditation.
4. Salt Lamp
Salt lamps have many benefits, including cleansed air, boosted mood, and increased relaxation – all qualities that make them the perfect essential for meditation.
Also, salt lamps give off very gentle, soft lighting that is great for meditation. Harsh or overwhelming light is a meditation no-go, so the gentle glow of a salt lamp sets the perfect mood.
5. Meditation App
Guided apps and/or videos are one of the best essentials for meditation – especially for beginners.
Insight Timer is an incredible resource with some free options. It is a free mediation app with some great guided meditations and relaxing soundtracks. This is what I used when I first began my meditation journey.
Now, I use AloMoves for my guided meditations. There are TONS of videos, audios, courses, and challenges.
My favorite part of AloMoves meditation is the extended series. There are specific, themed meditation courses that expand over a period of days or weeks, guiding you through your mediation every day.
Try It Here: AloMoves
6. Noise-Canceling Headphones
This goes hand-and-hand with meditation essential #5. Noise-canceling headphones are a perfect addition to your meditation.
Not only do they allow you to listen to your guided meditation or meditation music, but they also cancel out any outside noise that may get in the way of your zen.
As we know from #1, silence is important for meditation. Outside of professionally guided meditation sessions, external noises can be hindering and distracting when trying to meditate.
7. Meditation Essential Oils Blend
Many say that fragrance is the language of the subconscious mind. I think that’s an incredibly important piece of knowledge to hold when you are meditating.
Aromatherapy is a powerful tool for your meditation.
Even more, having the right essential oils is essential for meditation. Relaxing oils such as lavender, frankincense, sage, and cedarwood are perfect.
There are even specific essential oil blends for meditation. Applying these to your skin or diffusing them in your environment with an essential oil diffuser can really take your practice to the next level.
Essential oils can also take the form of a candle. Essential oil candles are great for meditation because they have aromatherapy benefits and they help set the tone of the room.
Having candles burning can evoke a sense of comfort and relaxation – making them the perfect meditation essential.
9. Meditation Beads
Mediation beads (or “Mala Beads“) are a meditation tool that can really help you strengthen your practice.
Mala beads can help ground you through the repetitive motion of rubbing your fingers across each bead. They can also help with mantra meditation, as they can help you keep track of how many times you’ve repeated your mantra.
Additionally, these beads help to set the tone of your meditation practice and guide you to the proper mindset for meditation.
10. Meditation Journal
A meditation journal, sometimes also called a meditation diary, is a place for you to write down feelings, thoughts, and emotions that come up during your meditation. It can be very therapeutic to get those things out of your mind and down on paper.
You can write anything you desire. You can even doodle or draw if that feels better to you!
What you do with this journal is individual and personal – that’s the beauty of it!
Additional Meditation Essentials
In addition to the 10 essentials for meditation above, these meditation tools and products can help add to your practice as well. Whether it be setting the tone in your space or aiding your body in relaxation, these meditation products are incredible tools!
Top 5 Meditation FAQs
1. Who should be meditating?
To give a simple answer, anyone can learn to meditate.
A meditation practice can benefit anyone’s life when done correctly for each individual.
That said, professionals suggest that those with severe mental illnesses seek professional support before attempting meditation. In this case, the individual should be monitored and guided by a professional to see if meditation is beneficial for them.
2. How often should you meditate?
When researching this further, it seems that there is no one “correct” answer for how often you should be meditating.
Some people find that once a day is great for them. Others prefer multiple shorter meditations throughout their day.
VeryWellMind suggests playing around with different meditation routines and schedules to find one that suits you best.
3. How long should you meditate?
Again, there is no one right answer for this.
Depending on your goals and what you hope to gain through meditation, the length of time will shift.
For example, if you simply want to feel a bit less stressed, 10 minutes of meditation may be enough for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking to retrain your mind for calmness, concentration, and mental toughness, 30+ minutes may be best for you.
Like much of meditation, the length of your practice is individual to your needs.
4. How long until you see results from meditation?
Again, this depends on the individual. (Shocker!)
Not to mention, “results” will mean something different for everybody.
That said, most studies indicate that to really see the power of meditation, consistency is key.
In other words, you can’t meditate twice and expect to reap the benefits. Meditation is a consistent practice that, when done as part of your daily routine, can transform your mindset.
5. How do you meditate?
Ah – the biggest question of all.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received about mediation is this:
“View meditation is a practice – not perfection.”
If you get too caught up in perfection, that only causes more stress (which is the opposite of our goal).
That said, when first starting meditation, it can feel overwhelming. This is where these essentials for meditation can be extra helpful.
Rely on your meditation essentials and guided meditations – especially at the beginning.
Over time, you will become more confident and it will start to feel much more natural. Stick with it!
What’s Your Top Meditation Essential?
Leave a comment below telling me your #1 essential for meditation and how it helps your practice. I’d love to hear!