Meditation & How To Start Small

Meditation has been in practice for nearly 3,000 years, but the science to support its benefits have only come to light in the last two decades. There’s never been a better time to start a new practice, especially if it can provide radical transformation in your life.

Luckily, Backline has partnered with Meditation Studio by Muse to provide free subscriptions to the music industry during these uniquely challenging times. In addition to accessing their entire library, Meditation Studio has created the “Music Industry Setbreak” collection specifically for our community. Curated with the music industry in mind, this collection provides tools for musicians and entertainers to feel more calm and grounded in stressful situations.

To get you started on your journey, here are a few questions answered by Meditation Studio about the practice.

What is meditation?

Meditation is a way to untangle our thoughts and the emotions associated with them. When we’re stressed or distracted, we’re focused on our reaction to something—an event, a frustration, or a task, for example. Meditation teaches us to separate ourselves from our reaction and simply observe it, without attaching emotion. This awareness allows us to remain in the present moment, understand our thought patterns, and learn more about our emotions and ourselves.

How long does it take to learn?

Just like learning a new skill, everyone’s experience is different. Generally, you’ll begin to get comfortable with the basic techniques within two weeks. Once you begin to notice positive changes in your mindset, like a calmer mind and a kinder outlook, you’ll be motivated to continue your practice. Remember, don’t be too hard on yourself and respect your unique process of learning.

What are the benefits of meditation?

Want to improve your health? Meditate! Stress is a leading trigger of many health conditions, and current research shows that meditation can help with stress management, anxiety, sleep disorders, and chronic pain. Meditation has been shown to increase the brain’s capacity for attention span, focus, and creativity. Recent studies have also shown that meditation can increase our compassion toward others.

How can I find the time to meditate?

We’re all busy, and adjusting our schedules is never easy. But remember that you don’t need much time for meditation—as little as five minutes can make a difference. When you begin to think of meditation as another daily activity—like eating or brushing your teeth—it becomes easier to fit into your schedule. You can also fit several mini-sessions into your day as time is available.

How long should my meditation session last?

For beginners, it’s important not to sit too long: we’ve crafted two-, five-, ten-, and 15-minute meditations, all of which are great for beginners who want to start a daily practice. Committing to shorter daily meditations is better than doing a longer meditation once a week.

Think about meditation like exercise: start slowly and build up your endurance. Ten minutes a day is a great starting point, and with time, you might like to extend your meditation to 25 minutes or longer.

Most importantly, shrug off any expectations or comparisons to others’ practices; some people enjoy sitting for an hour at a time, and others find ten minutes to be enough. Do what feels right for you!

Why can’t I stop thinking?

Every living, breathing human thinks—all the time! A common misconception about meditation is that you have to “stop thinking.” Because of the way our brains have evolved, we are hard-wired to think—and the more we try to stop our thoughts, the more they pop up.

When your mind feels flooded, have patience with yourself, bring your attention back to your breath, and allow yourself to simply observe your train of thought. Over time—and with practice—your sense of ease and calm will increase.

Why can’t I sit still?

Everyone feels restless or agitated at times. Find a comfortable seated position that allows you to remain awake and alert. Still feeling resistance? Acknowledge that feeling with a sense of neutral observation and watch it pass. Bring your focus back to your breath, and remember to be patient with yourself.

How do I begin?

Begin slowly with just a few minutes a day, and increase the length of your practice over time. Meditation Studio offers a Meditation Essentials course that’s perfect for those who are new to meditation. Download Meditation Studio today from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Ultimately, meditation is a skill that takes time just like any other skill. Come into the meditation world with no expectations or comparisons. Your meditation style should fit your needs. Learn more about meditation from Meditation Studio here.

For additional help, consider scheduling a call with a case manager to discuss the options that Backline can provide for your mental health and wellness journey.