I teach a meditation workshop about once a month to people who would really love to meditate but have trouble doing so -many people fall into this category, no? Anyways I composed a list of tips which I found after going over the tips with them, they were able to meditate better than before so here it is:
Tips for meditation
1. Sit comfortably.
Make sure your spine is as straight and long as possible and you can feel both your sit bones on your seat. Your shoulders should be relaxed and not slouching. Use pillows or any props to help make your seat more comfortable or sit in a chair.
2. Keep your eyes closed.
This helps to block out your sense of vision which can be distracting. You might hear some sounds and your first response is to open your eyes and look, but try to keep them closed. Also to keep opening and closing your eyes when trying to meditate makes it more difficult to focus and also can cause headaches or feelings of spaciness.
3. Don't try to "blank" or "clear" your mind.
Instead allow for stillness in your mind. If any thoughts come in, try not to engage in them, just acknowledge them and them let them go. You can even label them "thought", "sound", "thing", "something" and then let it go.
4. Shake it out.
If your leg falls asleep or you start to feel jittery, shake it out or take a simple stretch. However, make sure you try to keep your noise and movements minimal as you should be conscious that there are others who are in meditation.
5. Make all noises be background noise.
When you hear or notice noises instead of forming an opinion of it being "annoying" or feeling curious about it, keep your eyes closed and notice the sound. Allow it to fall into the background and become something that you are not engaging with.
6. Use a mantra.
If you find it difficult to concentrate use a mantra that you've learned or know like "Om" or "Om Na0a Shivaya" or "Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha" Anytime you have difficulty with concentrating just repeat the mantra silently to yourself. Notice any vibrations in your Chakras.
7. Don't disturb others who are meditating.
If you simply cannot get into it -which happens to everyone -that's ok! But try to sit quietly and find stillness because your shuffling could be disturbing others. If you have to get up try to be as quiet as a mouse, take quiet steps and open and close doors and quietly as possible.
8. Scan your body.
Notice your breath and notice how the air flows in and out of your nostrils. Notice how your ribs and belly expand when filled with air. Notice what your back and body feels like in your seat. See if you can soften and muscles that might be tense. Notice what your body feels like to sit. Notice what your breath sounds like without changing it. See if you can listen to your breath inside of your body.
Still cannot focus? Try alternate nostril breathing exercise, or just count to 4 on your inhales and then exhale for 8.
10. Stop trying so hard!
Although meditation can be difficult, it can also be very easy and simple. Remind yourself of that and try not to be so affected over having difficulty. It's not that big of a deal.