In your healing journey, you may have heard about the importance of quieting your mind in order to receive intuitive insights and guidance to assist you in your healing. But if you have never meditated before, the thought of doing so can be overwhelming. And if you have ever sat down to meditate, only to become agitated and frustrated, as you experience the turbulent chatter of your mind and a body that it not used to being still, you may not be anxious to utilize quiet contemplation as a healing approach.

If you have never been taught how to be still inside, the whole concept can be unappealing because it can be a huge challenge. That said, for many, it is a challenge worth meeting. If you are anxious, overly active, or stressed in any area of your life, you are taxing your body, and limiting your body’s capacity to heal. Quieting your mind is one of the time-honored means for finding serenity in your life—the kind of inner serenity that creates an environment conducive to inner and physical healing, while opening you to greater access to intuitive insight.

Here are some steps you can take to make quiet contemplation a more satisfying experience for you.

Taking Care of Your Physical Needs:
For most people, there is a biological state optimum for quiet contemplation. For example, it can be difficult to sit still for any length of time if you are ravenously hungry or if your stomach is digesting a lot of food. You may find it best to make you’re your stomach is comfortably content. In the beginning, consider eating lightly an hour or two before sitting quietly.

You might consider not eating meat, caffeine or sugar before sitting quietly. Meat can take a long time to digest and can tend to make you sleepy. Caffeine, of course, can make you jittery or hyper rather than relaxed. Sugar or too many carbohydrates can affect your glycemic levels and cause you to experience an energetic crash. However, you may want to be fully hydrated or you may find that sipping just a little bit of water before beginning gives your body enough fluids to sustain for a while. Give yourself permission to try out some different eating and drinking habits prior to sitting quietly to discover what works best for your body.

You may feel that you are too restless to simply sit quietly. I recommend you precede your quiet time with active time. Physical activity such as dancing, running, or walking may help you release agitation and pent-up energy in order to feel ready for your body and mind to become still.

Getting Comfortable:
Typically, the closer you are to lying down, the deeper you will go into meditative state; however, you are also more likely to go in so deep that you fall asleep. If you are someone that has a very difficult time quieting, I suggest lying down, but propping your shoulders and head up at about a 30% angle from the surface you are lying on.

In a sitting position, you do not tend to fall asleep as easily, but you may find your
back tiring before you feel complete your meditation. Some people prefer to sit on the
floor with their backs against something firm, cross-legged or with legs stretched out in front of them. If you are familiar with and can sit in a lotus position, by all means do so.

Energy moves through the body better if your spine is erect. However, use good sense
here. This is not a ballet class and no one is testing you our ability to keep your spine perfectly straight. For now, comfortably erect will be fine. As you become aware of energy flowing through our body and your muscles become stronger, you will naturally increase your ability to remain erect.

Hand positions can become a cue to your subconscious, if you consistently use the same
hand position every time you meditate. For example, you might begin by gently laying
one hand inside the other, palms up. Try one hand on top for a while and then reverse
their positions to understand the different affects they might have for you. If lying with your head raised, you might want to lay your hands, one on top of the other, over your heart.

There is no right or wrong position for your hands or your body I am aware of. Your
preference is what makes a position right for you. If you find yourself consistently
falling asleep, try a new position–even standing.

Inducing a Contemplative State:
Some individuals find it helpful to burn an herb or incense to help them prepare for their meditation. One of the benefits of using a scent is that once used, smelling the scent again creates a powerful clue to the primal center of your brain that it is time to become quiet and still. The scent can actually help you achieve stillness very quickly.

You might also discover there are certain times of day when your inner sense are more
open and responsive to the world around you. You may discover that regular meditation
times, increases the likelihood of having mystical experiences. By doing so, you are
training your mind and body to become open to the full experience of life through your
direct attention to time and space.

In the beginning, listening to soft music might help you shut out the noises around you, and allow you to become immersed in the sounds. As you get comfortable, close your eyes and listen, the sounds will carry you on a journey, simultaneously quieting your busy mind.

I recommend experimenting until you find the combination of privacy, food, water,
scents, body position, time of day, music and regularity that works best for you. By doing so you make your quiet contemplation time optimal for deep discoveries.

Author's Bio: 

Misa Hopkins is the author of the best-selling book, “The Root of All Healing: 7 Steps to Healing Anything”, which has been named the first-aid handbook for the new 21st Century consciousness. She is also Spiritual Director and founder of New Dream Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to awakening through the sacred feminine. With over 30 years of teaching and training experience, including teaching hundreds of healers, and now as a spiritual counselor, Hopkins is an astute observer of human motivation and potential. Her observations about the healing progress of her clients, students and friends, and her own miraculous healings led her to ground-breaking conclusions about why people remain ill, even when they are trying to become well. Hopkins recognized that illness may actually meet unconscious needs you aren’t even aware exist. In her book, workshops and articles, she provides insights about how to break through the limits of illness to experience the freedom and joy of wellness.