22 Mindfulness Meditation Tips For Beginners

Mindfulness meditation is secular in nature, despite being practiced for more than two thousand years in a religious context. Its shift towards modern mainstream practice has seen its application in treating anxiety, depression, or as a lifestyle adopted by many working professionals as a relaxation technique.

Online meditation instructions are available easily and a list of mindfulness meditation tips like this may help beginners in their practice.

I’m not a meditation teacher. But I do learn mindfulness meditation almost two decades ago. I meditated regularly for 4 years, before stopping this healthy practice. That was when all the positives that I’ve built up from mindfulness practice start crumbling and that includes focus and emotional control.

After 17 years, I restarted my mindfulness practice, and mindfulness meditation has gained popularity in western countries. This time, I find it helpful in my battle against depression and also keeping my social anxiety under control.

It is understandable that people with extreme stress or anxiety may find it difficult to meditate. Thus, I’m sharing this list of mindfulness meditation tips hoping to help beginners to kick-start their practice.

Here Are 22 Mindfulness Meditation Tips To Make Meditation Easy

1. Stop Trying To Empty Your Mind

One of the greatest martial artists, Bruce Lee‘s may be famous for his quote ‘Empty Your Mind, But if you take it literally as your goal of mindfulness meditation, you’ll end up frustrated because you just can’t turn off your mind like flipping a switch. So stop trying.

Meditation blogger, Allen Wei of LearnRelaxationTechniques.com wisely put it as:

For beginners, I would focus first on learning to be mindful and unaffected by thoughts that occur during meditation. If they keep practicing and deepening their meditation — rather than trying to force their minds to be clear of all thoughts — they may eventually be able to experience the ultimate state of meditation.

Despite what you may read how you could stop all your thoughts with meditation, the fact is as long as you’re still breathing and conscious, you will always have thoughts. The one important skill that you will develop with mindfulness meditation is to stop responding emotionally to the negative thoughts.  That’s what “clearing your mind” is all about.

2. What is the best posture in meditation?

Mindfulness Meditation Tips

One of the common question meditation beginners asked is about getting the right meditation posture. Is the full-lotus better than the Burmese? What is the best posture for meditation? Here are some of the common postures in meditation.

Postures are just there to assist your meditation practice. If there’s anything such as the “best posture”, it’s one that should support your meditation practice, rather than hampering it.

The choice of full-lotus or Burmese become secondary, compared to whether the posture would cause you an unnecessary backache, or do you fall asleep easily while meditating. If there’s something in common with a good meditation posture, it’s to keep your spine firm and straight, but not too stiff.

3. “I can’t feel my breath”

Most mindfulness meditation instruction starts by instructing the practitioner to focus on their breathing. Some started by counting the breath to develop the initial focus needed, while others may start with directly observing the sensation of each inhale and exhale.

Depending on individuals, sometimes the sensation of the airflow on the nostrils could be vague and too weak for their mind to focus on. If you’re experiencing this issue, you’ll find that your mind wanders easily because it’s so difficult to anchor your mind on the breathing itself.

A good solution to this is to change your primary meditation focus to your abdominal. Instead of trying to feel sensations on your nostril, you now observe the movement of your abdomen as each time it contracts and detracts when you breathe. You can even place your palm on your abdomen for better focus.

4. Can I Start With Walking Mindfulness Meditation?

Perhaps you are not aware, but mindfulness meditation can be found in the form of sitting, walking, standing, and lying down. The lying meditation is seldom taught as practitioners could easily fall asleep. The only time I would suggest practicing lying meditation is when you’re having trouble falling asleep.

The sitting form of mindfulness meditation is the best form of meditation if you’re after deep relaxation and calming of your mind. But it is also a condition that your body and mind may find it hard to get used to in the beginning, as the sensations are more subtle.

That’s why I recommend meditation beginners to start with 10 to 15 minutes of walking meditation before proceeding to the sitting meditation. Walking at a slower pace and with your eyes open is something your body is familiar with. The movement of your foot has the obvious sensation to train your mindfulness on.

5. “I can’t stop my mind from wandering”


There is a big difference in bringing back your wandering mind to stopping your mind from wandering. Mindfulness meditation is about doing the former in a relaxed manner. When you’re starting off your practice, you can expect to spend the first few sessions doing nothing but attending to your wandering mind.

This is when most practitioners who’re practicing on their own gave up as they don’t seem to experience the calm that’s often associated with mindfulness. If there’s anything you need to do, it’s to have patience and keep bringing back your mind to your breathing as it wanders.

It could be two, five, or ten sessions. In time, you’ll find that it wanders less and the amount of time you spend focused on your breathing is more. This will often result in what most people stereotyped as a good meditation session.

6. How do you handle extreme emotions in meditation?

As your practice deepen, it is possible that you’ll start to experience profound joy or deep sadness that you’ve never felt before. Some practitioners also felt grief, or crippling fear when they’re meditating. That’s when panic sets in and they felt something has gone wrong with their practice.

While I do not personally experience extreme negative emotions while meditating, I do encounter moments of bliss while practicing walking meditation. And trust me when I said blissful experiences is as bad as negative emotions when it comes to putting a halt to meditation.

I do remember my meditation teacher’s advice that regardless of what you felt or experienced in meditation, you should just mentally note it as “feeling” or “thinking” and bring back your focus to your breathing. This is one golden rule that my meditation teacher emphasized to prevent going astray in our practice.

7. Stop expecting results when you meditate.

The reality is, most people meditate because they want to achieve something through meditation. It could be a concrete goal of overcoming anxiety, defeat depression, preserve their brain from aging or something general like having a stronger mind.

It’s normally as a human being to have expectations and goals but it’s very important that you do not bring these expectations to your meditation practice. Not even thoughts like “I want to have a good meditation today”.

Because what happened is when you’re starting your meditation with a goal, there is a high possibility you will spend your entire meditation practice struggling to achieve that. Instead of meditating, you’re drowned in thoughts of expectations. And you became frustrated when you found that the whole meditation ends up as a nothing but a thinking session.

8. Practice Letting Go

Mindfulness Meditation Tips

It’s no surprise if you can’t meditate when you have angry or hateful thoughts. After all, you’re all human and not a monk who spend all his time cultivating good thoughts in the forest.

That’s why letting go of ill thoughts is a good way to calm a raging mind before practicing mindfulness meditation. One of the best ways I’ve known is to learn and practice loving kindness meditation. 

Loving-kindness is a form of meditation that cultivates and radiates self-love and compassion. Like mindfulness meditation, it can be practiced in a secular context and is particularly effective as an anger management tool.

9. Be Patient And Consistent

Just because the mind is abstract it doesn’t mean that it can be reconditioned in hours or days. Even if it could, changing neuron pathway in your brain doesn’t happen instantly either. That’s what mindfulness meditation actually does when you’re practicing it consistently for a period of time.

Athanasia of MeditationDailyHabit.com puts it this way:

“Something else that people need to know is that meditation requires patience, persistence, and daily commitment. If you meditate once in a while you will always find it as difficult as the first time. It’s like exercising. If you exercise every once in a while you will not see any results.

When you meditate on a daily basis the moments that you stay focused (or without any thoughts) will become longer. It’s these moments between your thoughts/distractions. You can imagine them like gaps. These gaps become bigger as you continue to meditate daily.”

If there’s any number I could put to the minimum amount of duration you need to meditate, it would be 15 minutes a day. While results may differ per individual, most people experienced positive improvement in their mind and body after 8 weeks of meditation.

10. Numbness when meditating

Mindfulness Meditation Tips

Depending on your physical condition, it could be possible that numbness could set in pretty early in your sitting meditation. The most common instinctive behavior would be to shift your posture or to move your leg around to cease the numbness.

While there is nothing wrong with that, strong sensations like numbness or itchiness could be turned into a powerful meditation object. Here’s what you should do before giving up to these uncomfortable sensations.

Shift your focus on your breathing to the numbness. Observe and feel without emotionally attaching to the sensations. Be aware of any intention or thoughts of moving or scratching that arise in your mind. Try to do this as long as you can before shifting to a more comfortable posture mindfully.

11. Handling Distraction

It’s not common for distractions to occur during your meditation practice, especially if you’re meditating at home. When your phone rang or your neighbor’s dog bark interrupt your meditation calm, thoughts of anger and hatred could pretty fast overcome your mind.

That’s because we as humans are naturally attached to good experiences, and when robbed out of it, we respond based on our natural instinct. To prevent a moment of distraction from turning your meditation bliss into an emotional brooding session, it’s important to remember that calming experience is just a by-result of meditation, and not the end goal itself.

The next time you are distracted by external noises in meditation, just mentally note that you are “hearing”, and avoid placing emotional labels such as “I hate the dog barking” or “Who would have called at this wrong moment?”. That is what mindfulness is all about.

12. Getting Drowsy When Meditating

It is a common occurrence for meditation beginners to start feeling drowsy after a few minutes of sitting meditation. At times it seems so hard to force yourself to stay awake even when you’re determined to. While I’ve read some “guru” talk about how this is another state of consciousness in meditation, I prefer to discuss ways to get around this, instead of overcomplicating the whole issue.

Avoid heavy meals before meditating. If you find yourself sleepy after a heavy lunch at work, it’s going to be the same thing in meditation, especially with your eyes closed. If the feeling of drowsiness persists, turn your mindfulness to your mind itself. Note how your mind feels when it’s struggling to stay awake. For me, it’s like having a huge damp cloth slowly suffocating my mind.

Sometimes that drowsiness could give away to great clarity if you persist to be mindful. But if you struggled for more than 15 minutes fighting to stay awake, your body could be really tired and in need of rest. Well, if that’s the case, go get a good sleep.

13. Dealing With A Backache


Body ache happens in meditation, regardless of age and gender. I often struggled with backaches when I’m practicing sitting meditation. Sometimes it could be you’re sitting with an incorrect posture that gives pressure on your spine. (Read this article for correct meditation postures)

In meditation practitioners of older age, existing physiological problems could cause backaches that could further be aggravated by unsupported sitting posture. In that case, a meditation chair with back support could be useful to firmly support your spinal structure.

As with other distractions encountered in meditation, painful feelings can be turned into a mindfulness object. With that said, meditation should not be anything but a painful experience. When the pain is overbearing, it’s time to shift to a comfortable posture mindfully.

Read more about dealing with pain when practicing mindfulness here.

14. Don’t Over-Analyze Meditation

For first-timers, mindfulness meditation could be an interesting concept and you may want to back your practice with additional knowledge from mindfulness books. While reading about mindfulness causes no harm to meditation practice, you should need to be aware of the difference between intellectual knowledge and the real experience itself.

It could be tempting to compare what you’re experiencing with meditation with the different state of mind that you could have read in meditation books, but such attempts could hamper instead of helping with your progress.

Analytical thinking is, in fact, the opposite of meditation. The former is all about judging and involved emotional decision making while mindfulness meditation is about experiencing thoughts and senses as ‘they are’. Put your analytical mind away when you meditate.

15. Bring Mindfulness Practice Into Your Life

Mindfulness Meditation Tips

Most people who tried mindfulness meditation hopes that their life, in general, could improve in a positive way. Yet, we often notice that some confined their mindfulness to the 15 minutes of meditation, and spent the rest of their days absent-mindedly.

It’s only common sense that if you don’t put what you practice into daily tasks, your progress in meditation and life improvement could be limited. A huge list of meditation tips couldn’t help you if you’re not willing to bring mindfulness to your daily life.

The same concept of being attentive could be applied to mindful eating, or when you’re commuting to your work. Mindfulness is also helpful when you’re driving and trapped in bad traffic. You’ll be amazed at how much impatient thoughts you’re keeping away with mindfulness.

16. The Best Time To Meditate.

While there is no definite best time to meditate, most practitioners either chose to meditate early in the morning, when their mind is fresh or in the evening, as they sought to relax and unload from the stress and work.

There are circumstances though, that meditation may not be conducive and you should not force your mind upon meditating in such scenarios. People who suffered anxiety and depression struggled with meditation when their mood is on the low.

You may also find it hard to meditate when your mind is fatigued and very low on energy. A good analogy will be getting your body to work out at the gym when it’s already tired from moving heavy objects in the day. Mindfulness meditation, after all, is like the brain heading to the gym.

17. Lack Of Progress With Meditation

When you’re paddling a boat off to the sea, you’ll notice the shoreline disappear gradually. You know you’re actually moving off. Then, everything seems the same, except the occasional island and gulls that fly past. It may seem that you’re not moving, but reality can be deceiving.

That’s what happened to most practitioners who started mindfulness meditation. After a few sessions, they start to feel a calmer and relaxed mind when meditating, before the meditation experience turned more routine than spectacular.

Progress in meditation could be subtle, but if you’re experiencing a better focus or better emotional control, then you are definitely making progress. Unlike hypnosis, mindfulness meditation has no end-goal and should be viewed as a constant mind workout for our continuous wellness.

18. Join A Meditation Community

Starting mindfulness meditation from online resources is easy, but continuing the practice at a more advanced stage may be a challenge. As one goes deeper in meditation, joining a group of like-minded practitioners could be conducive to progress in meditation.

The experience of meditation in a group and sharing of each individual’s experience thereafter could be quite enlightening. You can learn more from a meditation group than reading mindfulness meditation tips like this. If you can’t find a meditation group locally, try searching for forums or meditation groups in social media online.

19. Learn From A Qualified Meditation Teacher

Meditation e-books and online resources could never substitute the guidance of a meditation teacher. Learn from an experienced meditation teacher whenever possible. I have the privilege to train under one when I started my journey in mindfulness meditation. But that was almost two decades ago.

These days, especially in busy cities, it could be difficult to get access to a meditation teacher. Alternatively, you could subscribe to online meditation courses, or learn mindfulness from renowned mindfulness teachers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Tara Brach, and Jack Kornfield here.

20. Be Consistent

With mindfulness meditation becoming a mainstream trend, one of the most common questions revolved around the optimum duration of meditation practice. While some meditation blogs recommend 5 to 10 minutes of daily, I will up the limit to a minimum of 15 minutes per session.

That’s right. Even an additional 5 minutes will make a huge difference when it comes to making real progress in meditation. For most beginners, the first 10 minutes are nothing more than ‘warming up’ process, often involving wrestling stray thoughts that never seem to stop. It takes more than that to produce real results.

When you’re comfortable with 15 minutes of meditation, do try to increase your practice to 30 minutes a day. That’s the best duration for city dwellers where most people have hectic schedules. An old Zen saying goes “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour“.

21. Use A Guided Meditation App

While I’m always of the opinion that it’s best to learn meditation under the watchful eyes of an experienced teacher, I can’t discount the fact that some meditation apps are pretty useful in guiding beginners. Otherwise, beginners can feel pretty disheartened not knowing if they are practicing correctly.

It can be even harder to meditate alone if you’re facing a high level of stress or anxiety. I personally use Aware to complement my practice. I suppose it’s the next best thing when you can’t get hold of a meditation teacher in your local area.

22. Dealing With Repressed Emotions Or Blissful Sensations

Meditation experiences are unique for individuals. Some people may experience deep regrets, sadness, or anger when meditating. Others may experience profound bliss when they are deep into the meditative state.

However, these emotions of both extreme can derail your practice if you’re not handling it well. For example, you may get trapped in sadness and end up rehashing thoughts from the past. Pleasant experiences are equally troublesome as you may start craving the same in the next session.

When you meditate, it is important to not be attached to these fleeting emotions. If they occur, turn your awareness to the thoughts and emotions. Place a label on them and return back to observing your breathing.

Over To You:
What else can you add to this list of mindfulness meditation tips? Has any of these meditation tips helped you in practice? Share your thoughts in the comment below.

You May Like:

50 thoughts on “22 Mindfulness Meditation Tips For Beginners”

  1. OMG, this post it exactly what I was looking for! I have always wanted to learn the in’s and out’s of meditating, and you have inspired me to begin with this helpful advice. I have bookmarked your site, and will visit often!

    Thanks again!


    • Hi Chris,

      Thank you for loving my site. I hope what I wrote really helps you. You can also subscribe to get a copy of Mindfulness Meditation Made Simple. A guide I made from the instructions given to me by my meditation teacher.


  2. What a collection of wonderful tips for meditations. I find my self doing a few of these, but this is pretty comprehensive and can implement almost all of these.
    Mindfulness meditation was extremely difficult for me in the beginning as for most people. I find it helps with me staying focused when I write and can fully immerse myself in it. I get a lot more done with practicing meditation.

    • Hi Dan,

      Mindfulness meditation is difficult at the start, because our mind keeps wander away. Some people practice concentration meditation before they do mindfulness. That may make mindfulness easier.

      Even without practicing concentration meditation, your concentration power will develop by itself as long as you persist in mindfulness.

      Thanks for reading.



  3. This post was EXTREMELY helpful! I’ve been dabbling in meditation for a little while, and more specifically self refinement. Your insights into a lot of the struggles that I’m going through with meditation is extremely helpful for me to realize I’m not the only one!! The itching, the distractions, all of that I related with!

    • Hi Jayme,

      Ahh yes. The itching and distraction etc. Just don’t get frustrated with it. Remember that meditation is not going into a 30 minutes session and expecting everything is smooth. Like life itself, we take everything in its stride but don’t get attached to it.



  4. Great post, Kenny. As someone starting out with meditation, you cover a lot of points new practitioners can use as a solid foundation. I’m heavily involved in yoga (a meditation in itself), so I appreciate your comment on recognizing without judgement and attachment. I think we are so used to judging ourselves and our environment versus just observing and accepting – great reminders.

    Your point about bringing that mindfulness into ‘real’ life is a great point as well. Isn’t that part of what meditation is truly for — To add space between ‘stimulus’ and ‘response’?

    Well written article and tons of value, Ken. Nice work.

    • Hi Mike,

      Whether it is Yoga, or any types of meditation they have their own virtue. I must say I’ve not done Yoga but I will be keen to explore Yoga and how meditation complements Yoga directly. I wish you great progress in your practice and yes, I don’t see the point of meditating if we are not carrying it out into our daily life.

      Thanks for reading.

  5. Great post. Meditation has so many wonderful benefits. I appreciate your tips, which are very helpful. Bringing mindfulness into your life is a really important concept. This is something that I continue to work on, cause I struggle with it. I hope that meditation can help me with this further. Your link to mindful eating was also very helpful. Thanks for the tips.

    • Hi Tugarcia,

      Thanks for checking out my post. Mindfulness when practiced in daily life does indeed benefit us. Mindful eating aside, you are also less susceptible to making emotional decisions because you are aware of the mental state you are in. This takes consistency and practice. I’m sure you will get it eventually.



  6. Nice helpful tips you provide
    I liked tip n 9 and 17 because it’s all about patience to make a successful meditation experiment.
    Liked the images two it was so inspired,
    my passion is to be able reaching full deep meditation and help people do it as well, so i found here a lot of informations that can help in that and i hope there is more
    so thank you very much 🙂

    • Hi Simoon,

      Thank you for loving my post. Like any skill you are building in life, patience and consistency is required. Meditation is no difference.

      I hope you are able to go further in depth in your meditation practice.


  7. Great post! Even as experienced Mediator I needed to be reminded on how to meditate. It’s funny how we can pick up bad habits even when we are meditating, and that’s the last place you want them to be!

    I like that you mentioned guided audio meditations as that I how learnt to meditate, because I’d always fall asleep if I were doing it on my own. These days I can proudly say that I stay awake, and I don’t need an audio but there are days that I struggle, and you’ve made me realise that when I’m struggling, I need to be kind to myself. Because when I’m not kind the thoughts overtake me and when the timer goes off I’m in an angry place which defeats the purpose of why I meditated in the first place.

    • Hi Amberlee,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

      I think I’ll probably talk about bad habits in meditating in one of my future post. What’s yours?

      You are wise enough to know the limitation of your mind. Using guided meditation audio at certain time to assist in meditation is conducive, in my opinion.


  8. Hey Kenny!

    Thanks for the really useful tips! =)

    Don’t try to clear your mind of thoughts did it for me!

    However, I will keep track of the other 20 steps and apply the ones which I haven’t yet.

    Thank you =)

  9. These are certainly some great tips and I picked up on a thing or two that I think I can benefit from for myself.

    I certainly remember when I first started working on meditating that I struggled with the whole clear your mind concept. Soon enough I ditched that effort in favor of guiding my thoughts to certain areas or combining prayer with it as well. I tried many different avenues to see what worked for me.

    Some things that helped me out in my journey with meditation. First was setting intentions, which are different from expectations. When I am going to meditate I often will set various intents from simple things such as for how long to more complex like focusing on an area in life I am struggling with. These intentions have helped guide me to the places I needed to be with it.

    The other thing that has been a great asset for my is to journal my experiences. I have found that often after meditating I have a lot of great thoughts and such, but much like a dream the memories of them fade fast as the day progresses. With writing down my experience, I know that it helps me to commit to the process as well as explore the feelings and experience I had even further.

    Great article Kenny! I really enjoyed it and was inspired by it.

    • Hi James,

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment I think setting an intention is important in everything that we do. It allows us to stay committed and finish what we started. That journal is a good idea too. I remember that certain meditation masters also have their journals. It becomes valuable knowledge for you and others to refer to.


  10. Hey Kenny,

    What a fantastic post. It’s a comprehensive and detailed list that help people to get start to meditate.

    I’m glad I have the opportunity to contribute to one of the tips. And I believe that keeping meditation simple is the most important thing for meditation learner.

    I also love the tip “Bring Mindfulness Practice Into Your Life”. In this way, we can practice being mindful anytime in the busy world where many people don’t have much time to practice “sitting meditation”.

    Thanks for the mention. I appreciate it.
    I will be sharing in my all social medias.


    • Hi Allen,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and also your valuable tips on meditation itself. I like the work you do you your page too especially the way you bring meditation experts and seasoned practitioner to share the benefits of meditation.


  11. Hello Kenny.

    This is a great article you have here providing very useful tips for novice meditators.
    I totally agree with you that it’s really easy for a beginner to get overwhelmed from all the information that is out there.

    Keep on with the great job.

  12. Awesome information. These are easy enough that anyone can do and benefit from great health. I personally think I could hugely benefit from many of these. Finding the time would be my issue. I struggle with anxiety as well. Which would I benefit most from? Or is there a preference?

  13. Thanks Kenny,
    This is great information!! I have tried meditation in the past but I think I approached to casually and now looking at your post and thinking about it I need to practice mediation just like anything else. I think I was expecting to be able to just meditate and get the results immediately. Thanks for these great tips, I’ll be putting them into practice.

  14. Hey,
    The hardest thing for me to do is clear my mind during meditation. I have a million and one things just going through my mind and it just gets frustrating trying to clear my head. I try to think of nothing but the clouds but I end of thinking about what I am going to do the next hour or tomorrow. I will keep trying to bring my mind back to my breathing. Thanks for the tips.

    • Hi Kendrick,

      Instead of clearing your mind, mindfulness is about being at peace with your thoughts.


  15. I love tip number 2 about posture. Since I have so many back problems I try to focus on sitting in a away will be comfortable for me while still keeping my back straight. The only position I can do that from is by laying on my back. Empty your mind also seems a little bit extreme so I’m glad you explained this one more.

    • Hi Liz,

      Thanks for checking it out. We need to differentiate between supporting guides and the actual essence of mindfulness meditation.


  16. Hi Kenny, Very Very informative on this topic and now I know the way I meditate previously is wrong.

    I read the blog out there and hear people saying that I need to empty out my mind.

    After reading I have better insight and exact answer that I need to follow in my upcoming meditation practice.

    Appreciate your help here.

    Thank you and definitely bookmark your page for future reference.

    • Hi Maxx,

      I’m glad you find it helpful. You can’t stop thoughts but you can be at peace with them.


  17. My best time to meditate is early morning while the kids are still sleeping. I struggled at the start but it has become part of my daily ritual now. It helps me focus and slow down my thoughts.

  18. Thank you so much for this beautiful article. It is indeed very important to add meditation to our daily routine as all of us go through stress and anxiety in our busy lives. I find it easier to focus and meditate in the morning before starting work or even without checking my phone for any emails or messages.

  19. This is such an amazing article! I tried these tips and it worked well for me. I followed the instruction and felt that from flexibility to stress relief doing yoga every day might be the perfect exercise with surprising health perks.

  20. Please guide me about my queries in the comments of FB post and send the link to download of free mindfulness meditation guide and subscription link


Leave a Comment