How to Meditate Properly
By:Chelsea Hoffman

Meditation helps you achieve inner peace and focus, whether you do it for spiritual or self-healing reasons. When you know how to meditate properly, you're able to relax and open your mind to whatever meditative results you aim to achieve. Knowing how to meditate properly isn't something that necessarily requires a set-in-stone technique, but following some basic guidelines helps you find what's right and proper for your own meditation journey.

Select a quiet area that is undisturbed by friends, family members or strangers. This area can be your bedroom, your bathroom during bath-time, or a secluded spot in nature. As long as you have this area completely to yourself long enough to meditate, then it's adequate.

Prepare your area with items that enhance your focus. Light candles and turn off any artificial lighting in the room. Artificial lighting is harsh and distracting, while candle flames may help you focus. The dimmer light is helpful in relaxing during meditation as well.

Light incense if pleasant scents help you relax while meditating. If you're wanting to mediate for particular purposes, the incense you use may make a difference. For instance, spiritual experts believe sage incense wards off negative energy.

Get comfortable on your cushion, couch or other soft surface. Don't sit anywhere where it is hard to be comfortable, because this will break your meditative concentration.

Focus on something in your area where your eyes are comfortable, such as a candle flame or something shiny. Or focus on nothing at all. Close your eyes after you find focus, and breathe in deeply. Exhale your deep breath with a whoosh, deliberately taking notice of your breath patterns. Try to breath from your diaphragm, which is located at the base of your lungs. This form of breathing helps you remain balance, and is popular technique with those who meditate frequently and practice yoga.

Play light music if necessary; however, some people prefer a completely quiet room. Sounds of nature can be helpful, and so can instrumental music of whimsical style.