One comment I hear consistently from various people is that their mind is too active, or their attention span is too short to meditate. They may have been told (or self-described) they have attention deficit disorder.
I get it. It’s a common concern and I had it when I first started meditating. You sit down with intending to go blank only to find your mind flitting around and doing anything other than escaping from its “busy-ness”. It can be easy to give in to the idea you can’t calm your brain down enough to meditate. We create entire stories we soon believe and once we believe the stories we behave accordingly. It’s not just something we do around meditation; we believe in all sorts of stories about ourselves. Some of those stories don’t serve us well.
Let’s briefly look at what you’re trying to achieve with meditation.
When you meditate, you are focusing internally cutting out all other things in your environment and thoughts. You are truly in the present moment because you aren’t thinking about past or future things. Only right now. When you do that, several things start to occur in your mind and body. Your body begins to relax, your heart rate slows down, your blood pressure lowers, and you become very relaxed at a deep level. Your mind or brain also starts shifting into a different brainwave state. You are conscious but your consciousness has changed. The mind and body change only takes place when you can suspend yourself in the present long enough for these changes to occur. Once the consciousness shifts, your brain really takes over so suspending your thoughts is really a non-issue at that point. You pretty much become an observer of yourself.
The trick is FOCUS. How can you focus a busy mind long enough for all that goodness of meditation to occur?
While a primary technique is to focus on your breath, it’s not the only way and can be a challenge for people first starting to meditate. A great way to start your meditation practice or supplement it is with guided meditation which is where you have a voice gently guiding you and instructing you while you meditate. Usually, a guided meditation is a set of instructions that combines a bit of focus on breathing and some visualization.
Try this Guided Meditation on Self-Love and Acceptance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rahf1u3GTLU
The great thing about guided meditation is that it gives you something to focus on and by doing that, it is keeping you in the present moment. With enough time spent utilizing short, guided meditations you begin to train your brain and reinforce for yourself that you can focus your mind long enough to meditate. The more you meditate the better you will be a mastering your mind and improving your meditation. You’ll love how you feel, and your life will improve in countless ways with a regular meditation practice.
But keep one important thing in mind (pun intended). You will always have times when your mind will be unruly even with a guided meditation or any other focus technique. That’s why meditation is always a practice. You can and will improve and can become the master of your mind but on occasion, it might want to rebel. When that happens, be kind to yourself and return in silence another time. No judgment.
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