One of the most frustrating aspects of meditation is trying to calm down a mind that prefers to stay active. It is the main reason why many choose to just give up on meditating altogether. Before you call it quits, you might be surprised at how fast your mind adapts to a calmer experience by incorporating these tips into each meditation session.
#1. Be consistent with your timing. Your mind likes a routine. It starts to complain if you do something outside of that routine. If you can meditate at the same time every day for 7-10 days, you’ll find that the complaints will begin to subside.
#2. Create a space that is yours. When your mind is in an unfamiliar environment, it wants to analyze it. This curiosity then creates racing thoughts and observations about what is going on. The opposite happens in a space that is inherently familiar. By creating a space for meditation that is yours, your mind is able to rest.
#3. Write down your thoughts before you start. The mind likes to worry a lot. It begins to think of other ways it could be productive besides meditation. It will start creating lists in your head of what you should be doing. If you can write down these things before you start to meditate, you’ll find that your mind becomes much more clear.
#4. Cut yourself some slack. Why do people stop meditating when their minds want to continuously race? Because they think they’re doing something wrong. The fact is that almost everyone experiences a racing mind at some point during a meditation session. Your goal is to experience moments of clarity instead of 20 straight minutes of pure bliss.
#5. Try something new. There are literally hundreds of different meditation styles that can be tried today. Don’t assume that you have to be in the lotus position chanting mantras because that’s what you’ve always pictured meditation as. You can meditate in any way that is comfortable to you.
#6. Take a moment after each session to be thankful. Review the insights you were able to glean from each meditation session. Look for periods of time that you would describe as being successful. Allow yourself to linger in whatever peacefulness you’re able to experience so that your mind will want to come back to these feelings once again. Most importantly, being thankful for the chance to renew your body, spirit, and heart in addition to the mind will help you to appreciate these moments of peace even more.
#7. Hold yourself accountable. Skipping one meditation session means you could be on the journey toward stopping it altogether. By holding yourself accountable, meditation becomes something you’ll do even on the days when you feel like skipping it. If you can do so through your own willpower, then great! If not, seek the counsel of trusted family and friends for the gentle reminders you may need.
If meditation was super easy to do, then everyone would be doing it every day without hesitation. Some days, it almost feels like torture to spend 20 minutes trying to meditate. If you can work to keep your mind comfortable and calm, then those racing thoughts will begin to disappear over time. You’ll then be able to discover more about yourself than you ever thought possible.