How many times have people suggested you try meditation and you exclaim: “I could never meditate!”
I hear it all the time.
Considering I’m mental (the obsessive-worrying-anxious-dissociative-flashbacks-to-my-psychotic-days-kind-of-mental) and I CAN meditate, I think you are full of poo.
Here is the Metamucil you need to relieve your mental constipation on being able to calm your mind:
- Why do it? Decide what is your intention (“an aim that guides action”). Make it reasonable. For example: I intend to relax, or I intend to take a break from my hectic day, or I intend to do something good for myself.
- Redefine “meditation”. My definition is focusing on intended thoughts that provoke relaxation and a feeling of well-being in my body.
- Once you come up with YOUR definition of meditation, ignore all others.
- Adjust your expectations.
- Expect to have thoughts. Lots of thought. The intrusive kind.
- Expect to be interrupted occasionally, no matter how much you’ve threaten the dire consequences of you being disturbed.
- Expect to not be able to do it everyday.
- Expect an itch or two that you will have to scratch.
- Duration. It is enough to meditate for 5 minutes. The accomplishment is showing up.
- Do what feels good. If you want to sit in the lotus position–by all means honour your twisted pretzel abilities. If you want to lie down, or sit in a chair, or sit on the floor with your back against the wall, or be close to a tree, or be floating in the water with your water-wings on… do whatever feels comfortable to you.
- Focusing. Use your breath, a mantra, an affirmation, music, the sound of nature, your cat breathing, a meditation CD, a sensation in your body, a visualization… get the picture?
- My recommendation to everyone with busy minds is to change-up what you are focusing on almost daily. I find my mind wanders more if I am “used to” what I am focusing on. I spend some time:
- relaxing whichever body parts are tense
- tuning into sensations in my body and, in the words of Lennon-McCarthy, “Let It Be”
- saying affirmations in my head (different depending on my intention that day)
- asking my body what it needs and giving it
- Self-compassion. When you notice you are wandering in your thoughts, gently bring yourself back to the meditation.
- This is not a reason to give up. It happens. A lot.
- Try not to measure how many times you get off-track versus the last time. Some days will be better than others depending on what you have going on that day.
- And you know what? Some days I just can’t focus at all and I have been meditating daily for 3 years.
1. Find a quiet place. 2. Get comfortable. 3. Focus 4. Practice self-compassion 5. Repeat 4 and 5 until done
What do you think?
I’d love to hear from you.
What is holding you back from meditating? Or if you do meditate, how do you practice?
Please use the comments below to share your thoughts so everyone can benefit from your experience.
Cartoon credit: Trish Hurtubise
Hi. I’m Trish Hurtubise…the founder, curator and an editor for Mental Health Talk. I love serving those who are relegated to the shadows by society by giving them a platform to share their voice and be seen and heard… hence my passion for working with all the wonderful people who have shared their stories and wisdom on MHT.
You may view all posts by me here.
Much love to you.