Many people think that when meditating means turning off all thoughts and concentrating only on breathing. According to meditation practitioners, this is a misconception because meditating requires mindfulness, needing you to recognize and work with your thoughts.
Preparation for Meditation
As you prepare for meditation, you need to start slowing your mind down from the turmoil of thoughts and topics running around in it. Therefore, you can’t just walk into your space and start meditating. Instead, take some time to calm your thoughts as you prepare to meditate.
Best Things to Focus on While Meditating
As you well know, the mind cannot just switch off completely, even while meditating. As a result, many people think that something is wrong with them and become discouraged. Still, it would help if you remain aware of what’s happening at the moment, giving yourself a wonderful meditation experience. Train your mind to acknowledge and engage your thoughts during meditation in a constructive way, helping you achieve a healthy relationship with them. What is most important is remaining in the present as you meditate.
Here are some things to think about when practicing meditation:
Make the Most of Your Breathing
Keep your attention on your breathing, acknowledging and tethering your other thoughts every time they turn to something else. Feel the flow of your breath as you inhale and exhale. Use your inhaling breath to focus on all positive emotions and release stress and other negative emotions like resentment when you exhale.
Take Note of Your Body
Focus your attention on your body’s physical sensations. Start from somewhere; the top of your head is a good place, and work them downwards. Once you get to the bottom, concentrate on moving upwards again. Keep your thoughts slow and steady.
Remain in the Present Moment
External thoughts are easy to allow in, but practicing meditation is all about the present moment. So, focus your attention on what is happening at that moment.
Take a Deeper Look into Your Emotions or Your Emotional Triggers
Focus on your current emotions and their depth. Then, trace your present feeling back to the emotional trigger curiously and compassionately. Finally, reflect without being hard on yourself.
Feel Your Empathy
Delve into your sense of compassion and empathy for those around you. Allow these feelings for those you love and care about to expand within you.
Mentally Forgive Someone Who Has Wronged You
As you meditate, you can think of a painful experience brought on by someone else. Experience the moment and emotions associated with that instance when you were wronged and slowly release them and choose to forgive that person.
Explore Your Core Values and Your Inspirations
As you meditate, recall what your core values and inspirations are. Then, reflect on how close you feel to these, and if not, what caused you to deviate from them.
Reflect on Your Goals
Your goals are important, but do you still feel that they excite you or feel pressured by them? If they seem undemanding or too challenging and don’t reflect who you currently are, think about what you want to change.
Explore Your Thoughts on Others in Your Life
The people around you are crucial to your well-being. They have similar feelings, and some may be suffering, needing your compassion. So, turn your thoughts to humanity and those suffering around you, even to people you don’t know but are desperate because of a situation far from you.
Think About Your Happiness and Contentment
Explore your happiness and the feelings around it. Then, if you aren’t feeling as content as you want, reflect on how to help yourself increase it in your life.
Appreciate the Beauty of Nature
One example from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is to admire the beauty of a rose by placing it in front of you. The author suggests you appreciate everything about it, its scent, petals, and thorns. Nature and your meditation spot can offer you thousands of examples of things to reflect on.
Focus on Some Soothing Music
Play a piece of your favorite soothing music softly in the background and turn your focus wholly on it. Let the music fill your thoughts.
Some people use the calming thought of visualizing a white light flowing through their body to their heart. Try this technique if your thoughts tend to get away from you as you meditate.
Have a Conversation With You
Lingering thoughts from a conversation can often hamper meditation efforts in all of us. Instead, use the discussion fruitfully to dispel it by first recalling it to the present. Reflect on your thoughts and emotions as they arise.
Sense the Vastness Around
The vastness of space surrounds us, so feel it in your present moment as you meditate.
The next time you find your mind wandering during meditation, don’t beat yourself up. It’s natural for thoughts to come and go during practice. Instead, simply acknowledge the thought and let it go. With regular practice, you’ll learn how to better focus on your breath and achieve a more peaceful state of mind. Are you ready to give mindfulness meditation a try?
There are many benefits of meditation. Some people meditate to relax and de-stress, while others use it for focus and concentration. Meditation has also improved sleep quality, boosted immunity, and increased compassion and empathy.
There is no one right way to meditate. Just find a comfortable place to sit or lie down, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. You may also want to try a guided meditation, which can be found online or in apps like Headspace and Calm.
Again, there is no one answer to this question. Some people prefer to meditate for short periods (5-10 minutes), while others find that longer sessions (20-30 minutes) work better. It’s essential to find what works best for you and be patient as you get used to the practice.
It’s normal for your mind to wander during meditation. When you notice your thoughts drifting, return your focus to your breath. Don’t worry if it takes a little practice to quiet your mind – the important thing is that you keep trying.
Yes! Meditation can be an excellent way for kids to learn how to focus and calm down. There are many resources available on how to teach meditation to children. Headspace has an excellent section on its website dedicated to helping parents get started.
No, there is no wrong way to meditate. The most important thing is that you find a method that works for you and stick with it. Also, remember to be patient and kind to yourself – it takes time and practice to develop a successful meditation practice.
One of the most common mistakes people make when meditating is forcing their minds to be quiet. However, meditation is not about silencing your thoughts – it’s about observing them without judgment. It’s also important to be comfortable while you meditate, as this will help you relax and focus. Finally, don’t get discouraged if you find it challenging to stick with your practice at first. Like anything else, meditation takes time and effort to master.