Mindset matters - for whatever you are trying to accomplish.
Mindset is the mental attitude that determines how you interpret a situation. Examining your mindset in whatever situation you find yourself can help you find a clear path forward.
The best way to examine and change your mindset is to practice regular meditation.
Meditation helps to focus on your thoughts. It plays an important role to ensure that we are in a stable state of mind despite emotional shifts and challenges you face on a daily basis.
Meditation encourages you to be present in the moment, reduces stress and calms anxiety.
Although it sounds quite simple in theory, meditation does not come naturally for everyone. If you have tried to sit still, clear your head and meditate only to find your mind wandering off or in a restless state, you are not alone.
Like anything new, there is a learning curve to mastering meditation .. you need to perform it properly and learn how to overcome some of the distractions that break your concentration. Here are a few tips that help me, when I feel I can’t meditate.
When I first started to meditate, I would find my mind wondering... thinking about what to cook for dinner, errands I needed to run, work deadlines or meetings. Does that sound familiar?
Good news: you don’t have to completely empty your mind when meditating. Focus you mind on your breath. Pay attention to the movements of your abdomen when breathing in and out while still being fully aware of your thoughts and surroundings in the present moment.
#2: Get into the Most Comfortable Position
The act of meditating has become synonymous with sitting down cross-legged while keeping eyes closed and hands outstretched on the thighs and knees. This is known as the lotus pose.
However, not everyone is flexible enough to get into the lotus position. If you have stiff joints or bad knees, you will feel uncomfortable in this position, and your focus will be on your pain.
There is no rule that says meditation should only be done in the lotus pose. Ideally, you just need to get into a comfortable position that allows you to relax and breathe with ease. Whether it is sitting on a chair or even lying down, find the most comfortable position for you.
#3: Meditate When You Are the Least Tired
So, you have finally mastered how to clear your thoughts and focus on the breathing rhythm during a meditation session, but after a few minutes, you find yourself sleeping like a baby. Dozing off mid-practice defeats the purpose of meditation unless you are using this technique to help you sleep. If meditation makes you fall asleep, practice it during times of the day when you are less tired. Stretching a little before the session is also a good way to boost alertness.
#4: Make Time
Much like working out, making time to meditate everyday improves your health.
Studies have found that meditation:
- can improve sleep
- sharpen memory
- ease chronic pain
- reduce anxiety and stress.
When you feel like you can’t meditate due to a busy schedule, remind yourself of the health benefits.
Best of all, meditation does not have to be a lengthy exercise. Start by squeezing in as little as five to ten minutes to meditate. When you start feeling the benefits, you will want to work your way up to longer sessions.
#5: Overcome Restlessness through Walking Meditation
If you fidget a lot when trying to mediate, attempting to stay still in a seated position is perhaps not the right approach for you. Instead, try walking meditation. I haven't tried this myself, but this technique can be just as effective as sitting meditation and has the ability to maintain the meditative experience even as you move about. Word of caution: don't close your eyes while walking - and it is probably not a good idea to take the dog.
So, if you struggle to meditate despite your best efforts, try the tips shared above and make meditation work for you.