Unless you live in the Himalayan mountains in a monastery, it simply isn’t possible to still the mind. Our minds conjure up somewhere between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day – that’s a lot of mind chatter.
Instead, the challenge is to bring the focus to the breath to find some peace. Allow the thoughts to come, acknowledge them. They won’t mind if you don’t action them right away, they will still be there later. Gently refocus the mind. Bring it back to the breath.
There are many techniques and tools to help with meditation. Try using a candle and focus on the dancing flame. Capture the image in your mind, close your eyes and continue to see the flame flicker and spark with your minds eye. When thoughts interrupt or you lose focus, gently open your eyes and gaze at the flame recapturing the image. Repeat for the length of time you decide to meditate for. There is no right amount of time. This is a an opportunity to connect with self to know what feels good or complete.
Music can be beneficial and there are lots of beautiful meditation sounds available on YouTube, iTunes and Spotify. There are mediation apps that you can download, often providing a trial period which can be a great way to see if it works for you.
Guided meditations can be a good experience where you are led on a journey. Find one you like and repeat it, noting the differing experiences because each time will be different.
Mindful movement with yoga, tai chi or martial arts followed by breath work are also popular.
Deep mindful breathing is so important.
In trying or difficult circumstances, take a moment to breathe. The act of deep breathing will quiet the panic that rises during stressful situations. It will calm the nervous system and give you that moment of pause before you make any decisions.
Meditation is not meant to be difficult. It should be simple, and simple enough that you can easily adapt it to become part of your daily routine. Try different methods to find what feels the most comfortable for you. Some days will be tough and no matter how hard you try the mind will interfere. It can be really hard to shut it down, and that’s ok. Don’t force it. Acknowledge that for what it is. Other days you will be taken on a mystical journey exploring things you have never seen before. Trust the process, if you relax and allow whatever needs to come and unfold it can be quite magical.
Choose wisely. Live vibrantly.