Meditation is an ancient wellness practise that promotes relaxation, focus, and awareness of the body and mind. In Psychology, meditation is defined as “a family of mental training practices that are designed to familiarise the practitioner with specific types of mental processes.” Research has shown that meditation can reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus and concentration, and increase feelings of calmness and tranquillity. This, in turn, leads to an improved sense of presence, attentiveness, and an increase in valued human qualities such as patience and empathy. Meditation advocates mindfulness and concentration to be directed towards a particular thought, object, or activity, lest being indifferent and oblivious about the rest. It mechanises the mind to achieve attention, awareness, and a state of absolute clarity and awareness. The benefits of meditation are immense, and it has touched the lives of many, giving them objectivity and purpose. It is a journey of enlightenment and self-realisation.It is a habitual practice of training the mind to focus and redirect your thoughts towards positivity. However, meditation can be an intimidating affair. The process of meditation is not only appealing but also overwhelming. Many people want to initiate the path of meditation but have their own fears and sceptics. Some are guided by the notion that it is a spiritual journey which a common man will be unable to embrace. There are many reasons why meditation can appear difficult or even challenging. Many distracting factors can impact the attention and focus span. Most people do not recognise that meditation is letting go of resistance to whatever arises. There are many insinuating factors that make meditation a tough nut to crack. Some of the reasons have been enumerated as under:
- People tend to be excusable and start cribbing about being too busy or stressed. Most of us spend more time reading a newspaper or surfing the web. It only appears like we don’t have time because we usually fill every moment with activity and never press the pause button. There is no medical cure for stress, but as meditation is one of the best remedies, it’s worth creating the space for it.
- We are unable to stop my unfathomable thoughts which constantly tend we disrupt our thought process. The mind seems to be like a monkey bitten by a scorpion, taking leaps from one branch to another. So meditation gets interrupted. Every time you find your mind drifting, daydreaming, remembering the past or planning ahead, just come back to now, come back to this moment.
- Accepting negative thoughts and feelings when they are intense and maybe even overwhelming can be darned hard. And that is exactly why mindfulness meditation is a difficult practice for those of us who struggle with anxiety and distorted thoughts.
Importance of Sitting Still in Meditation.
Meditation is the new buzz word and is the fashionable form of od Yoga. Meditation is, however, as a stronger term, which most people think, comes with baggage. An understanding of what it is at a practical level helps. As opposed to the pervasive belief that meditation is learning to clear the mind of all thought, meditation is about sitting still, stable and alert with the spine and head upright, hands in the lap, eyes closed or lowered and breathing steadily in and out the nose and focusing your attention on one of the many sensations that regular breathing causes in the body. The human brain is known to work in pictures, and we take comfort in the things we can see and touch and conversely find those we cant, harder to contemplate. But then, we can’t see oxygen or gravity either, and we need them both. Posture is essential in meditation because a posture that is too relaxed tends to lower the attention, leading the mind to wander around. Also, it is important that your posture is comfortable. This way, you don’t become distracted by making constant adjustments, and you’re able to meditate for a longer period. In some cultures, such as Zen Buddhist, there is no difference sitting quietly in meditation and posture. Also, people tend to keep their eyes open during meditation. But the most important part is to sit still without leaning the spine. This helps to bring about a change in the focus and attention span of the brain, which in turn facilitates in meditating better. The monks and Yogis have spent centuries trying different postures and found that sitting still is what we now know as the “meditation pose” is one that helps us focus the most. That is the reason why it is important to sit still in a specific position or posture your mind affects your body, but also your body affects your mind. In this way, the chakras are said to be aligned, and positive energies get circulated throughout the body and meditation helps to channelise these vibes in the right manner so as to achieve utmost cognition or Nirvana. However, it is also important to make sure that whatever posture is chosen, it should be comfortable and relaxing.
Here are some tips for those drifting minds who find it difficult to sit still and meditate
Go ahead and think
It is important to wipe-out the idea from our collective consciousness that meditating means stopping yourself from thinking. It is both unrealistic and unhelpful to imagine that anyone would be able to sit down and through sheer force of will, stop all thoughts. Moreover, this is not what mediation is about. So decide what you will like to focus on during the meditation session. Try getting curious about what you are feeling or observing. If any thought arises during the practice, know that there’s nothing wrong with or the practice.
Set Manageable Goals.
Establishing a daily meditation practice can be a gamechanger for well-being. But it would be stupid to set unrealistic goals during the initial phase. The path to developing a strong daily practice is to set small manageable goals so that you feel confident about what you can achieve.
Put resistance to work.
Every sensation can be investigated through meditation. This holds true for resistance to meditation. It is okay to feel restless or not wanting to do the practice. Let these experiences be your object of meditation. Observe emotional and physical sensations that arise in your body. Observe the thoughts that arise. Let them interact with each other.
Meditating at the same time and at the same place, every day will create a routine. Your brain will know what’s coming next and it’ll be prepared for it. That way you will feel more comfortable doing it. The mind isn’t used to being quiet, so, if you only do this sporadically, it will force your thoughts back inside because that’s what it does naturally. That is why it is important to create the habit of liberating yourself from your thoughts. Only then you will be able to keep your mind from wandering whilst your meditation.
Write down your thoughts.
If there are a lot of things on your mind, it might be beneficial for you to write them down before your meditation session. That way, you won’t be keeping your thoughts inside you, and you will avoid obsessing over them.