Meditation is a calming practice that has been widely revered for its ability to clear the mind and reduce stress. 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. To master this technique with ease, you need to perform it properly and learn how to overcome some of the distractions that break your concentration. With that in mind, here are a few tips on what to do when you feel you can’t meditate.
#1: Try Mindful Meditation
After getting into a meditation pose, some people find it difficult to clear their minds and start to think about all the errands on their to-do list, what to cook for dinner or a pending phone call they have to make. If that sounds familiar, the good news is that you don’t have to completely empty your mind when meditating. Instead, try mindful-meditation, which emphasizes on paying attention to movements of the 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 on the floor or yoga mat while keeping eyes closed and hands outstretched on the thighs and knees. However, not everyone is flexible enough to get into the lotus position. In addition, this position might feel uncomfortable for people with stiff joints or bad knees. However, there is no rule that say 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. So, whether it is sitting on a chair or even lying down, find the most comfortable position for you. This will make meditation much easier if you find it uncomfortable or physical painful to sit still in the lotus pose.
#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 can do a lot of good for your health. Studies have found that meditation can improve sleep, sharpen memory, ease chronic pain or reduce anxiety and stress. Therefore, when you feel like you can’t meditate due to a busy schedule, simply remind yourself of the health benefits you can gain in return. What’s more, meditation does not have to last for hours on end. Start by squeezing in as little as five to ten minutes of your free time to meditate and workout your way up to longer sessions later.
#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 to overcome restlessness. This technique can be just as effective as sitting meditation and has the ability to maintain the meditative experience even as you move about.
So, if you struggle to meditate despite your best efforts, try the tips shared above and make meditation work for you.