Ok, ok, so your mind is “too busy for meditation.” Or, perhaps you tried it once and it didn’t work. You’re not alone. Meditation isnot easy.
But here’s the thing: if your mind is busy – you know, that “monkey mind” isconstantly chattering away – or you find yourself super stressed, anxious, worried, unfocused, or depressed,then meditation may help. Aaaaaaaa lot.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, tension, anxiety and enhance overall wellbeing. It heightens our sense of awareness, increases our ability to process information more efficiently, and allows us to access the “present moment.” When we are present, our mind and body shifts out of our stressed “fight or flight” state and into a “rest and digest” state.
But here’s what no one tells you: meditation takes practice and patience in order to experience the benefits.It is not something you just do once in a while when you feel like it. It’s like going to the gym: working out once certainly does not change your body composition. Getting fit takes time and patience. Similarly, taming that “monkey mind” does too, but…it’s worth it, and it can help you achieve the peace and stillness you crave.
Here's what you need to know: When we first begin meditating, our mind can chime in pretty frequently. It’s like a little child who is used to getting candy whenever he/she demands it. And then all of a sudden we stop giving the child candy, and a temper tantrum follows shortly after. Our mind will throw a little temper tantrum when we stop giving in to its demands. We need to expect this, and allow a space for this chatter to happen. The moment you become aware of your mind chatter, and take action toward shifting your focus back to the breath/mantra/visualization, that is when the magic happens. It is the training of your focus that is important, not trying to achieve the "perfect," thought-less state. Over time, our brain rewires to tune out that chatter and refocus more often. We become an observer of our thoughts, and focus on the mantra, visualization, sensations or whatever experience that particular meditation brings about.
Not sure where to start? Try this simple, yet powerful foundational pranayama (breath work) meditation.
Perform this pranayama (breath work) meditation every morning upon waking and every evening. Make sure you are in a quiet spot with no disturbances, and silence your phone. Keep a journal next to you in case you need to jot things down, such as that work assignment you forgot to do! It helps to keep a clear head.