If you are a just discovering meditation now or if you are coming back to it after a long time, you might encounter some common challenges. However, there’s nothing to worry about. Many beginning meditators face a similar situation.
What you may not realize, which was the same case with me, is that overcoming the hurdles that come our way during meditation is an integral part of the training for better wellbeing.
Probably you are worried that you just cannot stop thinking, or there are weird sensations in the body, or you keep spacing out. But the good news is that if you stick through with your practice, your mind will be more focused and your consciousness will eventually sync with your surroundings. That’s right. Without even realizing, you will get ahead of these beginner problems and will reap the benefits of this beautiful practice.
There are some simple steps that you can take to make your meditation more productive and avoid the common distractions.
1. Check in With How You Are Feeling
It’s advised that before you start you check in with how you are feeling. Which means that you evaluate your current mental, emotional and psychological state.
If you are in many extremes of these different emotions, it’s better to come to a neutral and calm state of being before you start.
You don’t want to bring a restless mind that just got an unbelievable raise at work, or a furious mind which is on the verge of crying to your meditation.
This will help you avoid you from feeling disappointed at the lack of order in the thoughts that you are likely to experience during meditation.
If you generally do not have a neutral state of mind or you are feeling motivated, depressed, anxious, or restless all the time, it’s okay. Accept who and how you are and work on being better through your practice.
2. Find a Dedicated Place and Suitable Time
This is very important to have, primarily for a beginner. Remember, having a proper meditation space and time can make things a lot easier for you. If you meditate in the same location every time, you will increase the effectiveness of your practice. The same place will condition your mind to immediately go into a meditative state.
A quiet corner in the room or secluded area in your home is an excellent spot to dedicate to your practice. Make sure that your chosen place is comfortable and relaxing. You can have candles, music player and soft lights in that corner to help you calm down.
Along with the place, it’s essential to have that hour of the day only for yourself. Yes, you should be alone – willing to connect with your inner self. It’s usually early morning or bedtime for most people which is the quietest and most productive for meditation. It’s a good idea to meditate at the same time every day to stick to your habit.
3. Try a Different Technique
One great thing about meditation is that there are various techniques of meditation that you can try. After experimenting, you can find the one that suits you the best and is most useful for you. You also need not hesitate in changing your technique every once in a while when you feel you have gotten too used to it that your mind wanders off. By trying new techniques, you may find more ways to expand your consciousness.
4. Don’t Fight Your Thoughts
When you start your meditation, your feelings will certainly annoy you because meditation creates an outlet for your dreams and emotions – yes, your ideas find a way to exit your mind. But you should remember that this doesn’t happen smoothly.
The more you will fret over your restless thoughts, the more stress you will create for yourself. Ending up with extra stress as a result of meditation is the last thing you want to do as the entire purpose of your practice was to quit this unhealthy habit. When you stop fighting your thoughts, you start the process of detachment. Ultimately your goal is to be stress-free – there shouldn’t be any place for negative thoughts and emotions.
5. Have a Mantra
Mantras are sacred sounds that help us connect with our true inner self. Many people receive a mantra from a teacher or a guru, but if you don’t have one, you can use many of the universal that can help you soothe yourself.
You can also have a personal mantra in your preferred language – you can repeat phrases like “I am pure consciousness” or “I witness my consciousness.”
Using a mantra involves repeating the phrase, which is sacred in nature, over and over again. Mantras not only uplift you but also help you focus. “Om,” “Om Mani Padme Hum” and “Ham-sah” are some of the simplest and yet the most potent mantras to help your meditation practice.
These simple methods can help you perform a productive meditation session, however, remember that ‘productive’ is a very subjective term. So be clear that about what you want from your practice. Remember, we all have different objectives. Some people look for mental clarity and answers in their practice while others search for peace and serenity.
If you know exactly what you are looking for, you will have a better understanding of how effective your practice is. If you just go in meditation to feel good or be happy, you may be getting that, and still, it’s a possibility that you will feel ‘lost.’ So start with a clear head, and I wish you a happy exploration of your inner world.