What to do when thoughts come during Meditation?
So you've chosen to start meditating - Awesome! You've made one of the best decisions ever as this will serve, support and strengthen every aspect of your life and I do not say this lightly, this is backed by Science Baby! Meditation strengthens you from Within and this is true Strength...
Over time, you will notice some subtle yet significant changes and shifts within you and this will impact how you feel and how you are able to "Show Up" with everything and everyone around you - in a very positive way.
But as with all things awesome in life you will go through some discomfort and one of them is the busy untrained mind and you will likely ask: What do I do with the thoughts that keep floating into my mind during Meditation? It's a common concern/question dear one so here are a few tips:
1) Practice dropping the expectation that your mind needs to become this blank empty slate or that is what you are striving for, especially in the beginning. Everything in life is a practice - even dropping our expectations is a practice because we humans are so damn good at having and creating expectations about almost everything. Expectations, especially in the case of meditation usually set us up nicely for self judgement and that self judgement only puts up barriers to forward movement. So practice dropping expectations - just do it with a knowing that your mind will be busy with thoughts until it is less busy - it's just the way it is...
2) Commit to the practice - Just do it Baby! Decide because nothing awesome is possible until you decide. At least once you decide, those thoughts about whether to start and analyzing whether this is good for you or not (trust the science on this one - it just is) will quiet down a little.
3) Put some "Sameness" into the practice so you don't have to "think" about that - Start at the same time each day so your brain doesn't have to put any energy towards that and choose the same meditation space so you meditate in the same way everyday. Routine around your meditation practice goes a long way to train the brain in getting into the zone automatically and this helps with the amount of thoughts that float through the mind.
4) Journal for a few minutes either before meditation or after. If there are days or times you struggle with excessive worry or your mind is particularly "monkey like" you might want to do a kind of mind dump, no editing or censoring - just dump it on paper. By writing you are detoxing repetitive thoughts and so they begin to have less of an emotional charge to them. This also begins to clear up mental space and energy.
5) Do Affirmations right after your Meditation - The purpose of Affirmations is to train and change the thoughts that whirl around in our mind right? Well the very best time to do Affirmation work is not when your brain is busy but when it is calmer - like right after Meditation. During Meditation you have also gained Access to the Subconscious Mind and this is where the magic happens! So spend a minute or so with a few powerful affirmations.
6) Use guided meditations - I always find that guided meditations just help my mind focus better than when I am just sitting there on my own. Find a guided meditation that works for you. A voice that helps you calm and focus and words that help your wandering mind to focus. I'm very intentional in the meditations that I create to include the phrases like "When your mind wanders, notice and bring the mind back" Key phrases like this help to train your brilliantly busy mind, in a non judgemental way.
6) Patience - this is not something most of us have a ton of, especially towards ourselves. Patience towards yourself is important and will help with your busy wandering mind. You'll also find that as you go a long you actually begin to create and experience more patience for yourself and this is a very good & powerful thing.
And Lastly - Have Fun and don't take it all so Seriously because that just gets your busy analytical mind going...so chill a bit with this powerful habit. Just get your cute butt on the seat and have fun with it...
Meditation Coach & Creator
Exciting stuff coming in January 2020 on The Symphonies for the Mind journey...The theme of the meditations I will be creating are all around: Living Your LIGHT - something we totally understand in "Theory" but quite another to begin to Live and Become in Daily life...that is the gap to fill and that is what Symphonies is designed to help with...you might want to check it out...