The relief from anxiety, stress, and unrelenting thinking patterns is something we all want.
And this relief can be experienced through meditation. The problem is, most people don't meditate, and there are two reasons why:
1) They think it will be boring.
2) They don't think they will be able to stop thinking, or they don't want to stop thinking.
I get both of these.
From the outside looking in, meditation is super boring. Just sitting there, not saying or doing anything.
And the idea of clearing our head of all thought sounds impossible. Why bother trying?
My goal, by the time you finish reading this post, is to have you agree to at least try meditation. So let's break past the two road blocks above.
- Boring -
First, let's establish what boredom really is. Boredom is 1 of 2 things.
1. It's either not knowing what to focus on, or....
2. ...the inability to focus on something.
Since meditation teaches you how to focus, it helps you avoid boredom, not just during meditation,but at any point in your day.
The ability to hold your focus on anything, even in the most mundane environments, isn't just helpful when staving off boredom. It's going to help you be more productive and maintain stronger relationships.
And while the act of meditation looks uneventful, it's actually quite engaging.
While meditating, you're focusing your attention on one specific point. This point of attention can be anything, but most often it's your breath.
Maintaining this focus is challenging, engaging, and rewarding.
There may not be a lot of action, but it's far from boring.
- I Can't Empty My Mind -
This one trips a lot of people up. Some people don't think they can empty their minds. Others don't want to.
Well, you don't have to. Your thoughts are actually a valuable part of your meditation practice.
Picture yourself meditating: your eyes are closed and you're focusing on your breath. You're nailing this meditation thing.
Then your mind jumps from your breath to the email you forgot to send earlier.
You think you messed up, and this whole meditation thing has been pointless.
Hold up... the fact that you noticed your thoughts *is the point*.
Every time you notice the fact that you're thinking, that's like a barbell Squat for your brain.
The idea is to be a thinker, but to be aware you're a thinker.
When your thoughts drift, just notice it, don't judge it, and bring your attention back to your breath.
That is the point of meditation.
When you become aware of your thinking, you develop the ability to step outside that vortex of thoughts swirling around in your mind. Instead of getting caught up in the spell of thought, you're an observer of it.
Since our thoughts can offer us some terrible suggestions, the ability to not react to them is powerful.
Question- do you meditate? If not, are you willing to try?