Overcome monkey mind
Did you know that one of the biggest barriers to you meditating is the idea of being alone with your thoughts?
Yep! When we sit and stop distracting ourselves with our outer world the stress and anxiety we are trying to avoid can rear up, making our inner world feel overwhelming and scary at times.
The good news is that I am here to tell you that you aren’t alone in experiencing the dreaded monkey mind - even regular meditators like me experience it still AND I have some epic tips to help you kick start your meditation practice and overcome those thoughts!
Tip Number 1
Meditation isn’t just about having a completely still mind! So if you think that it is, then it’s probably time to shift your perception. While some meditations are sitting in pure silence other meditations are more active and ideal for beginners or those with a lot on their mind! Try a meditation which is guided, has music in the background and gives you something to focus on. Common active meditations include visualisations, mantra, chanting or even drawing or movement! It is how I started and I still go to them when I am having trouble stilling my mind.
Tip Number 2
Sometimes the best way to get started is to attend a meditation class in person. Being part of a group can really help advance your practice and having a teacher there is an ideal opportunity to ask questions. I love group meditations! Hearing other people’s experiences makes you realise you aren’t alone in battling thoughts. Plus you get to be part of a supportive community.
Tip Number 3
Guess what? Those thoughts that arise when you meditate…well they are actually always there running through your mind! Meditation simply provides you with an opportunity to become aware of them. Notice how I did that? OPPORTUNITY. Being aware of your thoughts is actually the first step to transcending them. As you continue to practice this awareness you will strengthen your mind and activate a new way of being!
Remember to meet your thoughts with the compassion and love you would a friend and know that it is ok to have thoughts.
Tip Number 4
Journal! Before you meditate sit down and get all your thoughts down on paper. Not only will it help settle your mind but journaling is an incredible tool for gaining personal insight.
Tip Number 5
Drop the expectation that you are only meditating if your mind is still! That is not true at all. Even if you sit down and your meditation practice is full of thoughts you are still meditating and your body is experiencing massive benefits from the practice. We have so many external stimuli in our life and the act of meditating can be challenging. But by choosing to meditate you are consciously choosing the opportunity to change and strengthen your inner world whilst experiencing your outer world with greater depth.