If you wake up like me with a mind filled with a thousand thoughts swirling around, instantly into action mode ticking off the to-do list in your mind and checking in on what emotional debris needs clearing out from the days, weeks, months, years past then chances are you’re not living in a state of calm.
This used to be my daily norm, a thousand thoughts swirling around, a to-do list as long as my arm and an emotional pool so deep you couldn’t see the bottom. Never in the moment, always living in the past and the future.
I didn’t realise that having a mind continually swirling with thoughts was dragging down my mood, creating overwhelm and anxiety. I didn’t know that by continually living in the past or future I wasn’t allowing myself to experience what was right in front of me.
I hadn’t put two and two together to work out that by having a continually busy mind I was killing my productivity and creating stress in my daily life.
What changed all of this… meditation. By simply making time and space to sit quietly every day I’ve managed to cultivate an inner calm I never knew possible.
Did you know that we have 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts per a day? That equals 35 – 47 thoughts a minute!
The majority of those thoughts are negative self-talk, re-living past experience we’d like to change or creating stories about the future. If you could learn to decipher the important thoughts from the mindless chatter of 35 – 47 thoughts a minute for a calm mind, wouldn’t you want to?
What you focus on creates and cultivates the life that you live. So why not live a life that feels good to you, that’s not ruled by overwhelming and stress though rather intention and presence.
There are countless styles of meditation and ways to meditate. For me, at the moment I love the free meditation app called 1GiantMind, which has a helpful 12 step introduction course to meditation for those newer to the practice. I also like to set a timer, put on some chilled music in the background or sit in silence.
There is no one way to meditate, the only rule of thumb is when you catch yourself in thought gently return your focus within to the stillness.
Everyone has thoughts during meditation, as mentioned we have 35 – 47 thoughts a minute so it is going to help. Meditation is about training the mind to return to the stillness within, over time you’ll become quicker at catching yourself focusing on a thought and the gaps between each thought will expand.
You can meditate from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, it’s completely up to. If you’re newer to the practice I suggest starting at 5 minutes and working your way up.
Remember it’s not about controlling the thoughts or the experience, meditation is about training the mind to return to the stillness within.
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Have fun on your journey!