There are so many benefits of meditation, so much so that it’s not even an exaggeration if we say it can turn a human into a superhuman. If every individual practiced meditating regularly, it could change the world. The question is, why isn’t this happening? Because most of us stop meditating when we feel like we are not getting the benefits we expect or just don’t feel the need when things are good in our life.
For some of us, meditation makes us even more anxious. We find our minds wandering right after a few seconds of starting to meditate.
What if we told you that this could be changed within minutes? You can easily have much more control over your mind during meditation than now. There are simpler solutions to prevent the mind from wandering when you meditate. You don’t need to force focus at all. If you feel like meditating was trying hard to focus until it starts to focus naturally on its own? Then that is about to change today.
Starting with this incredible guided meditation!
In this blog post from Enhanced, you will understand how to stop the mind from wandering while meditating. How to manage thoughts when they come, and the mindset that will improve your experience. First, let’s understand why focusing during meditation is so difficult when we can easily spend hours scrolling.
Table of contents
- Why Can’t You Focus Your Mind While Meditating?
- 8 Tips And Techniques To Stop Your Mind From Wandering During Meditation
- Final Thoughts
Why Can’t You Focus Your Mind While Meditating?
Let’s first acknowledge that it’s one of the most frustrating things when you try not to think, and that’s a thought in itself. It’s believed that, on average, our mind can bombard us with 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts during a single day. Now imagine how many thoughts might come up every hour or minute. When you sit down to meditate, you are trying to press the breaks on thoughts hard, expecting them to stop immediately.
Imagine if you were to press breaks on a car running at a good speed. The same thing happens with the mind when we force it to focus. It can’t just shut the thoughts off right away. You can either start by practicing slowing down your thoughts at first or practicing just breathing. We will get into this in detail and a few other techniques for preventing the mind from wandering in a minute.
There’s one more thing you must know. Research shows that since 2000, our attention span has reduced to 8 seconds from 12 seconds. 8 seconds is even less than the attention span of a goldfish. With such a low attention span and that many thoughts, it’s bound to feel difficult to focus and meditate.
Now you know why your mind starts to wander away as soon as you sit down and close your eyes. So let’s get straight to the solution.
8 Tips And Techniques To Stop Your Mind From Wandering During Meditation
There are several neurological as well as spiritual benefits of practicing meditation every day. Research suggests that practicing mindfulness can change the structure of your brain. You can expect reduced stress and anxiety, changed perception and feelings, and better focus and mood after meditating for eight weeks.
Get a notebook or diary and write down all the things you’d like to try from the list below to increase focus during meditation.
Meditate with meditation mantras.
There are many mantras, audio, and videos available online that you can use. Mantras help enhance our focus a lot. Through research, scientists discovered that certain parts of the human brain activate when chanting mantras. [times]
You can either listen or chant mantras, depending on what feels comfortable. You can also mentally recite the mantra while the audio is playing. This will significantly prevent your mind from wandering off.
Some of the benefits of mantra chanting:
- The vibrations of the mantra chant can relax the body as well as the mind immediately.
- 70 to 80 percent of the thoughts we think are negative, and mantra chant significantly reduces that.
- Chanting “Om” can relax you and reduce your heart rate. So next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, chant “Om” for a few minutes. You’ll find yourself calmer immediately.
- Mantras also help increase attention span and focus.
Repetition and vibrations of the mantras are key to all the benefits of chanting.
Try different breathing techniques.
There are numerous breathing techniques and methods that you can try for your meditation sessions. This can especially help slow down your thoughts. Slowly bring your focus to your natural breath. Breathe as calmly and deeply as you can. With each breath, keep reminding yourself to inhale slowly and exhale with an audible sound.
You can also use the triangle breathing technique. Take a deep breath filling your lungs with fresh air, and hold your breath for a few seconds before exhaling. This is how a triangle is made, as there are three points you focus on during your breath work.
This is not only beneficial to keep your mind from wandering, but it is also very relaxing. If you ever find yourself experiencing social anxiety or any kind of anxiety. You will find that even doing this for three minutes can calm you down to a great extent.
Draw A Calming Vision On Your Mind
By creating a scenic, relaxing vision, you are giving your mind something interesting to focus on. You can visualize yourself in a beautiful vacation home relaxing. Feeling the sun and the air as you are sitting there, eyes closed.
Or you can visualize yourself in a complete fantasy fairy Garden where the energy and light are healing you. Our thoughts and imagination are so powerful that we should take advantage of them to heal ourselves.
You can also visualize a white light washing all your stress away and yourself breathing out all heavy dark emotions. In this type of visualization, you also include your breath at the point of focus, which makes this even more powerful. Each time you inhale, imagine the air in the form of soothing fresh white light. Every time you exhale, imagine your breath coming out after collecting stress from your whole body. As you breathe in and out, you become lighter.
Use guided meditation.
Even though it’s a personal choice to use a silent or a guided one. If you are a beginner, then using guided meditation can be more helpful. A lot of the guided meditations also include affirmations and positive suggestions, so that’s an added advantage of using them.
Being guided by a voice, you can trust gently into a deeper level of meditative state can be healing. You can also be sure that the noise will remind you to bring your attention back even if your mind starts to wander.
Here are a few advantages of using guided meditation:
- You can just freely focus on feeling relaxed.
- You don’t need to think about the process of meditating.
- You don’t need to worry about the time.
- You are being guided slowly, starting and going in a deeper state of relaxation and slowly making your payback to wakefulness.
- You can choose to focus on a specific area of improvement for healing with guided meditation.
This short guided meditation for breath and awareness was designed to help you slow down and put your mind in place:
Don’t resist your thoughts.
Allow your thoughts instead of resisting them because the more you will receive your thoughts, the stronger they will become. Imagine you are trying to meditate for the last 10 minutes, but ideas about your day keep popping up in your head. After some time, it starts to frustrate you a little. Because of that frustration, you begin to think about how difficult it is but do not think. And from there, the chain of thoughts and frustration starts to roll.
Instead of resisting your thoughts, allow them to come and bring your attention back without judging yourself for thinking. The easiest way to focus is to get your attention on your breath. If not, then try to focus on a sound. You can also bring your attention to the sensations you feel, such as the air on your face.
Practicing letting your thoughts not control how you feel can also be the goal of meditation. Letting your thoughts come and go without affecting or frustrating you can also be a goal.
Often, we experience stress and emotional discomfort because we let overthinking affect us to that point. Learning not to be affected by those thoughts is an incredible achievement.
“What you resist, persists”― C.G. Jung
Journal your inspirations
Inspiration can even strike in the middle of your deep meditative state. Finding that inspiration you win looking for so long can be exciting and make you feel restless. To avoid such situations, you can journal your inspirations.
Keep a diary or a notebook beside you that way, and you will know you can quickly note down your ideas. This is going to help you avoid eagerness, and you will be able to relax and continue to meditate. The excitement that comes with ideas and inspiration can take away a little from your focus. This also doesn’t mean you must contain your emotions and resist them. If you can’t stop thinking about the idea, just write it down in your diary, then go back to meditating.
Get Comfortable With Your Feelings
Feelings are one of the reasons why our thoughts spiral out of control. It is natural to feel things when you are alone and focused. These feelings might not arise to you as a thought at first, but eventually, they result in a chain of thoughts. Most of the time, these are suppressed feelings we continue to avoid. And as soon as you become aware of that one feeling in your gut that you don’t want to feel. Continuing the meditation can feel difficult.
There is only one best solution for this, just like thoughts allow these feelings to flow but knowing that that is a light within you. Understanding that in your heart, you can feel your best. Keep in mind that you can choose not to give up on these feelings. Being aware of your choice is empowering enough in itself.
And if you find some feelings or some emotions particularly difficult to deal with, then don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Have a designated meditation routine and place
A little discipline and a designated place for you to relax and calm down can have a huge impact on your experience. When you are not used dive deeper into your mind and persist in focusing, then the mind will resist it.
Think of your mind as a stubborn toddler who likes to do what it likes to do. It’s the mind’s job to think and make stories create scenarios and whatnot. Especially with all the distractions, we experience in today’s world, we have lost the habit of focusing. The glorification of multitasking hasn’t helped.
Maintaining a routine and providing yourself with a designated place to meditate can help your mind prepare for meditation. You can either decide to meditate in the morning or before bed. Meditating before bed can also be a time to unwind and disconnect from the world. It can also help you to have a better-improved sleep. If you choose to have a morning routine that can prepare you with positive energy and mindset for the day.
When you include meditation in your lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you have to start meditating every day for 15 to 30 minutes. Your mind is going to progress slowly. It is going to adapt to silence and solitude over time. Start with as long as you can meditate without touching yourself.
Remember, even being able to focus for two more minutes every day out of the whole 10 minute meditation is progress. Be gentle and patient even if you can’t stop your mind from wandering often. What matters is you always remember to bring your focus back gently.