“A lot of thoughts keep coming”, “I can’t stand still”, “Am I doing it right?”. Do you have such thoughts during your meditation? If you do, know that you are not alone. These are the questions we hear from almost all new meditators. We all had these concerns, and even years later they can still emerge somehow. But please don’t give up. In fact, these are good signs.
The first step in managing restlessness and impatience is to understand feelings, and three basic experiences materialize during meditation:
- Falling asleep
- Feeling uneasy and having thoughts flowing through your mind
- Sliding into the gap between thoughts and finding yourself in the realm of silence and infinite possibilities
Meditation is a purification process. The mind and body relax at deep levels so that tensions, fatigue and toxins can be released. This raises the activity of the mind and body. All of this can lead to the formation of thoughts or uncomfortable feelings.
Just because something comes to your mind during meditation doesn’t mean you’re not in much relief. The important thing is that once you understand what you are thinking, turn your attention back to your focus of meditation, for example, your breath or mantra.
Your meditation experience is often a reflection of your life. If you are over-tired or cannot get enough quality rest at night, you can fall asleep during meditation. If your life is chaotic and busy, your meditation can also be restless and turbulent. Meditation helps you create a happier and more harmonious life. However, taking conscious steps to balance your lifestyle will also support your meditation experience.
Do you remember the turtle and rabbit story? Most of us live our lives like rabbits. We run from place to place, in all directions, we do many things at the same time, we are lost in the mistiness of our confusion. And in the meantime, the consistent, restrained version of the turtle wins the race. Although it seems to you that you don’t have time, you have eternity in front of you. Just slow down a little!
And to manage restlessness and impatience during your meditation, try these following suggestions :
1. Don’t waste time analyzing your meditation experience. The purpose of meditation is to enrich your life. Let it trigger a higher level of awareness that you will start enjoying in your daily life.
2. Take one or two minutes of preparation before meditation. This will minimize discomfort. You can meditate anywhere, but it is more preferable to find a quiet place.
3. Don’t be fooled by the seduction of your computer or phone before your morning meditation. Let the activities of the day wait for you a little longer. Otherwise, your meditation will be filled with e-mails and messages you have written in your mind.
4. Try to make gentle stretching movements before your meditation. Thus, you can prevent contractions or cramps and sit more comfortably.
5. Take a few deep breaths. Be aware of how your body feels while breathing, and look at what happens in your thoughts and feelings. As you exhale, leave everything that does not concern you at the moment. After meditation, you can look at that topic again, but try to put aside unnecessary distractions.
6. Prepare for meditation by inhaling with alternative nostrils.
- Using your right hand, push down the outside of your right nostril with your thumb. Breathe out and then in slowly using your left nostril.
- Do the same with your right nostril, using your left-hand thumb.
- Breathe in and out 10 times alternating nostrils while letting the breath to continue at its own pace and rhythm.
7. Be determined to create a habit. The meditation process itself should be effortless and comfortable, but a little discipline about the habit can also help. Decide how long you want to meditate before you start and try to stick to your decision.
Remember: when you decided to meditate for the first time in your life, you did it for a reason. And if you can be consistent, meditation will eventually reveal treasures well beyond your dreams. Therefore, try to accept your experiences as part of the plan.
We all need to be calm and peaceful. We need to know ourselves better and tame our automated responses.
Those who have been meditating before, but who have fallen into life, please come back. Those who have never tried before, give it a try. Those who are occasional meditators, make it a habit. Just as you clean your teeth by brushing them, understand that cleansing our minds and emotions is an important part of life.
There is no one way to meditate. There is an abundance of phone apps, YouTube videos, books, courses in every language.
The restlessness of your mind is normal, and you can think of a lot of things that are funny, absurd, annoying or sad during your meditation session. You can keep itching or wiggling. Just try and bring back your attention to your breath. Know that you are being purified, and meditation is doing what it is supposed to do.