How Meditation Can Help


How Meditation Can Help

“Meditation doesn’t work for me because my brain won’t be quiet!” Does this sound familiar? Interestingly, this is actually the first step in meditating. Great job! You’re more than halfway there. A meditation practice offers us a safe space to notice our thoughts, label them as such (a fleeting series of brain discharges), and then give ourselves permission to inquire whether these thoughts are serving us in any way. We can even ask the thoughts to move on. Sometimes this even works, but inevitably the brain will then generate more thoughts (that’s its job after all).

The next step in the practice of meditation is allowing yourself to focus on something in our body that is grounded. You can use the breath (probably the most common recommendation), though you can also focus on what you hear (the buzzing of the air conditioner), what you feel (the pressure of the chair underneath you), or even the temperature of your hands in your lap. The juxtaposition between what is real (our body and breath) versus what is not (our thoughts) provides us stability and calm. Use the body as your anchor.

I know it can be frustrating when your mind is in overdrive. The key however is to notice the rising and falling of our thoughts without judgment. This practice is one that lasts a lifetime (at least). However, the more you use these skills, the more adept you will become. This is the mindfulness muscle that you’re flexing. Keep this in mind the next time you feel overwhelmed with emotion – you may be surprised that these thoughts and beliefs that are keeping you feeling stressed may actually start to disappear and leave you with more space to breathe and just “be”.

Stay tuned for more Mindfulness Tips in future newsletters and offerings at NVFP.

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