Whether you feel stressed, have trouble sleeping, or generally want to be more mindful and positive in life, meditation can help. But if you’ve ever tried to meditate, you’ll know that sitting still for a long time and solely focusing on your thoughts is not as easy as it sounds. Here are some tips to help you meditate if you get easily distracted.
Set small goals and work your way up. Meditation can feel strange when you first start, and it’s definitely easy to get distracted. Start by meditating for one minute. Once you feel comfortable with that, you can slowly increase your time by increments. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself, or you’ll end up feeling discouraged. Meditation takes practice, so set aside time a few days each week (or even better, every day), and you’ll see that it gets much easier over time.
If you get easily distracted, remove as many of those distractions as possible. Find a quiet room for you to meditate in. Make sure that you keep it tidy, as a cluttered space can be very distracting. Put on some cozy clothes, find a comfortable position, and relax. Small things, such as your clothing being too tight, or your back starting to hurt from incorrect posture, can distract you and throw off your meditation. Some people prefer to play relaxing instrumental music while they meditate to block out other distracting sounds. This is especially helpful if you live in a noisy home or neighborhood because the music will drown some of it out. The ambient music might even add to your experience and help you relax better.
There are different types of meditations, and some are better suited for people who are easily distracted. Guided meditations work wonders for those who are just starting with meditation and have trouble focusing. It’s much easier to listen and focus on someone’s voice than to sit in complete silence. Guided meditations also give you some instructions or “guide” so you aren’t just sitting in silence wondering how to meditate. There are plenty of apps available for guided meditations, as well as free videos or podcasts. They cover all sorts of topics, problems, and meditation styles, from visualization to breathwork. Try them out and find what works best for you.
Remember that being distracted during your meditation does not mean you’ve failed. Distractions are typical and expected. The point of meditation is not to eliminate all your distractions but to pay no attention to them and allow them to pass. If you get distracted by something, acknowledge it and continue with your meditation. People place too much emphasis on having complete focus during meditation with zero distractions, but this is not realistic for most of us. There is no wrong way to meditate; the intent is to help you relax and work through your thoughts and emotions. No matter how well you meditate or for how long, your body and mind will thank you.
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