Something Nobody’s Told You About Meditiation
Written by: Kat Gal
How is your meditation practice going?
If you are one of those people who has a difficult time emptying his or her thoughts during meditation and gets frustrated as a result (or even shies away from meditation altogether!), I have good news for you.
When you think of meditation, it is likely that Zen-like stillness, inner-peace in lotus position and emptying your mind pops up for you as an image; the thing is that thoughts are not necessary a bad thing when meditating.
It’s true, the goal of meditation is to still your mind; it will improve all areas of your life.
But how? Good question. When your mind is still and at peace, it will transfer to your body, creating metabolic rest. For each thought you have, there is a physical and biochemical shift in your body. Tiny shifts, of course, but still shifts. When your mind enters into a peaceful state (metabolic rest), your body can go into a phase of repair mode.
Through mediation alone, your body can restore balance. This is similar to a good night’s sleep when your body can release stress and repair damage. As your mind becomes quieter during meditation, your body becomes more at peace as well and starts to release stress.
Once your body starts de-stressing, repairing and restoring balance, it also becomes stimulated and activated. Not surprising that this new level of activity and energy in your body will stimulate your mind, interrupting its quiet state. It is only natural that sooner or later your mind will be filled with thoughts again.
Basically, during meditation you experience a minute or two (or longer) state of silence, allowing your body to find peace too. As your body finds peace, it begins to find more balance and gathers more energy. As a result, suddenly you start thinking.
Chances are that at first, your thoughts will be regarding some body sensations, spasms, twitching, numbness, jolting, or even coughing that your body experiences due to releasing stress and finding rest.
You begin your meditation with a strong intention of quieting your mind to achieve an ideal still and peaceful state, but in the process, you are actually triggering an activation process of stress release that results in activity in your mind and your body disturbing your meditative stillness.
Catch 22? Not really, there is no catch here, it is simply the natural process of meditation similar to the ups and downs of life, the wake and sleep period of your day and so on.
The more stress your body is holding, the more difficult it will be to hold that stillness for a long period of time. But it’s okay. It’s normal.
Next time when you notice activity in your mind – busy thoughts and strong body sensations during your meditation – don’t fight them, just simply acknowledge them, welcome them, be grateful for them, then let them go and effortlessly return back to your meditation.
Remember, meditation is incredibly beneficial, healing and relaxing on the mind, body and soul level. Keep up a regular practice – ideally a daily practice of 5-10 minutes minimum – to see progress and wonderful benefits.
What benefits of meditation have you noticed in your health and well-being? What is your favorite place to meditate at? Share your experiences in the comments below. As always, we’d love to hear from you.
Kat Gál is the creator of Long Distance Relationship Help, a site which offers tips, tools, inspiration and resources to create a successful and happy relationships, no matter where in the world you may be. She knows from personal experience that love is possible despite the miles, you just have to navigate your way around it. She is passionate about the world and finds her creativity outlet as a writer and educator. You can follow her on her website and her Facebook page.
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