Do you meditate? I used to avoid it because I felt that I was a “bad meditator” because I couldn’t remove my thoughts. Turns out there’s no such thing as a “bad meditator” and meditation isn’t about eliminating thought. It’s about tuning into your thoughts and bringing yourself into the present moment which helps you find calm, peace, and tranquility in your busy life.
So many of us are accustomed to over-stimulation from the outside world – things directing our attention away from what is happening now. The more time we spend in our heads thinking about things that aren’t happening right in front of us – things that have already happened, or have yet to happen – the less time we spend being mindful.
The average person has 65,000 thoughts per day. For women it’s even more than that; it’s closer to 85,000 thoughts per day. Do we recall 85,000 thoughts? Of course not. That’s because most of them are subconscious and we’re not even aware we’re thinking them.
The problem with this is that 95% of our behaviors are controlled by our subconscious mind. And most of the beliefs held within your subconscious mind were formed in early childhood!
Dr. Joe Dispenza says, “95% of who we are by the time we’re 35 years old, is a memorized set of behaviors, emotional reactions, unconscious habits, hardwired attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions that function like a computer program.”
Your thoughts that you’re not aware of, create feelings and emotions that create beliefs that lead to your behaviors and results.
Additionally, has humans we have an innate negativity bias. In other words the majority of our thoughts tend toward the negative. Thousands of years ago, this negativity bias was designed to protect us from real threats and help us survive. However, these days, it tends to hold us back and keep us living in fear when there’s actually no real threat present.
Have you ever made a commitment to change something in your life and been super motivated to do it, but then you don’t follow through? I think we’ve all been there. And, it’s not your fault.
It’s because your conscious mind, which is 5%, made a decision to change something but your subconscious mind, which is 95%, is controlling your behaviors, so you end up reverting back to what your subconscious mind is comfortable with.
Because that’s it’s job: to keep you safe. And anything new or different, even if it’s good, is perceived as unsafe to your subconscious mind.
Why do I go into all of this?
Because mindfulness helps you tune into these thoughts and tune into your subconscious mind, so you can start to reprogram it. It helps you bring awareness to these unhealthy patterns, help move them along, and then focus on the present moment.
Mindfulness meditation encourages your mind to ‘be here, right now’. Think about it. If you’re constantly preoccupied with worry about something that happened in the past – keep in mind that ‘the past’ in this sense can mean anything up to several minutes ago – are you truly focusing all your attention in the here and now?
The same goes for the future – over-anticipation of an event, day, or any time which is separate from what is happening RIGHT NOW is ultimately irrelevant to the present moment. It will not (and cannot) affect your present situation.
I’ve started practicing mindfulness and meditation daily and have found it truly helpful in “getting out of my head” and into my present reality. It’s helped me shift my focus away from past negative situations and perceived future anxieties to a much calmer, happier present moment.
A great way to start is with guided meditations that you can find online or on apps. YouTube has an abundance of free meditations. You can do a quick search and find a few that you really like.
I also love meditation apps. My favorite is the Calm app. You get a daily 10 minute meditation each day and I love doing this first thing in the morning. Other apps to consider are HeadSpace, Insight Timer, and Abide Christian Meditation app.
Finally, some experts that I really love that I recommend you check out are Dr. Joe Dispenza (I do several of his meditations but they are about 45 minutes to 1 hour long), Jake Ducey, Gabby Bernstein. Check them out and read their books. It’s a great way to start!
If you’re STILL unsure – and let’s face it, most of us are when we first begin meditating – if you take nothing else from this message, at least let it be the confidence to just TRY it.
Start small – 5 or 10 minutes a day, and then gradually start to increase it. Make up your mind to stay put for that long, and notice the fluctuations from day to day in your breathing, your attention, and your energy.
Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t quite ‘work’ the first few times as there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ meditation – it helps you to delve deeper and cultivate awareness, even if it’s one second at a time!
The more busy, distracted and uneasy you are – the more you NEED to meditate! There’s an old Zen saying that goes…
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day – unless you’re too busy – then you should sit for an hour!!”
Please share in the comments below if you meditate and how it’s helped you.