How to meditate to clear the mind: Some people see meditation as an almost “occult” practice focused on reaching a higher state to clear the mind.
Meditation is a subject that many people do not fully understand and have many mixed views about it.
Others see it as a great therapeutic technique for healing, and others still do not give it much thought and dismiss it as a waste of time.
Meditation is certainly not a waste of time, nor is it necessarily spiritual or magical.
In reality, there is not one form of meditation, but several, and each has different aims and purposes.
However, what meditation has in common across the board is that it is extremely useful, very powerful and one of the best tools for clearing your mind and feeling better about yourself.
This is a fantastic way to approach any problem with a fresh mind and without the usual complexes, prejudices and problems that prevent us from doing our best.
Meditation can be used to help you achieve a kind of ‘mental reset’ in both the short and long term.
The best known form of meditation is probably transcendental meditation, which involves sitting and then concentrating on a mantra.
This may be the word “om” repeated over and over again, or it may be a humming sound.
Either way, the aim is to concentrate on this sound or word so that you can completely eliminate all other distracting thoughts.
Religious meditation often involves focusing on a particular passage of a religious text, or perhaps a prayer.
This may seem very different from transcendental meditation, and in fact has very different origins and objectives.
But what is the same is that the aim is to concentrate intensely on one thing in order to eliminate other distracting thoughts.
The same is true of moving meditation, which includes the likes of Tai Chi and has you concentrating on your own body as it moves through space.
What unites all these different uses is the simple fact that you are trying to actively control your thoughts rather than letting them be guided and controlled by external factors.
It’s about concentration.
Whether you are meditating on the answer to a question, trying to understand yourself better, or simply taking a “break”.
Imagine that every time you feel stressed, anxious or worried about something, you have the option of returning to a place where you will feel calm and serene.
Loving kindness and gratitude The key to many forms of meditation, then, is to concentrate.
By learning to choose what you want to pay attention to, you can choose not to focus on the negative or the things that stress you out.
Therefore, you will feel better most of the time and be less affected by things that would otherwise hurt you.
But what if you choose to focus on something that will make you extremely happy in an active way? This is the idea behind both “loving-kindness meditation” and “gratitude meditation”.
In the first example (loving-kindness), your goal is to meditate specifically on feelings of warmth, self-love and kindness.
In other words, you will think about the things that make you happy, you will think about the people who love you, you will focus on feelings of love and the things you love about yourself.
Your goal is to cultivate this emotion and then hold on to it, to keep it fresh in your mind and let it occupy the entirety of your focus for a while.
By doing this repeatedly, you will not only be able to enjoy that feeling of peace and love at any given moment … but also let it become your default emotion, so that it always feels that way.
Flow states: mediation while engaged in a task In the world of productivity and self-help, the term “flow state” is used to describe a state of mind in which you can focus incessantly on a singular task without interruptions or distractions.
When you achieve this state, you can greatly increase your productivity and output and can complete complex tasks in a very short time.
Eliminate distractions: One of the best ways you can help avoid getting distracted by things is to remove them from your field of vision.
So, for example, if you are someone who is regularly distracted by the Internet (you are certainly not alone), then a logical solution is to simply turn off the Internet when you are trying to work.
Eliminate interruptions: One of the most important things about “the flow” is to hold on to it once you get it and not let anything break it.
So it is vitally important that you avoid anything that might interrupt your concentration, such as telephones, people talking and anything else that might make a sudden noise.
Ignore interruptions: And what is important to keep in mind here is that it is also important to ignore the distractions we create for ourselves.
For example, if you are in the flow when you suddenly find yourself needing the toilet or wanting to get up for a drink, simply ignore this impulse or set yourself a goal to achieve before you are allowed to move.
Deactivate from other tasks: Part of the problem when trying to concentrate on one thing is often that we have twenty other pressing matters that are hard to forget.
While you want to concentrate on this one task, it is useful to try to force yourself to forget other tasks and put them out of your mind.
Entertain yourself: This may seem counter-intuitive, but actually providing yourself with some form of entertainment can sometimes help you concentrate.
The reason we often get distracted is simply because we are bored with whatever dry task we are trying to complete.
Psychological techniques: Failing that, you can always try employing a number of psychological techniques to simply improve your ability to concentrate.
This could mean using meditation to practice clearing your mind, or even developing self-hypnosis to gain better control over your unconscious mind.
The power of meditation to clear your mind Now you know the different types of meditation and the different ways you can use them to change your emotions and how you feel at any given time.
Try to set aside ten minutes a day to start with and practice the type of meditation that appeals to you most.
In the meantime, try to achieve flow while enjoying computer games or when you are deeply focused at work.
As you get better at this and it becomes more natural, you can begin to use meditation for 20 to 30 minutes a day.
With practice, you will thicken the neural pathways and connections that allow you to reach these different states.
Then it will be easier for you to engage in any of them at any given time.
So what does that look like? Well, imagine being able to clear your mind by concentrating on the task at hand at any given moment.
Being able to “rise above” the things that would normally cause you stress, simply by choosing to focus on something else.
Waking up feeling grateful for your life and feeling a sense of love and appreciation for yourself.
Imagine that your default reaction to negative events is one that helps you cope and feel better about yourself.
That is the power of meditation to clear your mind.
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