Meditation tips for total over-thinkers
You know the story: you’re in the midst of an end-of-year stress build up and need an outlet. People keep suggesting you try meditation, so you give it a go. But your brain won’t shut the hell up and let you relax.
The conclusion you’ve come to? Meditation just isn’t for you. But before you vow to never chant “Om Mani Padme Hum” again, remember meditation takes some getting used to and you’re not going to reach enlightenment any time soon. I mean, people dedicate their lives to that pursuit. So take it easy and Namaste, friend.
Guided meditations will distract your overactive mind
The most annoying part of being an over-thinker is that your brain works overtime. Clearing your mind doesn’t seem possible and you'll just end up being frustrated when you can’t stop thinking about how you’re not supposed to be thinking.
Right now, you’re like Lisa Simpson in that floating tub. You might think that meditation is for vegans who order lattes with almond milk and wear Hawaiian printed t-shirts, but we promise that meditation isn’t a gateway to aerial yoga.
Meditation can prevent that bi-annual end-of sem breakdown that’s always triggered by heinous assignments that share the same due date. So give chanting or guided meditations a go. It’ll give you something to focus on, instead of thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, or what you need to cross off that to-do list.
Realise that meditation isn’t about doing ‘nothing’
A few years ago, I watched a video where a monk spoke about what meditation means. He said that most people think that mediation is sitting, thinking of nothing and blocking out all the emotions, while others think it’s all about peace – and let’s just say he does a hilarious impersonation of both.
In his words, meditation is about ditching the “monkey mind” to instead train your mind by becoming friends. First you’ve got to get familiar with your mind and then give it a job, which is meditation.
So the first step is accepting that to begin with, you’re going to suck at meditation. But eventually you’ll get better and begin to become homies with your head.
Close your eyes
This sounds obvious, but unless you’re on the eight-fold path, I suggest you shut those lids. If you leave them open, you’re bound to see something that reminds you of something you have to do.
Keep that focus by closing your eyes and meditating somewhere where no one is bound to walk in and interrupt. I’ve heard people say that you can meditate anywhere, whether that’s on the bus or in the kitchen washing the dishes. But as a self-confessed thinkoholic, the temptation to get distracted is way too risky.
Remind yourself that this is your allocated time to relax
Yeah, you have a lot on your plate and you’re probably thinking ‘I don’t have time to sit in the dark and keep my mind quiet for 30 mins’, but meditation is kind of like an investment. If you invest 30 minutes, when it’s time to study you’ll be Snoop Dogg chill.
And if you’re after a meditation track that doesn’t have an awkwardly sexual whispering voice, here’s one that’ll get you started (the pan flutes are pretty dope).
Eden Gillespie is an International Studies/ Media student at UNSW with a love for breakfast bagels and Louis Theroux.