For the past few weeks I have started my day with a daily meditation. A guided meditation that is because if I try to meditate on my own my mind immediately starts to wander and think all kind of thoughts when I want it to be still. It never does; when I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom immediately my mind must think we are up and ready for a new day because the moment I start to walk to the bathroom the chatter begins. By the time I'm back in bed I have heard over ten songs in my head, thought I don't know how many thought about the next day or the last week or other things. The concequence of all that is that I can't fall back to sleep and often am staring at the ceiling in the hope the sleep will return.
A few weeks ago I was trying to meditate and the chatter started again. I was fed up with it and told my mind; STOP! My mind's response; Hammer time!
I like having an associative mind but that was going too far! The meditation didn't work (I shouldn't have said stop of course but let the thoughts pass me by like clouds in the sky) at that point and I have to be careful not to repeat it like that again.
But how do I get rid of the chatter in my mind?
There are a lot of different sites which want to help me with that so I have done some research and here are some tips;
2. Try to see yourself as a clear blue sky. You are the sky and your thoughts are the clouds. Sometimes there are no clouds but there are times there are so many there is a thunderstorm.
The sky is much bigger than the clouds. The clouds are drifting around in the the sky but they aren't the sky itself, just as you are not your thoughts.
How thick the clouds may be, above it is always the blue sky. When your head is filled with clouds (thoughts) go find a quiet place and try to observe the clouds. As if you're lying on the grass and watching the clouds drifting on by above you. Without judging them, just watch them, just let them be. You are not your thoughts, your thoughts are not who you are.
3. Meditate regulary.
Even when you feel that it's no use, that your thoughts are in the way of becoming quiet, when you meditate every day you will start to feel the effect eventually. Just sit or lie down and close your eyes and focus your attention on your breathing. When you notice your focus is diverted away from your breathing, gently turn back to it without judging yourself for it.
4. Don't fall for your own thoughts.
What you think is not true most times anyway, which is very important because most people believe what they think.
- 'I can't do that and I never will'
- 'I will fail so I won't even try'
- 'I'm unattractive, fat, ugly and I hate myself'
- 'See? he doesn't want me, nobody loves me'
- 'I'm lazy and worthless and I'm not contributing anything to this world anyway'
Those kind of thoughts are rubbish and merely genereted by your brain out of fear, insecurities and thought patterns of old. Not out of self love, compassion, or happiness. All fine if you don't let it compromise your selfworth.
5. Perhaps sometimes it is best to go with the flow instead of trying to change things. You can learn to train your brain but if the chatter stays than maybe other things work for you;
- Write a journal/blog (I find that very helpfull so perhaps I need to do that more) Write down what you're worried about, or how your day's been. By putting things in writing you bring structure to your brain. If you write everyday, it won't get so 'full' up there anyway.
- put down a piece of paper next to your bed. Whenever thoughts come into your mind, you can write them down immediately. Todo's or idea's whatever comes to mind.
- Plan in the evening what you want to do the next day.
- Give yourself less choices; minimalism helps to worry less.
I'm not sure if I will use everything from those tips but I'm sure going to try a few.
In the meantime I will continue meditating because I'm sure that will help quiting the mind.