It's time for another installment of "Question and Answer Tuesdays!"
"I've been meditating for almost two months now, and I think it has actually made matters worse. When I first started, I was able to quiet my mind. Now it seems to be going non-stop, and I can't go 30 seconds without drifting into thought during my meditation sitting. My mind is crazier than ever! Is this normal?"
It is normal. But, your mind hasn't become busier.
You've become more aware of just how busy it is.
Most people don't spend a lot of time noticing the compulsive nature of their minds. Meditating changes that - the more you do it, the more you see how pervasive and incessant it is.
Many people start practicing and don't realize this. As a result, they believe they are "failing." They think the same thing you do:
"I was doing better a few weeks ago - now I can't go 30 seconds without my mind wandering."
The reality is, you are finally seeing what has been happening all along!
My advice is this: don't meditate with the goal of calming the mind. Your frustration doesn't come from your mind being "crazy," it comes from you feeling like you can't control it.
Instead, meditate with the goal of understanding your mind. As of now, you can see now how compulsive it is - the next step is to develop the skill of noticing it all without getting caught up in it.
Remember that nothing is permanent, including your thoughts, emotions, and urges. Everything rises and ceases (it all comes and goes). Your mind tries to cling to these things and make them permanent. But, meditation and mindfulness teach you to understand the temporary nature of your mind-made activity.
One last point: when you are meditating and you notice that your attention has wandered, that is success. You focus your attention on your anchor (most people choose the breath or a mantra), and when you become aware of thoughts, you bring your attention back to your anchor. Do this over and over and over again. That's why it is called practice!
And the more you practice, the more you will bring mindfulness to your activities when you aren't meditating. If you do this consistently, the calmness you are seeking will come as a result.
Learn about changing your relationship with your mind.
Read our most popular articles.
If this article resonated with you, please "Like," "Tweet," or share so others can read it too (thank you)!