#1 Rule of Effective Meditation: Don’t Overthink It

Recently, I spoke with a yoga instructor once about meditation and the different forms it takes. It made me realize that we often overcomplicate it. I have tried what I believed to be true meditation more times than I can count, each time resigning myself to the fact that I suck at it. But do I? Or was that style of meditation just not for me?

I have downloaded multiple apps where some peaceful-sounding gentleman talks you through a practice, reminding you to let go of your thoughts and focus on your breathing. For me, this usually works for a solid 10 seconds before the hamster wheel starts turning again—at max speed. It’s not that my mind races with negative thoughts; quite often it’s the opposite, but I have an overactive mind and IT NEVER STOPS—apart from when I workout.

When I workout, I think of nothing else. I think of movement, how my body feels, how heavy my breathing is or how many reps I have left. I am 100 percent invested in that particular workout. And so maybe this is my form of meditation. I love that for one whole hour, my mind is focused on the task at hand and not racing with thoughts and ideas. Isn’t this, after all, the idea behind meditation?

My good friend Wikipedia says this about meditation:

“Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.”

Defined like that, meditation doesn’t seem so complicated. Find something, ANYTHING, that you enjoy, that engages your mind and takes your focus away from the hustle of everyday life. Breathe and be fully immersed in whatever it is, even if only for a few moments each day.

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Inspiration provided by Liz White at Bow Valley

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