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Meditation for OVERthinkers: How to Meditate When You CAN’T STOP THINKING

Tara sitting on emerald pin-tucked couch thinking

Are you an overthinker too? I’ve got five tips for you that are going to help you master the chatter and finally be able to meditate, are you ready for this?

In this post I want to talk to you about meditation for overthinkers.

Oh my goodness, I so get it. I struggle with the same thing.

When I was first sitting down to meditate, my mind was all over the place. Mostly back and forth all over my to-do list, but you get the drift.

I was really at a point where I was thinking that there was just no way, my brain wasn’t cut out for this, I’m a fast thinker, I’m always thinking, I’m always in creative mode, there’s way that I can shut my brain off to be able to sit and meditate, right?

Then, I had a lovely little smackdown from the swami who love to give smackdowns, who basically told me that I was missing the whole point.

Watch here or read below to find out what I learned plus some!

Meditation for OVERthinkers: How to Meditate When You CAN'T STOP THINKING Click To Tweet

Meditation is not for people who are already NOT thinking, meditation is for people who are overthinking. That’s the entire purpose of learning how to meditate.

If you feel like you can’t do this, and it’s not possible for you, that’s exactly what meditation is for.

I’m going to walk you through five tips that I’ve discovered, and that were given to me as well, that have helped me to really be able to master this thing, to be able to shut my mind down, to be able to learn how to meditate over time.

Now, here’s the thing, this is not going to be easy in the beginning, you’ve got to understand that.

You’re not going to be able to just stop thinking, you’re a human being, your brain is supposed to be thinking all the time.

I don’t want you to feel like you can’t do this if you can’t do it right away.

The truth is, most people who get to the point of not thinking, have been practicing meditation for, I don’t know, like decades.

You can get some great benefits from meditating, even as an overthinker. You just need to know how to do it in a way that's not going to drive you bat-sh*t crazy. Click To Tweet

Am I right?

TIP #1 – GET COMFORTABLE FIRST

Tip number one is to be comfortable.

I used to think that I had to sit cross-legged, in a lotus position, with my hands out, and that was the “right way” to meditate.

The truth to the matter is the right way to meditate is whatever you need to do to make sure that you can sit comfortably and meditate without being distracted.

For me, I choose a comfortable chair that’s cushioned, I put my feet on the floor, I close my eyes, and I just sit comfortably. I’m upright, but I am not too stiff. Sometimes, I’ll even lay down to meditate.

(Now, the problem with that is you run the risk of falling asleep. Usually when I’m doing this, I am doing at night, so that if I fall asleep, it’s no big deal.)

If you have a hard time sitting comfortably, I recommend that you do some things for your body ahead of time.

Maybe you’re doing some stretching, maybe you’re going for a walk; whatever it is that you need to do to just feel good and be able to sit still longer.

This is actually how yoga (as we know it today) came to be.

It used to really just be about meditation until some people were like, “Hey, I’m having a hard time sitting for five hours at a time in order to meditate.” And they were like, “Here, try some stretches first.” Then, yoga turned into what it is today.

It doesn’t matter how you sit, it matters that you sit. Choose a place and a space that’s comfortable for your booty, and plop it down.

TIP #2 – KEEP IT SHORT AND SIMPLE

The longer you try to sit, the harder it’s going to be to not think.

You don’t have to sit there for 30 minutes to an hour in order to call it meditation. Three minutes is long enough, especially in the beginning.

As you start with three minutes, as you get really good at that, you’ll slowly be able to add more time to it and you’ll want to add more time to it. But if you keep it short and simple in the beginning, you’re going to have very little resistance to it.

Your brain is not going to tell you, “Oh, we can’t do this. It’s too much time. We can’t sit there that long. We don’t have the time for it.” You’re going to have no excuses whatsoever.

Everybody can make time for three minutes.

So start small, start simple, and keep it easy for yourself in the beginning.

Tara in meditation pose on pin-tucked emerald couch

TIP #3 – COMMIT TO THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY

The reason for this is that you’re trying to ingrain a habit into your brain.

If your brain gets into the habit of getting up in the morning, going to the bathroom, brushing your teeth and then sitting down for three minutes, it starts to become such an ingrained habit that pretty soon you can’t go without it.

Otherwise, you’ll feel like something is missing. That’s what you’re going for.

Choose the same time every single day.

Now, in terms of the best time? Really the best time is when you’re not going to be disturbed.

This is going to be different for everybody, however I will say this is why most yogis meditate between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m., the reason being is that there are less pulls on their energy, the whole world is asleep, you’re not thinking about what’s going on on Facebook, or what emails you have to answer.

You’re able to really give yourself permission to just be still because you don’t have things pulling you in million different directions, you don’t have the energy of the world awake and vibrating around you, so you can really sit and focus better.

However, 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. might not work for you, and that’s okay. Choose a time that does when you’re going to be undisturbed.

Whether that is the first thing in the morning, or before you go to bed, or three minutes in the car before you walk back into the house.

All of those are totally okay.

What matters the most is that it is consistent, and it’s the same time every single day so that you can really ingrain that habit.

TIP #4 – USE GROUNDING OILS

I really like the essential oils of Frankincense and Sandalwood for meditation.

Sandalwood especially, because it really calms the system down.

I will use these over my pre-frontal cortex: this is the thinking, worrying part of your brain, it’s doing all the planning for tomorrow, the part that won’t shut off? That’s right there over your forehead.

I’ll also put it on the back of my neck. This is right over the brain stem, and again, it helps to just settle your nervous system and your body so that you can calm down a little bit better and be able to meditate a little bit longer.

I also wrote a post not too long ago about an oil called Console.

Console actually includes Frankincense and Sandalwood in it.

It’s usually used for things like grief, but it’s amazing for meditation as well.

Diffuser recipe called I Wanna Be Sedated depicting the recipe: 6 drops serenity blend, 2 drops frankincense, 2 drops balance blend and 2 drops sandalwood essential oils
Diffuser recipe called Solace blend depicting the recipe: 3 drops frankincense, 3 drops console, and 1 drop bergamot essential oils

TIP #5 – STOP TRYING TO STOP THINKING

Again, you are a human being. Your brain is going to go.

The whole purpose of meditation is to not stop your thinking, the purpose of meditation is to learn how to separate yourself from your thoughts, to be able to observe them so that you can better question them, and so that they don't… Click To Tweet

In fact, an analogy that’s used a lot and that I love and have found really, really powerful in my meditation is to think of your thoughts as something floating down the river.

If I notice myself in meditation getting washed away with my thoughts – I’m thinking about my to-do list, I’m thinking about something that happened earlier in the morning – I will stop and notice them as though they’re objects in a river.

I’ll watch them go by.

I’ll actually visualize myself stepping out of the river, watching my thoughts go by. Then I’ll turn my attention back to my breath.

Now, again, it is normal to have to do this over and over and over again, like literally every two or three seconds.

Don’t get frustrated.

That is the purpose of meditation is to do this over and over and over again. Because as you do it, you’re ingraining that habit into your brain of, “Hey, I don’t need to get carried away with these thoughts. I’m the observer of these thoughts, I can question these thoughts, these thoughts are not in control of me.

Now, one tool that can help you to do this is using a guided meditation.

However, I have found that a lot of guided meditations are actually guided visualizations, which is not helping you to train yourself to separate from your thoughts.

I really don’t like those, but I have found a guided meditation that I love.

The reason that I love it is that it’s actually four meditations in one.

There’s a 3-minute meditation, a 7-minute, an 11-minute and a 30-minute meditation.

This way you can start simple, and as you get really good at that 3-minute, you can start practicing the seven-minute, and so on.

Also, the reason that I love this is because it’s a true guided meditation.

It’s guiding you on how to slow down your thoughts, or to observe your thoughts, and in every single one of those meditations, it has quiet space. No sound, no visualizations, just you with your breath.

But before you get there, it guides you on how to use that time so that by the time you get to that quiet part in the meditation, you actually know what you’re doing. This is a really powerful meditation. I highly recommend it.

(Find it on Amazon and iTunes.)

WHAT ABOUT YOU, BOSS LADY?

What tips for meditation do you have for others?

Scroll down to leave your comments!

xoTara-teal

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