Do you have trouble sitting still while Meditating?

Do you have trouble sitting still while Meditating?

While meditation has become a huge part of my life now, I was once the uber restless type. I just couldn’t sit still. My always charged up and buzzing brain didn’t help either. But over the years, I have come to calm down(atleast in meditation&prayer). Not because I have gained enlightenment or any such lofty height 😉 But simply because I have my very own simpler ways to meditate.

I love these words by Gretchen Ruben: “If you’re impatient while waiting for the bus, tell yourself you’re doing ‘Bus waiting meditation.’ If you’re standing in a slow line at the drugstore, you’re doing ‘Waiting in line meditation.’ Just saying these words makes me feel very spiritual and high-minded and wise.”

Much like positive thinking, meditation can be done anywhere and at anytime.

A beautiful reader sent me this question and I just HAD TO share my answer with her and you. Read on and you’ll know why 🙂 

Readers Question:I have trouble sitting still and meditating. I don’t know whether I should continue.  How can I calm down while trying to meditate?

My Answer:

Please don’t give up on meditation! What you’re experiencing is very common and normal. Fortunately, I have some tricks to help you stick with it so you can reap all the benefits of this practice, from reducing stress to lowering your blood pressure, to actually calming yourself.

First, find a comfortable position so that you’re less likely to fidget. Its not written in stone that you must sit cross-legged…sitting in a chair may make meditation much easier for you. If doing yoga poses or walking helps you concentrate, go ahead.

Next, focus on your breathing. At first, simply observe each inhalation and exhalation without trying to influence then:whenever you notice your attention wandering, refocus on your breath.

Once you have mastered this exercise, try counting breaths. Count “1” to yourself as you exhale, then “2”  on your next exhale, and so on, until you reach “5”. Then start over again at “1”.
Start with 5 minutes a day and work up to 20 to 30 minutes a day.

Or, you can also try practicing with a mantra-a syllable, word or phrase(such a breathe or peace) that you repeat either silently or aloud while meditating. This ancient spiritual practice can help focus scattered thoughts and clear your mind of negativity. Many people{including me}, repeat their mantra silently throughout the day.

Finally, I recommend following my relaxing method 🙂 Its simple, easy and very effective. To relax, I simply concentrate on whatever I am doing-even eating or washing dishes. Many a times these mundane activities are the minds safest haven. Being consciously aware aka mindfulness of what you’re doing at all times helps calm the mind, body, heart and soul.

I do hope these simple tips will help you and encourage you to continue your meditation practice.

Dear Readers- Do you have any answers or suggestion for this beautiful readers question? Do you have a favorite way you use to concentrate and meditate? If so, please share your wisdom in the comments. I know the person who asked this question would certainly appreciate your wisdom.

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14 thoughts on “Do you have trouble sitting still while Meditating?

  1. I used to have immense problems with meditating. But over the years, it just got better. Still, there are days when meditating is more challenging than others. But as you said, don’t give up!

  2. These are very helpful tips, Zeenat. Another method is to simply use the restlessness as an object of attention in our meditation. Just like you lightly pay attention to the breath, you can lightly pay attention to whatever thoughts, sensations, or emotions are manifest as restless energy. I like the ways you pay attention in the moment to the task at hand. There are so many ways to “meditate” just like you say.

  3. Ellen Bard

    I’m still in the early phases of meditation practice, and I tend to focus as you say on mindfulness in the moment as much as sitting still and meditating. It’s helped me to just ‘be’ in the present, which in turn has helped with sitting meditation. I also go to a sangha sometimes and they do a guided meditation, a sitting meditation and a walking meditation, and this mix also helps me to focus. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have a funny problem. I tend to fall asleep when I sit to meditate. The quiet and peace just get into me and I am off to dreamland. I am working on a post about what to do when you feel sleepy while meditating. Very nice tips Zeenat 🙂 I think our busyness through the day simply gathers in our head when we sit and makes us restless.

  5. There are many ways to meditate including laying down!! Yup. Laying down. And if you have issues staying awake, simply prop your right arm up, resting on the elbow. Really tough to fall asleep like that.

  6. I do believe all meditators have gone through the process of learning to sit still and breathe. As you pointed out to your reader, patience is key. I love your suggestion on how to combine meditation and mundane activities. In there lies a great way to do things. Thanks Zeenat.

  7. I remember when I began trying meditation, 1 minute seemed just too long for me to stay quiet and without thinking. At that time breathing didn’t work for me so I decided to try guided meditations. Now I can meditate 15-20 minutes without problem and use my breathing rhythm most of the time. So I’d say it’s all about finding your method and practice, practice, practice.

  8. Great encouragement and tips on meditation. As someone who took a looonnnngg time to find what works for me, I really appreciate your taking the time to offer this loving encouragement to so many others.

  9. Sometimes the mind is simply restless Zeenat and it seems that your advice and the comments above share some wonderful tips for simply allowing and sticking with it. I find on my ‘restless’ mind days that if I count for each in and out breath up to 10 and then start again, it gives my mind something to occupy itself with until it settles. And should my mind wander whilst counting, I just pick up where I left off…or sometimes go back to the beginning.

    It seems to work a treat.

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