You are not the only one who feels they are stuck in a constant loop of an anxious mind. I've figured out a solution. I'm sure it'll help you figure out your own.
A lot of times, we are so eager to get the results that we forget about the consistency and the hard work that is required. Not only do we try to search for all the possible shortcuts, but even when we are going through the process of doing something, we tend to lose the focus from the process and are mentally occupied with the anticipation of result.
Meditation is simple but not easy
First of all there is misunderstanding around meditation that you have to sit down with a blank mind, stop all the thoughts, and whenever someone tries to do that, guess what happens? Thoughts start to flow like anything. It feels like you've injected yourself with some steroid which is making a gazillion thoughts to emerge out of no where.
You don't have to resist your thoughts, "you have to observe them". Your thoughts aren't something in your control. Just like a flowing river, sometimes the speed of the water can be high, sometimes it can be low. You don't have any control over that. But if you let yourself drift away in that river, that is your fault.
Meditation is like sitting at the river bank with your feet dipped in the flowing water, just observing it, and enjoying it.
You don't have to judge your thoughts. The moment you start tagging your thoughts as good or bad, that's when you start overthinking, start getting more anxious, and you start to drift away.
The moment you feel the water has started to flow swiftly, and you are about to drift away, just pull yourself out for a moment, reset the position, your senses, and just start observing again.
Being able to not resist the thoughts and letting them flow is the hardest part about meditation.
Somedays are going to be very difficult
Life happens, you might be going through the worst phase of your life, and maybe you are unable to focus on observing your behaviour, and your actions. Maybe the flow of water is so high that sitting at the river bank is not a possibility at the moment. It's ok, try to stay away, zoom out, try to observe the event with respect to grand scheme of things, take a few moments just to take a few deep breaths. And that will be more than enough on those days.
And as soon as you feel you are drifting away by overthinking, note it, bring your attention back to the actions that you can perform right now. Act on things which are in your control.
It'll take more than few months. Quite honestly, it took me a couple of years when regular meditation started paying off. It became a habit, an instinct to which I default to whenever I start overthinking, or maybe even when I want to just relax after work. Keep doing it.
That's it for this blog post and if you feel that you've something to add to this or you have a different perspective then share it and discuss it on r/StoicHuman or go to the Reddit discussion post for this blog post linked down below.
Stay healthy, Stay safe!
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