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2021 Mastery Meditation

7 Ways To Stop Your Mind Racing And Find Calmness

7 Ways To Stop Your Mind Racing And Find Calmness

 

We all have crazy monkey minds. 

 

In fact, the people who seem the calmest, are probably the ones with the ones with most frantic and erratic minds – but – they’ve learned to tame them. 

 

But why should you care about stopping your mind racing and finding calmness? 

 

Beyond just generally feeling better – a calm mind is a sharp mind. 

 

You’ll be more focused – you’ll be more clear on your objectives – and you’ll be better able to get the work done that you need to get done. 

 

Think about it – if your mind is all over the place, worrying about money, debt, politics, right-wingers, left-wingers, SJWs, women, dating, sex, porn, addictions, frustrations, fights, arguments, problems, family, friends, worries, fears, anxieties – if your mind is darting around at all these problems – how on earth will you ever actually get any work done? 

 

A prerequisite to getting any focused work done, is a calm mind. 

 

So if for nothing else than completely selfish reasons, your entire sense of financial freedom and enjoyment of life, is predicated on you having a calm mind. 

 

So – here are 7 ways to meditate to stop that monkey mind and find calmness

 

  • Meditation Method #1: Slow Your Breathing

 

Let’s start with the very simplest – becoming aware of your breathing. 

 

This means slowing down, and paying attention – you are forcing your mind to concentrate. 

 

Focus on your breathing – are you breathing fast? Slow? Is your breathing erratic? Are you trying to catch your breath?

 

The breath is a great place to start your meditation journey as it is neutral, breath is neither a good or bad thing, and it is something that is continuous, you are always breathing. 

 

Slow down, pay attention. How is your breathing now? Do you notice it?

 

Then start consciously slowing down your breath. 

 

Most of the time, breathing is an automated bodily function that is just subconsciously happening behind the scenes – we don’t need to think about it – our bodies just do it. 

 

Becoming aware of your breath, forces you to concentrate the attention of your mind on one fixed point. 

 

Now, don’t judge yourself if other thoughts that start flooding your mind – that is perfectly normal, and we’ll deal with that down below. 

 

But the first step on your meditation journey, is just starting to become aware. 

 

  • Meditation Method #2: Practice Box Breathing

 

What is box breathing? 

 

Quite simply, box breathing is the process of inhaling for 4 seconds, holding for 4 seconds, exhaling for 4 seconds, holding for 4 seconds, then starting over again with the inhale for 4 seconds. 

 

It is a simple exercise that anyone can do, that has profound effects. 

 

Why practice box breathing? 

 

To calm your nervous system. 

 

The purpose of box breathing is to put you back in the driver’s seat when it comes to your breathing. 

 

You are now not only aware, but regulating your breath.

 

Box breathing helps your body to relax. When we’re nervous and in fight or flight mode – our breathing tends to get very shallow and we do chest breathing. 

 

Box breathing brings down your centre of gravity. You breath lower into your belly. By slowing your breath you are signalling to your body that everything is good, all is under control. 

 

Your body is then able to enter deeper states of relaxation. 

 

Here is a short video by HealthLine demonstrating how to time your box breathing: 

 

 

  • Meditation Method #3: Sit Quietly For 15 Minutes

 

Now that you’ve become aware of your breath, and you’ve calmed your breathing using the box breathing technique, the next step is to sit quietly for 15 minutes. 

 

Now, if you’ve never meditated before, you may find this shockingly difficult. 

 

On the surface, it sounds like a really exercise, but in practice you may find that your mind starts immediately wandering. 

 

You start thinking about the bills you need to pay, or the friends you need to connect with, or what you’re going to cook for dinner, or even the most random memories like how were 3 days late returning a library book back in 1997. 

 

Our minds are thought machines – that’s what they do – they generate thoughts for us to act on and to accomplish. 

 

This is an inherently good system, as it has kept us alive and evolving on this planet for a few million years. 

 

However, just because it has served us well historically, doesn’t mean that it is serving us well, right at this moment. 

 

In fact, more than anything it is probably harming us. 

 

Why? Because we’ll never be able to successfully launch that side hustle business, if we’re constantly worrying about things that don’t really matter. 

 

So practice sitting quietly for 15 minutes. Find a comfortable seating position, close your eyes, watch your breathing and just relax. 

 

Your mind will wander, and that is fine – this is not the time to place any judgement on those thoughts. Which leads us to our next point. 

 

  • Meditation Method #4: Don’t Place Judgements On Your Thoughts

 

As you start to meditate – your mind will start to wander in all sorts of crazy directions – that is fine, and that is normal – in fact, it is all part of the game. 

 

Let it go, and don’t place any judgements on it. 

 

When a thought comes into your mind “oh yeah – do the dishes tonight!” or “you forgot to do your taxes last year!” or “remember to call your friend this weekend for their birthday!” – acknowledge those thoughts. 

 

Acknowledge that they are allowed to exist, then let them go. Don’t judge yourself for having thoughts. This is not an exercise about beating yourself up. 

 

This is an exercise to let your mind free. But it all starts with observation and awareness. You must be aware of how your mind and your brain are operating. 

 

Only then can we go deeper and start focusing on sensations. 

 

Which brings us to:

 

  • Meditation Method #5: Focus Your Attention On Feeling Sensations

 

Now that you’ve been sitting quietly for 15 minutes, you’ve calmed your breathing and calmed your mind, it is time to go a level deeper and start focusing on bodily sensations. 

 

Similar to breathing, body sensations are neutral, they are not inherently good or bad, they just are. 

 

What are body sensations to watch for? Those pins and needles in your foot as it starts to go to sleep, that ache in your back, that lightness in your chest, that itch behind your ear – those are all sensations within your physical body. 

 

And if I’m being honest – I’ve even placed judgements on those sensations to help explain them – an ache is a judgement, pins and needles is a judgement – think more in terms like: warm, cool, tingling, vibrating, scratching, pulsating, beating. 

 

These are sensations, not judgements. Feel what is going on inside of your body – become aware. 

 

  • Meditation Method #6: Don’t Get Upset With Yourself

 

Yes, mediation will feel difficult. Yes, meditation will feel like a journey. And yes, meditation is worth it. 

 

However, there’s a very good chance you will get upset with yourself. Meditation, while on the surface seems extremely simple – is actually much more difficult than most people realise when they are starting out. 

 

Thoughts will come into your head. You’ll want to get up and move around. You’ll get frustrated. You’ll agonize over whether or not you’re doing it right. 

 

My best recommendation is to let all of that go. 

 

There is no perfect way to meditate. 

 

But practice is better than no practice. 

 

Be okay that you may slip up, that you’ll have a ‘bad’ session, that you won’t accomplish nearly as much, or progress nearly as fast as you’d like to. 

 

That’s okay. Don’t judge yourself. Just get back in there and do it again. 

 

The rewards of meditation go beyond just the feeling of having a ‘calm mind’. 

 

I’m a very pragmatic person. I love having tools that have functions. 

 

And to me, mediation is a tool to help me calm my mind, so that I’m better able to focus on the task at hand. 

 

Writing blog posts 8 hours per day, takes an extreme amount of dedication and focus (go ahead, try it yourself), and I wouldn’t be able to have that level of calmness and focus, if my mind was wondering all over the place. 

 

My recommendation is that if ever you want to start your own business, and become your own boss (which you should, just saying), that you incorporate some level of meditation into your life. 

 

Even if that is just becoming aware of your breath and slowing your breathing. 

 

  • Meditation Method #7: Keep A Journal With You

 

Last thought here is to keep a journal with you. 

 

Your mind is a treasure trove of amazing ideas. 

 

Seriously – if ever you thought you were just ‘dumb’ or weren’t an ‘ideas person’ – you’re most likely wrong. 

 

Our brains are filled with a lot of clutter and junk – and meditation helps us to bulldoze much of that away. 

 

Then what you’ll start to find is that your mind opens up – new ideas and new connections start coming to you. 

 

New ways of thinking, and new ways of connecting ideas start flooding into your mind, and suddenly you’ll get swept in thinking about all the amazing things you can do. 

 

Great – have a journal – write it down – get it out of your head – then keep going. 

 

You may find that your mind turns into a brainstorming machine once it’s achieved a certain level of calmness. 

 

At the same time though – do not beat yourself up if suddenly you’re not having ‘genius’ ideas. 

 

This is not a time for judgement, it is just a time for being. 

 

But always keep a journal handy – you’ll be surprised how many new ideas start coming to you, and having a place like a journal to write them down will be essential to getting those ideas out of your head, and allow you to get back to concentrating. 

 

At least until that next idea pops into your head of course 🙂

 

There will be many ups and downs, but this is a road of persistence. Do not judge yourself when you slip up. Dust yourself off, and get right back up again. 

 

Good luck, and enjoy the journey. 

 

-Arthur

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