Busy mind? Learn to get it under control for more peace and happiness!
“The only thing against you are your thoughts. If you learn to quiet your mind, you will have no problems.” Robert Adams
How long can you go without thinking a thought? Not very long I imagine.
Experienced meditators understand that the mind will always produce a thought or a feeling out of somewhere. If you can learn to observe your thoughts as they arise without grabbing onto them and starting a sentence, that turns into a vision and then a desire, which turns into physical action and then you wonder why you got distracted 10 minutes later, after sitting down just to have a quick cuppa, then you may just find some peace in your life!
A study done by Yale University showed that regular meditation can help get this uncontrolled, easily distracted mind under control.
The study showed that experienced meditators can decrease the activity in the default mode network (DMN) which occurs when we are relaxed, not thinking or focused on anything at all. When we are not thinking or focused, the mind often defaults into that monkey mind or daydreaming mind that is constantly ruminating over and over about things that are usually irrelevant. This area of the brain can be associated with wandering thoughts, anxiety and in more severe examples, some psychiatric disorders.
When this mind is able to be controlled, people generally experience more peace and happiness in their lives.
Yale did this study on experienced meditators and beginner meditators. They found that the experienced meditators had decreased activity in the default mode network, regardless of what type of meditation they were doing. The scans also showed that when the DMN was active, brain regions associated with self-monitoring and cognitive control were co activated in experienced meditators, but not in the beginner. This could indicate that with meditation practice, you can help rewire the brain to naturally control or suppress the emergence of mind wandering or monkey mind thoughts.
To sum up, regular meditation practice can help make you a happier person by allowing you to choose what thoughts you pay attention too and act on.
It can help you to make clearer decisions based on reasoning, observation and understanding and not just react to a random idea that pops up causing you act on it unconsciously which can often lead to suffering.
No matter what level of meditation you are currently doing (including none at all), try to practice just 10 minutes per day focusing on your breathing. Keep bringing the mind back to your breathing whenever you get distracted. The mind will always create a thought and try to distract you. The practice is bringing the mind back to your original intended focus, which is the breath in this case. This daily practice will have a lasting positive effect on your daily life by allowing you to focus on only the thoughts which you CHOOSE to focus on. Any problems that do come up, you’ll have the ability, (if you choose!) to not dwell on the problems but rather switch your mind to focus on the solutions!
Like anything in life, keep practicing, stay committed and positive and success is guaranteed!
Further recommended reading-
Accessing the theta brainwave whilst meditating can help with deeper meditations and just create a beautiful atmosphere and space.
Crystals can be a great tool for meditation if they resonate with you.
Worry stones can be a great crystal for focus and grounding in meditation.