Use this quick meditation to calm your mind when it’s in total overdrive. Once you’ve got the technique down, you can use it to connect to a sense of peace and well-being any time you find yourself overwhelmed by thoughts.
Ever feel like your brain has no ‘off’ switch?
When your mind’s in complete overdrive, it seems almost impossible to focus or concentrate on the important stuff because we’re constantly being distracted by our own thoughts.
For example, I remember when I first tried to meditate. I told my therapist at the time that this shiz just does not work. It’s not for me. I couldn’t sit still. I constantly wanted to fidget. I couldn’t relax. My mind wouldn’t be quiet.
What we don’t realise is that it’s in these moments that we most need our meditation practice; it trains us to step back and just watch the thoughts go by, without allowing them to have such a hold over us.
This short 10-minute breathing practice is amazing for connecting to a sense of inner peace and wellbeing, when you feel like your mind’s on the verge of a meltdown.
Preparing to meditate
Here are a few tips to help you settle in to your meditation practice (and keep yourself all comfy and cosy throughout).
You can sit on any upright chair or cushion – the most important thing is that your spine is supported (or self-supported, if you choose to sit slightly away from the back of the chair).
It helps to wear loose-fitting clothing, and keep a shawl or blanket handy to prevent you feeling cold since our body temperature drops a little when we relax.
Sit with dignity, not too rigid and not slumped – this helps you remain focused and aware of any sensations as and when they arise in the body or mind.
BREATHE: 10 minute breathing meditation practice
If you haven’t meditated before, check out The Ultimate Guide To Meditation For Beginners to get started.
In this practice, we focus on the breath. The breath is an amazing anchor to use as a focus for our attention – because it’s always there.
This means that once you’ve got the technique down, you can continue to use it as part of your normal practice – or you can incorporate it whenever you feel yourself getting dragged into the drama of your thoughts. Relaxing and super efficient.
Here’s how to do it
Download your free guided version of this meditation from my resource library.
1. Take a seat, set a timer (for 10 minutes, or longer if it feels right), and gently close your eyes.
2. Focus on the sensations in the parts of your body that are in contact with the chair or floor, and explore how these feel. Notice how it feels to be alive today.
3. Bring your attention to your breathing, and notice where you feel its presence strongest in your body. You may feel it more strongly in your belly, your chest, or even your nostrils. Try not to change your breathing, but simply focus on your breath rising and falling as the body breathes itself.
4. If your mind wanders, acknowledge where it went, then gently (and without judgement) bring your attention back to the breath. If it helps, try counting the breaths up to a count of 10. Each time you escort your mind back to the breath, start again at 1. Remember that each moment is an opportunity for a fresh start.
5. Continue to bring your attention back to your breath until you finish your practice. Remember to congratulate yourself each time you notice your mind has wandered – this noticing is where the true practice is.
Over to you – what else do you do to chill out when your mind feels too busy?
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