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How To Meditate When You Have Squirrel Brain
I love lists.
I love them. I swear I get a little hit of happiness every time I check off a box. Sometimes I even put things on my “To-Do” list that I’ve already done just to mark it off! Please tell me I’m not alone in this.
I bring up my list-loving ways to share with you as one of the reasons I have a hard time meditating. You see, I have squirrel brain. Once I close my eyes and try to think of nothing, SQUIRREL! “I need to add that to my list” I’ll think. “Oh! I should make a list for that!”.
Once I’ve gone a couple minutes and have thought of all the lists I need to create, where to create them and everything to put on those lists, SQUIRREL! “I wonder what I’ll have for dinner tonight?”. “What am I going to wear tomorrow?”.
Experts on meditation will tell you that when you have thoughts during meditation to just let them pass by you. Just let them float on by. Well my thoughts aren’t clouds, they are SQUIRRELS! They skitter about all cute and beg for my attention.
Distract the squirrels!
So here is my not-so-expert opinion on meditation without the squirrels: distract them! Throw a handful of nuts far away from you so you can get some peace. “How do I distract the imaginary squirrels with imaginary nuts to get some meditation in?” I hear you ask. Valid question.
Here’s some methods that I use to distract the squirrels:
- Guided: The easiest choice on this list. You listen to a recording guiding you through the mediation. This helps because it gives your brain something to focus on. There all all different kinds of these out there, including some to help you sleep, visualize your success and to relax. I use meditations found on the Insight app for iPhone (yes, it’s free).
- Kundulini: Kundulini yoga includes a series of movements and breathing techniques for various outcomes. Since you are moving in a rhythmic way, this is a great way to keep your mind focused.
- Walking: Something repetitive can help you focus. So whether you’re on the treadmill or enjoying nature, a walking meditation can really help your mind keep quiet. You also get a work out in so there’s an added bonus!
- Mantras: I love mantras! Mostly because they are so easy, I’ll admit. A mantra is a pleasant saying you repeat to self over and over and over again. “I love money and money loves me” is a personal favorite. You can facilitate this process by using a mala necklace, which is used by repeating the mantra on each bead, or you can use a mantra on Youtube! These are my favorites: