Meditation is incredibly beneficial. It’s some of the best training you can give your mind. It directly enhances your focus and mindfulness, which in turn improve everything from mood to memory. Any task that uses the brain (which is every task) benefits from regular meditation.
If you find it difficult to clear your mind, you’re not alone. Don’t use that as an excuse to give up though. Difficult things matter – they filter out the uncommitted, leaving only those with enough elf-discipline to continue. Be thankful that it’s difficult, otherwise no one would appreciate it.
Don’t use the difficulty as an excuse to struggle, though. Meditation involves clearing your mind. It does not involve stressing over whether you’re clearing your mind well enough. All it requires is that you simply be.
This is why I recommend focusing on your breathing. It occupies your attention without inviting thinking. It brings your mind and body in sync. There’s also the benefit of relaxing you. Simply pay attention to your breathing and it tends to slow and deepen. This puts you in a better state of mind for meditation.
And when you begin to realise how interesting, engaging and subtle your breathing can be, it changes the way you see the world. When your breathing fascinates you, there’s nothing in this world that falls beneath your attention.
There’s another benefit to training your mind using your breath. This benefit supercharges what meditation does for you. It deepens and enhances your practice, skipping over years of study (if you’re dedicated, that is).
Are you ready for this secret?
I’m serious. This will sound simple but it’s not. This will make the difference between you succeeding with your practice and giving up. If you take it to heart, you’ll start reaping all of the benefits almost immediately. Anyone who ignores this will have to spend years working to catch up to everyone else.
Okay, the big secret is…
You can breathe anywhere. Your breath follows you.
You should be.
When you learn how to use your breath to anchor your awareness, you can meditate in traffic. Or while talking with someone. Or while writing. If you want to bring a little calm, focus or mindfulness to any task, then you can use your breathing.
You can even use it while struggling to meditate. If your mind keeps wandering, then focusing on your breath will help you. It’s the best way to recover from your mind wandering, whether you’re meditating or living your normal life.
The idea of using breath to stabilise attention is just as important in self-hypnosis. And learning self-hypnosis is another one of those things that takes years off your meditation journey. It’s a closely related and underutilised discipline, so check it out because you’re always ready to learn more: