A guided mindfulness meditation to work with thoughts.
Have you ever tried to focus on something, but your thoughts keep carrying you away? It can happen with work, meditation, conversations, food — you name it. A practice of mindfulness meditation can help improve focus because we practice paying attention to some experience in the present moment. When we do this, of course our attention wanders to thoughts, or sounds, or memories, or plans (anything other than what we’re trying to focus on), and this gives us an opportunity to practice noticing where the mind went and bring our focus back to the present moment. We don’t have to make thoughts go away in order to meditate or focus on something that’s important to us. We just need to practice shifting thoughts to the background.
I’m a licensed mental health counselor who enjoys sharing mindful meditations and information about mindfulness. Below is a transcript of a meditation I led on this topic, and at the end of the article, you’ll find a link to the meditation video. Give it a try and see what happens.
We can begin by moving a little bit, stretching, doing whatever the body would appreciate doing as we work our way into a meditation posture. We tend to sit in this group and so it can be helpful to have both feet on the ground and an alert posture that isn’t overly rigid.
If you’re comfortable closing your eyes, you can go ahead and do that, but it’s fine to have them open as well.
We can begin by noticing the sensation of the floor underneath our feet.
Already our minds may be working overtime.
As we begin to attempt a focus on the sensation of feet against the floor, our minds may still be working through something that happened or getting us ready to work for the rest of the day. And those thoughts will happen, of course. They’re natural.
But see if you can shift them behind you as in imagining that it’s a radio, or Spotify, or Pandora, or your music source of choice, emanating from a speaker that is behind you. It’s in the background and we’re choosing to focus in the foreground.