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Mind Your Mind – How to Handle Intrusive Thoughts during Meditation

How to meditate

Mindfulness meditation is one of the best ways to live a happier, healthier, and more fruitful life. It helps you gain authority over your thoughts, emotions, and reactions, ensuring you become a well-rounded person who doesn’t let negative experiences ruin your day.

However, while it sounds simple enough, clearing your mind for meditation is something many people struggle with. It’s no easy feat to get rid of the thoughts that run about our minds all day long. That’s why today, we’ll discover the best ways to handle intrusive thoughts during meditation!

How to Handle Intrusive Thoughts during Meditation 

1. Change the Channel

Our thoughts are some of the most varying parts of us. Sometimes they’re kind and comforting, and other times they can be an absolute nightmare. If you find yourself stuck on the latter, it is best to try changing the channel and returning to it when you’re better prepared to deal with them.

Instead of focusing on the negative thoughts and letting them bring you down, imagine that you’re changing channels of the TV that is your mind. Switch to a more uplifting and positive memory and concentrate on things that evoke feelings of love, gratitude, and depreciation. These three emotions are the best medication for negative thoughts.

2. Be Compassionate With Yourself

All too often, people are loving and compassionate to everyone but themselves. If you find yourself scolding your mind for having intrusive thoughts or being unable to focus, it’s time to take a step back and practice some self-compassion. There is no need to be so hard on yourself!

A better way to clear your mind is by being kind to yourself and accepting that you have a lot going on. Just like you wouldn’t scold a child for getting dirty in the playground, similarly, don’t be frustrated at your mind for bringing up intrusive thoughts. 

Handle them with the care and love they deserve, and then slowly work on letting go. Practice some compassionate dialogues internally, or try saying them aloud for more effect. Once you’re calm and relaxed, try to start your meditation practice again. You’ll hopefully do a much better job this time!

3. Focus on Your Senses 

One of the simplest ways to clear your mind during meditation is by focusing on any one of your senses. Bring your complete, undivided attention to what you’re feeling and revel in it. Try not to let your mind wander anywhere else, and stick to that particular sense only.

It could be what you’re smelling, any surfaces you’re touching, or even what you see in your environment. Simply listening to your body as you breathe in and out can do wonders to clear your mind too!

It might require a few tries, but soon enough, you will be able to focus completely on one of the senses and then transition your blank mind back to meditation. Physical senses are an effective anchor to help you return to reality and eliminate any intrusive thoughts that could be interrupting your meditative state.

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