If you’ve ever tried meditation, you know it’s no walk in the park to stay focused. It’s super common for the mind to wander and for intrusive thoughts to creep their way in. And yet, meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness and focus on the present. But how can you focus on the present when it feels like you can’t focus on meditating at all?
The good news is, meditation isn’t about keeping your mind completely empty though if that’s what works for your practice, you do you, girl! For those of us who struggle to keep our minds empty, though, it’s good to remember that meditation is about controlling your mind and focusing your thoughts better than you could before.
That means the moments you get distracted are not as important as remembering to bring your focus back to your current meditation. But you’ve got to have something to bring that focus back to. That’s why today, we’re sharing a round-up of things to focus on when meditating!
What To Think About When Meditating
Follow a guided meditation.
You can use a meditation app or find a guided meditation podcast, like this guided meditation on staying calm and returning to love from The Balanced Blonde: Soul on Fire, or any of the guided meditations from Mind. Body. No Soul.
Try a body scan meditation.
This is a meditation where you give attention to the sensations of the body. Starting from the top of your head, gently bring your attention lower, assessing each part of your body.
If you find your mind wanders, don’t worry. Just gently return your attention to your body. When you reach your feet, slowly bring your attention back to the top of your head.
Examine your thoughts and feelings.
Take a moment to think about how you’re feeling in the moment, and what thoughts you have about those feelings.
Many times, paying attention to your feelings can feel uncomfortable. If you feel that discomfort, take deep breaths to help process and welcome the feelings. It’s okay to feel things when meditating!
This type of meditation can really help your mental health. If mental health is something you struggle with, there’s more help out there. Try listening to some of the best mental health podcasts for more advice and support!
Focus on your breath.
This is one of the most common and simple types of meditation practices. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Take deep breaths and feel as your breath loosens and invigorates different parts of your body.
Use your senses in the present moment.
This is an effective mindfulness meditation, especially for those who are just learning to meditate. Take a moment to notice what each of your five senses are experiencing what are you hearing, what are you seeing, etc. (Hopefully you experience things like the pitter-patter of rain on the window . . . not your neighbors arguing or something.)
Meditate on your core values.
It always feels better when you’re living in alignment with your values. (Think things like hard work, empathy, and always returning the cart to the corral.) Taking time to meditate on what those values can help you to live them out more intentionally.
Bring attention to your goals.
Whether you already have a vision board, or you’re not sure what your goals are, a meditative session focusing on your goals can help you establish direction and make progress on your dreams! We also found the episode of The Blonde Files called Creating The Life You Desire Through Transformational Thinking super helpful!
Take some time for forgiveness.
We all have situations with people where forgiveness is hard. If you’re working on forgiving someone but find yourself blocked, meditating on that forgiveness will help you sort out your feelings about that person. Here’s more on changing your life through forgiveness!
Focus on your sense of compassion.
Want to expand your sense of compassion? Try meditating on the areas of your life where you already feel compassionate. Then, think about other areas where you could use that compassion muscle, like when waiting forever in line for the newest Stanley cup.
Think of a friend or relationship.
Relationships are better when we bring mindfulness and intentionality to the table. That’s why meditating on a relationship you have can totally improve the relationship a ton!
A great place to start for those of us with kiddos is with A Mindfulness Meditation For Easier Interactions With Your Kids from Raising Good Humans. For the rest of you without littles, listen to these tips and tactics for better relationships from Him & Her!
You might find you want to celebrate that relationship after this meditation. Here are some mental health gifts that they might appreciate!
Listen to music.
Sometimes, it’s our senses that lead to the best meditations. A simple yet effective meditation is to put on soothing music, then let your focus follow the music. When your mind wanders, just get your brain back on Cardi B or Yo-Yo Ma.
Try some affirmations.
You deserve to hear nice things about yourself! And you deserve to hear them from yourself most of all. Center your mind on positive affirmations while meditating! Need some affirmation inspo? Here are morning affirmations for women!
Manifest your dreams.
It’s one thing to bring your focus to your goals, and it’s another thing to manifest your dreams. To learn how to manifest what you want, try this episode of The Blonde Files. But, basically, you just visualize your future to make it happen, making it the perfect thing to focus on while meditating!
For more tips on manifesting, try these manifesting quotes.
Spend time loving yourself.
If it’s worth spending time meditating on your relationships, then it’s definitely worth taking time to meditate on your most important relationship: your relationship with yourself. To try this kind of meditation, listen to this 30 Minute Walking Meditation For Manifesting Abundance and Self Love from Life with Marianna. It’s a super good one!
Gratitude is absolutely ESSENTIAL to any mindfulness practice. Incorporate gratitude into your meditations by focusing on everything going well in your life! A great guided meditation for exploring gratitude is #Blessed from Mind. Body. No Soul.
Leave room for sadness.
All of our feelings are important to feel, but we often try to avoid sadness as much as possible. (We literally can’t even watch the series finale of Friends.)
However, scheduling time to process that sadness can actually improve your sense of wellbeing.
Invest focus on your creativity.
Sometimes creativity gets blocked, or we could use a little boost. Get the creative vibes flowing with this Harvesting Creativity and remember why creative outlets are SO important for our self-care with this episode of The Balanced Black Girl.
Reinforce your boundaries.
If you struggle with people pleasing, then girl, this one is for you! Enforce those boundaries, b*tch by first centering your mind on what you deserve and then what you’ll demand from others. For extra good vibes, wear this Boundaries crew while you meditate.
Think about what inspires you.
Thinking about what inspires you can improve your creativity, your daily engagement, and your sense of wellbeing. If you’re struggling to find inspo, listen to the episode of The Heal Podcast called Finding Inspiration in Uncertain Times.
Make room for healing.
Whether healing in a mental health sense or in terms of physical health, focusing on your healing during meditation can help guide your energy toward wellness. The Art Of Being Well has a great episode on How To Use Spirituality + Meditation to Heal Your Body.
There’s a lot to think about when meditating.
Remember, the important part of meditation is controlling your focus. So even when there’s a lot to think about, you can move your focus to your meditation of choice. Don’t feel like meditating when it’s a normal part of your self care practice? That may be a sign you need a mental health day. Don’t forget, you deserve to care for yourself!
Need a physical reminder of your intention to meditate? Try this Visualize It mug from The Balanced Blonde. Then, head over to the blog for more on meditation, manifestation, and mental health. We’re here to help you unlock your full potential, girlies!