Meditation (For People Who Can’t Meditate)

Summary: As stress builds, the concept of meditation sounds appealing. Meditation has been shown to be useful for stress management1 and has many other benefits including heart health2, mood regulation3, pain management and more.

Intuitively we know that meditation can be good for us, yet it can be difficult to put into practice. In this episode of XO Conversations, we discuss a new understanding of meditation and it’s effects on our brains. We discuss different ways can re-train our brain to practice positive processes and focused attention and get meditative effects in different ways as a bridge towards a real meditative practice.

Maybe it’s not that I can’t meditate, maybe it’s that I haven’t figured out how to do it in a way that works for me

Topics We Discuss In This Episode:

  • How to get meditative effects if you can’t clear your mind
  • How to meditate for stress and anxiety
  • What does meditation do to the brain
  • How to start meditating for beginners
  • How to find a way to get meditative effects that work for you

[03:47] The biggest reason we want to meditate, reasons including stress management, emotional regulation, and overall better quality of life

[05:14] Meditation goes beyond sitting with a quite mind in a mediative state. Different forms include mantra, visualization, and concentrative meditation.

[08:12] Default Mode Network (DMN) – a network of neurons in the brain that is known to be active at rest.

[12:12] The more your DMN is focused on negative thinking, the less if focuses on creativity and positive thinking. Meditation helps to quite your DMN to better function and help with positive processes.

[16:11] Getting meditative effects without meditating consists of doing the “yes” things: focused attention, flow state, and positive feelings

[19:36] Staying away from the “no” things that turn on your DMN: like rumination, replaying negative thoughts over and over again, and being concerned with perspective of others

[24:42] Having bad experiences with DMN can lead you towards a negative spiral like feelings of depressions and anxiety. It remembers our past mistakes and creates a negative dialogue in our minds.

[26:15] We can train our minds to think differently by practicing meditative tasks that allow us to focus on one thing like with focussed attention.

[30:05] How do you know if something is meditative? You know by how you feel when you’re finished: feeling calmer and less stressed.

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  1. […] Remember that being compassionate to yourself means that you want to be happy and healthy (physically and mentally) in the long term. In many cases, we can confuse compassion by thinking that giving ourselves comfort may harm well-being (such as eating junk food, sitting around on the sofa). But giving yourself health and lasting happiness often involves a certain amount of effort (such as exercising, cooking healthy meals, managing stress).   […]