It’s not uncommon, especially for beginners, to become restless during meditation and inner training. Many people opt out of a meditation/inner training practice because they believe they can’t sit still or shut off their minds, and therefore the practice is useless. In this article, Joey Klein, CEO of Inner Matrix Systems, explains why the inability to sit still or turn off the mind is not a reason to forgo the practice.
The practice of sitting with ourselves, even for 5 minutes a day, can support us to train awareness and open up space for us to begin to influence ourselves.
If I can’t sit still, should I skip a session?
If you find that you have difficulty sitting still during a meditation/inner practice, don’t worry – you’re not alone. As you learn to train the mind, you may become more aware of the thoughts the mind is thinking. This is actually on track because the idea of meditation/inner training is not to stop thinking or to sit entirely still. The idea is to become aware of ourselves and our thoughts so we can learn what is driving our actions and outcomes.
If you begin to become aware of what the mind is thinking, over time, you’ll realize that the mind does not think thousands of new thoughts. The mind often “loops” and ends up thinking many of the same thoughts, lots of times. These “thought loops” are ultimately what create the outcomes in our life, because quite simply, thoughts become things. Although it may seem counterintuitive, simply becoming aware of what the mind is thinking can be incredibly powerful and the first step in influencing new thought strategies to create new outcomes we want.
The whole point of meditation/inner training is to become more aware. When you can’t sit still or find your mind wandering, simply note to yourself, “the body wants to move right now” or “the mind was thinking this thought right now” and then gently bring your attention back to your breath.
Using your breath helps to center and calm the nervous system. Once your nervous system is calm, you are more able to redirect your emotions and thought strategies to align with the outcome you want to create.
It’s better to commit to a meditation/inner training practice consistently, even if you find your mind wandering or a feeling of restlessness. Use those things as a training partner, rather than an excuse not to complete the practice.
Do I need to sit perfectly still during seated meditation/inner training?
There are many forms of meditation and inner training, including many of which do not require stillness whatsoever. The important thing to keep in mind while doing your meditation/inner practice is to place your body in such a way where it’s not activating an emotion. Crossing one’s arms or legs can activate anxiety or anger for some. Clenching one’s jaw can keep an emotion alive and activated. To place your body in a neutral position, Klein recommends sitting on the ground with your back straight but relaxed, tongue touching the roof/palette of your mouth, with your eyes closed.
What should I do when I feel the urge to move?
If you note that you can’t sit still, or your thoughts are running wild, acknowledge that to yourself. Then note how you feel. Emotions ultimately drive our thoughts and actions. If you can’t sit still or can’t stop your mind, note the emotion that is present. If you do this practice regularly: “Here is the emotion I feel, here are the thoughts I’m thinking as I feel that emotion, here is what occurs to me to do,” you’ll start to see that the mind is not thinking a million different thoughts or things to do. You’ll notice that when a certain emotion is present, you think a certain type of thought, and most likely do a standard set of things. When a different emotion is present, it too has a certain set of thought strategies and actions associated with them. Becoming aware of your emotions (by simply noting you can’t sit still or not think something, is internal training in and of itself).
Taking 5 minutes a day with yourself and noting what the mind is thinking while you simply close your eyes and tune in can be incredibly helpful in beginning to understand the emotion and thought strategies that are driving you.
About Inner Matrix Systems
Inner Matrix Systems, based in Denver, is a personal mastery training system for high achievers. For more than twenty years, IMS has delivered a proprietary methodology that rewires, trains, and aligns the nervous system, emotions, and thought strategies to create real-life results. CEO, Joey Klein, and IMS have worked with more than 80,000 individuals from around the world through both live and online training programs, as well as one-on-one coaching. Clients have included: Boeing, IBM, Dell, Google, Panda Express, Coca Cola and The World Health Organization. Joey is the author of The Inner Matrix: Leveraging the Art & Science of Personal Mastery to Create Real Life Results (June 2021).