22 May Mindfulness Facts on Meditating with Noise
Here we have some simple mindfulness facts and tips you can practice when you just want to take a break and meditate despite noise.
When you need to step out of stress and into a calm, serene and peaceful state of mind, noise and distractions make it really hard for you to do so. The key to your meditative growth is to understand that you do not have access to a blissful silence all the time. Sure, you can wake up early or do it before bed- both situations are ideal and no one will be around to disturb you. But what if you have to meditate right away, and you get caught up amid unavoidable noise?
Focus on this:
The mind is a great tool we access every day. It has been programmed to absorb, process and make sense of noise. It’s tendency to think about sound, and associate meaningful links to it is a very innate thing. That is why we have certain reactions to noise.
If we hear a guitar, it gets registered as music notes being played and our underlying subconscious will react positively to music. Until, it gets played near you when you have a deadline to finish. Then music just becomes noise and that in turn leads to disruptions and stress.
Same thing goes for meditation.
Instead of reacting to any disturbance saying “I don’t like this” or ” That is a distraction”, focus on letting the sound simply be a sound. It’s not a good sound or a bad sound. See if you can just listen to it without any judgement.
By doing so, you can create space in your mind and go into a more restful state of mind.
Beginning the meditation:
Step 1: Notice your body
You may begin by noticing the position or posture of the body. Something as simple as choosing whether you want to sit, stand or lie down.
Step 2: Observe your physical sensations
Now begin to notice again your body. Look at any sensations like pain or discomfort. See if you can dig deeper and understand if it’s warmth or coolness. There could be some kind of weight or pressure, or even pulsating vibrations. Simply notice these sensations in your body without any judgement. Just be curious about it.
Like ” Oh, that’s interesting: My knee feels cold”
Step 3: Breathe
Breathing helps us stay in the moment. Breathe in and feel the air going to areas with physical discomfort or sensations. Breathe out relaxing your body even more.
Step 4: Focus on the sounds
After you have relaxed your body and mind, turn your attention to the sounds. Are they loud sounds or softer sounds? Zone into the sounds and watch it come and go. Get into the rhythm of the sounds by understanding the silence between the various sounds.
Step 5: Don’t overthink the sounds.
Like I said above, a lot of us have some sort of associations with sounds. We either go - I like this sound or I don’t like this sound. Instead of adding images tot he sounds- just notice it without narrating it. Just be curious of the sounds coming and going without overthinking it. That way you can be in the moment and not get distracted.
Step 6: You may notice the weight of your body again. Feel your weight on your chair if you’re sitting or on the floor if your standing or lying down. Now take another look at your sensations and breathe. When you are ready, you can open your eyes.
Nehita is a mindfulness expert who writes extensively on lifestyle management, wellness and ways to lead a healthier and a happier life. She is a part of Aware’s expert team on meditation. She is also an avid artist who spends most her time dribbling amazing stories through art.