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Midday Moment: Getting an A+ for effort in meditation

Mindfulness May continues on! If you’ve been dealing with the recent heatwave as poorly as we have, even the little things might be riding on your nerves right now. Luckily for you, Midday Moments are here to relieve some of that accumulated stressWe’re spending some time every lunchtime dedicated to one helpful way a day to feel better about yourself. Today we’re dissecting another branch of the meditation tree: effort. 

This fantastic animation from Headspace sheds light on the relationship between effort and meditation and how we can get the balance right.

It’s weird to think about putting ‘effort’ into meditating. The common stereotype is that meditation is a lot of ‘clearing your mind’ and ‘relaxing’ and ‘lying on the floor’ – that one didn’t really need quotes. However, effort and concentration is at least as big a part of meditation as learning to find temporary peace.

Here’s what we learnt from Headspace’s amazing animation:

  • We force effort sometimes, in all aspects of life, in order to achieve quicker or what we perceive as better results.
  • Meditation is similar to trying to get to sleep when you’re feeling really restless. The harder you try, the further you move away from actually relaxing. You can’t force meditation, it happens naturally.
  • It’s like taming a wild horse. Rather than pinning a horse down, you give the horse plenty of slack on the rope to run around.Very slowly the rope is brought in until it reaches a natural state of peace.

If you’re reading this and thinking “This is all well and good but how do I actually meditate”. Well, our Midday Moments have been going on every day through the whole of May to teach you and give you some instruction in reaching a state of peace and understanding yourself a little better.