The human mind is rarely calm. There are a thousand thoughts racing through our minds. We become truly persistent worriers in our most vulnerable states. This state of mind which we call anxiety is a common phenomenon and a true antagonist to clear and realistic thoughts. An effective antidote to this problem is meditation. There are many forms of meditative practices, but we can start with one simple method referred to as noting meditation.
This is what the noting meditation does:
● Helps you to stay present
● Creates awareness about your mental state at a given moment
● Helps identification of the issue your mind is grappling at
● Helps you to recognize patterns in your thinking tendencies
To learn more, keep reading.
What is Noting Mediation?
Noting meditation is a meditation practice that uses a mindfulness technique to bring awareness to the busy mind.
In a short and simple way, noting meditation means labeling your thoughts as they arise. This form of mindfulness meditation helps to block out intrusive thoughts, and improve concentration or focus.
Once mental noting practice becomes second nature, the meditator is able to easily break through the fogginess of an obsessive thinking mind.
Labelled thoughts are easier to detach from. Like how it is easier to fight a known enemy rather than fighting an unknown one, once the thoughts are labelled, it becomes easier to acknowledge their grasp on our distracted mind well being.
7 Simple Steps to Practice Mental Noting Meditation
It’s time to get into the know-how. Here’s an outline of how you can practice this meditation technique of mentally noting thoughts to be more self aware.
Mental noting practice does not require you to sit yourself in any particular setting, so there is no hassle of finding the perfectly calm spot or the perfect pillow to sit on. You can reestablish mindfulness through noting in 7 easy and simple steps.
Step 1: Track Your Mind’s Actions
At any given time, try to give a name to what you’re experiencing or feeling. Mental note tracking requires noticing all your thoughts, and all the sensations that you experience.
Step 2: Label Your Distractions
This is the key step to accurately pinpoint what you experience. The many functions of your steady stream of your thoughts can be labelled in a very simple way. Try to explore that simplicity.
For example, the moment you are aware of having thoughts, use the label – “thoughts” or “thinking” to capture that moment in time. Also note moments in which you smell something, and label – “smell”.
This is how simple it can be to practice meditation with the power of mental noting.
Step 3: Repeat The Labels
Once you recognize your distraction and put a label on it, you have to repeat the label to yourself.
Let your inner voice adjust with how that label sounds in your mind.
Do this over and over again to revisit your intrusive feelings or emotions through a detached sensibility.
Step 4: Get Curious About Your Distraction
Each meditation session may reveal a meditation object.
In case of mental noting practice, this comes in the form of a frequently repeated note that keeps revisiting your mind throughout a meditation session.
Observe this recurring mental note and try to understand its source. But remember to do this after you are done with your noting session.
Step 5: Aim for Redirection
The intrusive mental activity that you just labeled is your distraction.
Once you have labeled them, you immediately start to feel lighter. You also become aware of a sense of redirection. Take a deep breath and let your mind become completely silent at this point.
The silence in your mind will dissolve those distractions and allow redirection to successfully help you into an evolved mindset.
Step 6: Incorporate Meditation Practice in Physical Sensations
Physical movement is a great way to stay present in the moment.
Try to slow down your mind when you are in the middle of simple activities such as walking. As you take each step, take a silent mental note, say “left” when you step with your left food, and “right” when you step with your right foot.
These are just a few possibilities of how you can meditate on simple things and help to sort out a lot of your feelings and thinking.
Benefits of Mental Noting Meditation
Mental noting might feel unnatural at first, but with practice you will be able to realize its true benefits on your mind. Here are two powerful benefits that you will notice after completing even a single session of this meditation practice.
- Mental Clarity
Meditation practice helps to have judgment by helping to create a deep connection with our physical sensations and emotional reactions.
When you are in a meditative state, all other thoughts except your meditation object are in suspension. This frees up your mind, allowing you to concentrate and focus better with increased mental clarity.
- Intentional Detachment
Detachment helps us to control fear and anxiety by identifying them accurately. Once you have identified that these thoughts are happening in your mind, you can simply address them as passing thoughts and calmly let them lose their grasp on your mind.
Meditation is self care. If you find it difficult to calm your mind by yourself, you can take the help of guided meditation to achieve the same level of calmness in your heart.
When you are meditating, remember to treat yourself with kindness and love. Release judgement, and note the love and kindness present in yourself and forgive your past mistakes.
After all, a healthy and calm mind is one that accepts its truth without fighting against life’s failures or overlooking successes earned.