Meditation To Strengthen Your Awareness Muscles (Goodbye Procrastination)
Is there a long list of to-do things sticking on your desk but, the ghost of procrastination is pulling you away to get it done?
Well, congratulations you just landed in the right place! We are sharing with you a meditation that will help you build the mental skill of awareness focus loop. Not only this, it is found to bring you calm but also help you build your awareness muscle and break the habit of procrastination.
Ideally, this meditation exercise if offered by Tony Stubblebine. He views this meditation exercise as an awareness muscle-building exercise because it has both mental and emotional elements in it. This meditation resembles the exercise “reps” or repeats actions in a way that here you bring your attention back to your breath after being aware of the distracting thoughts. Thus, creating a loop of “focus-awareness-focus.” Hence, he also describes this cycle as “Awareness-Focus Loop.”
The inspiration for this meditation comes from the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. The book proposes that our thoughts are being processed in two systems viz.,
System 1: Is Fast, Emotional, and Instinctive
System 2: Is Slower, Logical, and Deliberative
When we procrastinate our mind is working in System 1. But, with this meditation, you will be able to shift your attention and thoughts to the second system thus, overcoming this habit.
Some mental health enthusiasts also refer to this meditation as “Mental Push-Ups that Cures Procrastination.”
So How Do You Do These Mental Pushups?
Well to practice these mental push-ups all you have to do is practice breath meditation. And no it is not your regular breath meditation. It has got a different angle to it, and this point of difference is chanting the phrase “I am aware” (hence the name).
Here is a step-by-step guide to practice: “I am aware” meditation, strengthening the attention focus loop, and kick procrastination.
Step 1: Close your eyes.
Step 2: Start counting your breath now from 1-50.
Step 3: Now if your mind wanders, stop your breath counts, and let it wander.
Step 4: As soon as the wandering starts making a mental note of the thoughts that are crossing your mind.
Step 5: Now tell yourself “I am aware that (fill in with your mental note).”
Step 6: After addressing your wandering thought, get back to your breath counts. Start from where you left.
Step 7: If another thought pops up repeat the same process. Make a mental note of it and repeat to yourself that “I am aware of it.”
Example of I am aware Statements:
“I am aware that I have to water the plants.”
“I am aware that I have to talk about last night with my partner.”
“I am aware that I have to send an urgent email to the client.”
“I am aware that I am thinking of watching the next episode of the web series.”
This way you will tell yourself that, Yes, I am aware of what I am thinking and here my thoughts are wandering. It also shifts your thoughts from system 1 to system 2. It is a great way to dig out the feelings that are making it difficult for you to make that decision or to work on that task. By telling yourself verbally, you can bring your feelings from the subconscious to the conscious mind.
But why do we claim “I am aware that” meditation aka mental pushups as a cure to procrastination?
This I am aware meditation helps you to deal with specific procrastination. This meditation allows you to notice that, yes, you are procrastinating, with the help of your developed awareness muscle. It makes you aware of your feelings and anxiety that is underlying specific procrastination. This further ensures that you are facing (fighting it) instead of taking a turn (taking a flight). By developing this form of self-regulation, you effectively overcome your challenging tasks. The magic here is to readily notice the tasks and feeling, with your attention muscle being strengthened through mental pushups!
For how long shall you do these mental pushups and train your mind?
Well to make sure that the rider (rational brain or system 2) in charge of your elephant (emotional brain or system 1) you are free to set your own time limit to practice this meditation. However, a minimum of a 5-minute session is definitely recommended.
Free Guided I am aware Meditation Video:
Now it’s time for you to make your mind do pushups and battle off procrastination healthily.
Do try this meditation and share your experience with us in the comment section below!
Its brain train time! Remember the drill… “Focus… awareness… focus.”
More power to you!
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