Meditation is a great way to calm your mind and center yourself so that you can handle the rigors of your daily life. But sometimes, when you’re meditating, if you’re anything like us, there’s a question of whether it’s actually meditation or simply taking a nap.
How do you know if you’re meditating and not sleeping? There are a couple of things you can pay attention to if you are taking a nap and not relaxing.
First, oftentimes when you meditate, you’re still aware of your surroundings, and you are distinctly making an effort to control your breathing. However, in sleep, none of that occurs.
Though certain effects are the same such as relaxation and feeling more energetic when you’re done, there’s a clear difference between the two. So let’s take a look so that we can help you figure out if you’re meditating or sleeping.
Does Meditating Feel Like Sleeping?
Several factors are very similar when you look at meditating and sleeping. Most of those have to do with the benefits of both. Meditation and sleeping both allow you to distress and allow your body time to rejuvenate itself.
Where they don’t feel the same is when sleeping. Typically, you are unaware of your surroundings and not really in control of what your mind is doing. On the other hand, when in meditation, you are alert to all of your senses and your surroundings.
You also are very alert when it comes to your thoughts, as meditation is intended for you to analyze those thoughts and calm your mind.
Are You Supposed to Think While Meditating?
We’re sure that many people have this preconceived notion that meditation is about being absent of thought. However, that is not really what meditation is focused on.
Yes, you do use focal things like breathwork and your senses to pull your mind away from thoughts, but that doesn’t mean you’re not thinking.
Many meditations utilized thinking as a way to manage those thoughts. You have to be able to allow your brain to think to clear out the negative thoughts and focus on the positive ones. So, yes, there is a level of thought while meditating.
Is it OK to Meditate Lying Down?
Whenever you say meditating, we’re sure that the initial image that pops in your head is someone sitting cross legged with their fingers on their knees chanting “Om.” But in truth, there is no right way to meditate.
Meditation is about finding a comfortable and quiet area to allow your mind to clear itself. That means if sitting isn’t comfortable for you and you want to lie down, then that is perfectly acceptable. Your meditation practice is up to you.
What Should You Not Do During Meditation?
Meditating can be a great way for you to spend a little time realigning yourself with the energies surrounding you. But just like with anything, there are things that you should avoid when doing it. Here are a few of the things you should not do during meditation:
- Don’t worry about getting everything right the very first time. The truth is meditation, like any other thing else, is a skill, and you will have to build it up, so be patient with yourself.
Don’t get frustrated, and if you happen to miss a day or have stray thoughts, just know you’re only human.
- Without audio interruption, don’t go down the rabbit hole. Your mind is inevitably gonna wander, and you’re going to have stray thoughts bounce in and out no matter how experienced you are with meditation.
But following those thoughts can lead you into a spiral that takes you out of the flow state.
- Don’t go in with specific expectations. It’s fine to utilize meditation as an overall relaxation, but you can’t focus on a set goal in the situation.
The more you concentrate on those expectations, the less you will be in the moment and able to connect with the energies within and without you.
How to Avoid Hijacking While Meditating?
When are the biggest problems when it comes to meditation getting hijacked by the thoughts that are running through your mind?
When you’re focusing on breathing sometimes, your thoughts and emotions will become heightened, and you may wind up focusing on the breathwork rather than the breathwork.
The best idea when trying not to get hijacked while you’re meditating is to call yourself back into your body and begin focusing on that breathwork.
Don’t judge yourself for letting your mind wander, but don’t let it continue to wander away from the moment. Instead, acknowledge it and then bring yourself back to your body.
Knowing whether you are meditating or sleeping is very easy because of your awareness level.
Simply that’s the best way to address the issue, and we hope that all the other tips and techniques above help you improve that meditation practice you’re trying so hard to cultivate.