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Meditation isn’t complicated, but a noisy mind will tell you it is. The goal of mediation isn’t to quiet the mind, as is often stated. A quiet mind becomes a benefit realized later on. But while in the act of meditation, the goal is to just observe the mind without getting swept up into thought.
It’s the difference between a radio blaring, drowning out all other noise, or a radio playing softly in the background. When you’re swept up in thought the radio is blaring. When you’re in a meditative, or mindful state, the radio is playing softly in the background and isn’t distracting.
Turn down the radio
Meditation can be a highly valuable tool for caregivers, because it can calm an overwhelmed mind. Caring for a loved one with dementia or a serious illness can, and usually does, result in mental trauma. When a brain is exposed to trauma, it becomes highly fearful and protective. Left to its own devices the mind and body can get caught in a trauma thought/emotion loop, and strengthen itself with every cycle. This loop can terrorize an individual, and create hopeless visions of future events.
Meditation trains the mind to lift up out of these thought loops. Going back to the radio analogy, a brain stuck in a trauma thought loop has the radio turned all the way up, with the same song playing over and over. Meditation allows you to step back from that radio, to really hear the song that is playing and recognize that you can control the volume.
When you control the volume, you can turn down the noise on what isn’t helpful, and focus on what you need to: caring for someone you love.
It’s just a thought
One thought that will often get in the way of a caregiver taking the initiative to meditate is “I don’t have the time.” To an overwhelmed mind, this can seem true. (A stressed out mind spends all of it’s time in thought loops of anxiety and worry, which can seemingly eat up time.) But a trained, focused mind knows this is just a thought.
Besides, mediation doesn’t have to take a lot of time. It just takes a commitment. Like any other skill, it must be practiced regularly in order to be mastered.
If you are willing to commit for as long as it takes, the benefits will be profound.
There are so many resources out there now for meditation, from YouTube videos to curated apps. My favorite resources are:
I also have a colleague who teaches Neurosculpting meditation, which is designed specifically to initiate safety in the brain. You can find his website here.
Work with me
Along with meditation, a coach can help you get a clear picture of your mind, and the thoughts you are regularly thinking that are creating a fearful experience. The tools I teach will help you see exactly how your brain is creating your current experience, and how to change it.