What to Think During Meditation: A Guide for Improved focus and Inner Peace

Because knowing what to think during meditation can be the key to unlocking higher levels of mindfulness, this article will explore the art of quieting the mind and fostering focused introspection.

Diving into the world of meditation can often leave one wondering, “What should I think about during meditation?” The answer, surprisingly, may be to not think at all. Meditation is a practice of mindfulness, of being present in the moment, not lost in thoughts, worries, or plans.

It’s about observing without judgement, accepting without resistance, and simply being. This doesn’t mean that thoughts won’t emerge. They will. And when they do, the objective is to gently acknowledge them and then guide your focus back to your breath, or your mantra, or whatever your chosen point of concentration may be.

As we delve deeper into this topic, we’ll explore various techniques and tips to help you navigate your thought process during meditation, ensuring a more serene and enriching experience.

Key takeaways:

  • Positive Imagination: Visualize positivity and calmness.
  • Attentive Observation: Focus on natural processes like breath or heartbeat.
  • Mindful Affirmations: Incorporate positive affirmations into meditation.
  • Let It Flow: Allow thoughts to flow without trying to control or suppress them.
  • Utilize an Anchor Point: Use an anchor point like breath or mantra to stay centered.

Choosing the Right Thoughts for Meditation Focus

thinking meditation

Ever thought of a calming, serene seaside while meditating or envisaged being surrounded by a tranquil forest? This is because your thoughts play a significant role in guiding your meditation experience. Here are some points to bear in mind:

1. Positive Imagination: Visualize an environment or situation that radiates positivity and calmness. This could be lying in a quiet meadow or floating gently on a calm lake.

2. Attentive Observation: As in Vipassana, pay attention to natural processes such as the breath or heartbeat. This enhances concentration and induces a peaceful state.

3. Mindful Affirmations: Incorporate positive affirmations into your meditation. Phrases like “I am at peace,” or “I am stress-free,” gradually replace negative thoughts and evoke a sense of relaxation.

4. Let It Flow: Allow your thoughts to flow freely, without attempting to control or suppress them. This acceptance helps in reducing stress and maintains the focus.

Remember, the effectiveness of your chosen thought or focus point intensifies with regular use. So, choose wisely and consistently to gain maximum benefits.

Understanding the Difficulties of Focusing During Meditation

problem meditating

Harnessing focus during meditation can present a paradox. The aim, after all, is to clear the mind, yet one cannot help but drown in the deluge of incessant thoughts. It can be a pitfall for both beginners and experienced practitioners alike. The key is to remember that it’s perfectly normal for the mind to wander. Meditation is not about emptying the mind completely, but about gently brushing aside distractions to return to the object of attention.

1. Inevitability of Wandering Thoughts: It’s a natural aspect of human consciousness to have women’s thoughts. Acceptance is the first step towards better focus.

2. Overcoming Self-criticism: Facing difficulties in focusing doesn’t equate to failing at meditation. Embrace the process and make peace with imperfection.

3. The Illusion of Multitasking: Our minds are not designed to juggle numerous thoughts simultaneously. Attempting this during meditation can hinder the focus.

With a good grasp of these points, the path towards achieving better focus during meditation becomes significantly more navigable.

Employing an Anchor Point During Meditation

Deep Breathing Exercises

For an effective meditation journey, the anchor point plays a pivotal role. It’s a mental or physical focus that your mind can hold onto amidst its drifting. Some popular choices for anchor points include– focusing on one’s breath, feeling the body’s physical presence, or repeating a specific mantra silently.

The breath, owing to its rhythmic nature, is often a preferred anchor point. Close your eyes and concentrate on your inhaling and exhaling; the rising and falling of your chest.

Your physical presence provides a sense of grounding. Feel the weight of your body, the position of your limbs, or the contact of the floor or chair.

A mantra can also serve as an effective anchor point. Find a word or short phrase that resonates with you and silently repeat it during your meditation. For example, silently repeat “peace,” “I am,” or any other word or phrase that gives you a sense of calm.

Remember, the selection of an anchor isn’t the main focus, but rather that it helps you stay centered throughout your meditation. Choose what is easy for you to consistently return to, and change as desired if you find something that works better.

Using a Simple, Repeating Mantra for Meditation

meditation breathing

Gently resting your mind on a set word or phrase provides structure to your meditative practice. This method, known as the mantra meditation approach, might just be the strategic assistance your focusing efforts require.

1. Choice of Mantra: The mantra should be a word or phrase that is simple and resonates with you personally. It could be your core values like ‘peace’, ‘harmony’, or ‘balance’, or it could be a motivational phrase that lifts your spirit.

2. Repetition is Key: Consistently repeating your prospective mantra helps create a rhythm, which then aids in breaking the chain of random thoughts. The rhythm serves as an anchor during your meditation session.

3. Internal or External Dialogues: You can either say the mantra aloud or repeat it silently in your mind. Both have their unique benefits – the former helps in greater focus while the latter lets you internalize the process.

4. Technique: Begin your practice by focusing solely on your breath. As you feel distracted, start repeating your mantra, synchronizing it with your breath. Use it to bring your focus back whenever the mind starts wandering.

5. Non-Judgmental Acceptance: If your mind wanders off, don’t panic or feel frustrated. Gently return to your mantra without any judgment.

Remember, your mantra serves as a tool to bring your attention back to the present moment. It’s not about the words you choose; it’s about how you use them to connect with yourself.

Techniques to Avoid Intrusive Thoughts During Meditation

girl overthinking

Intrusive thoughts can create a hurdle in the serene journey of meditation. First, acknowledge that distractions are part of the process. When an unsettling thought pops up, observe it without judgement as if you’re an outside observer. Then, consciously steer your focus back on the breath or the mantra, keywords here being ‘consciously steer‘. This technique helps you regain the lost focus and effectively deals with the sudden rush of thoughts.

Another beneficial practice is to schedule a ‘worry time‘. Allocating a specific time to ponder over the concerns of your life helps in keeping them at bay during the meditation session. Additionally, practicing scan meditation, where one pays undivided attention to different parts of the body, functionally engages the mind and keeps random thoughts at a distance.

Remember, it’s not about forcibly pushing away thoughts, rather it’s about creating an environment where they no longer rule your mind.

Utilizing Affirmations for Improved Meditation Performance

Regular Meditation

To enhance your meditation experience through affirmations, begin by quieting your mind and focusing on your breath. Once you’re centered, introduce a positive, personal message or truth, your affirmation, into your consciousness. This could be ‘I am peace in the world,” “I am strong,” or any other empowering statement that resonizes with you.

Keep your affirmations present tense, positive, and precise. They should inspire and elevate your vibration, creating an environment of positivity and clarity, beneficial for deeper meditation.

Should your mind wander away from your affirmation, gently bring your focus back. Meditation is a continuous practice of refocusing.

Remember, the practice of using affirmations should not only happen during meditation. Consistent repetition throughout the day will affirm these beliefs in your subconscious, transforming not only your meditation practice but also your daily life.

Affirmations are effective tools for increasing self-awareness and establishing mental well-being. They offer a continuous reminder of your inherent abilities and aid in achieving an improved meditation experience. Through repetition, these positive thoughts pave the way for improved confidence, calmness, and overall emotional health.

The Role of Mindfulness in Enhancing Meditation Experience

Daily Meditation Practice

Mindfulness, a state of being fully present and engaged in the current moment, greatly enhances the meditation experience. By taking note of your feelings, sensations, and environment without judgment, you foster a more profound connection with your inner self.

Here are a few key concepts related to this:

  • Enhanced Awareness: Mindfulness encourages a heightened sense of awareness. This attentiveness allows for deeper introspection and facilitates a connection with one’s innermost thoughts and feelings.
  • Non-judgmental Observation: When practicing mindfulness during meditation, it’s important to observe thoughts and emotions as they are – without labeling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This impartial stance cultivates acceptance and tranquility.
  • Distraction Management: Mindfulness training helps you stay focused. Over time, it teaches the mind to gently return attention to the present moment when distracted, amplifying meditation efficacy.
  • Emotional Regulation: Mindfulness enhances the mood management abilities. By observing emotions without reacting, you understand them better and handle them constructively.

Remember, mindfulness doesn’t mean going through every moment hyper-focused. It’s about noticing life’s nuances in an engaged, non-judgmental manner, fostering a deeper meditative practice. Always remember, these benefits do not occur immediately; they require continuous effort and practice.


How do I control my thoughts during meditation?

To control thoughts during meditation, it is important to freely acknowledge the presence of thoughts, let them flow through your mind like a river, without engaging them or actively attempting to stop them.

What should you not do during meditation?

Avoid making the mistakes of not setting a designated time for practice, being overly concerned about the technique, attempting to completely eliminate thoughts, or expecting instant results during meditation.

How can different types of meditation influence thought patterns?

Different types of meditation, like mindfulness and transcendental, can influence thought patterns by promoting relaxation, enhancing control over disruptive thoughts, and encouraging positive thought processes.

What strategies could be used to prevent distractions in meditation?

Establish a dedicated quiet space, adopt a comfortable posture, focus on your breath, use a mantra, set an alarm, and when thoughts stray return to the breath as strategies to prevent distractions in meditation.

How does mindfulness meditation assist in managing negative thoughts?

Mindfulness meditation assists in managing negative thoughts by enabling individuals to observe their thought patterns non-judgmentally, thus fostering a deeper understanding and creating an opportunity to detach and let go of harmful narratives.