Meditation Level Up: Distraction Training

Meditation Level Up: Distraction Training

(cover image credit:  Dorota Dylka)

Did You Know?

Getting back on track after being distracted? It takes a whopping 23 minutes! The pizza should be arriving by then. Best way to deal with distraction, not have it at all...if that's ever, EVER possible. And no, at least I don't.

Well, this is the whole reason why you meditate...well, not all of it, but part of it. So now you're already a champ at meditating in total peace, as steady as a rock. But our world's as noisy as a group chat with 100 messages per minute. Is your typical meditation enough to help you ignore the world of noises?


The Next Level

Here's a crazy idea: meditate with distractions. Like, imagine trying to chill while your friend drums beside you. Weird, right? Well, a little bit...


Why The Hell?

(image credit: Jonas Stolle)

When you first started meditating, focusing on your breath seemed to be the hardest thing on earth. But once you got the idea, then you have it. If a quiet meditation to destress is all you need, then keep exactly the way it is.

But if you hope to train your resilience, adding a bit of weight will be necessary. Meditating with noise it's like gym time for your brain. Like trying to stand on your hands while throwing a ball. Sounds impossible, but soon, your focus will be sharper than you can ever imagine.


How does this even work

Meditating with noise is like reading with the TV blaring. If you manage, your focus game is leveling up.

This is how it works:

(image credit: Milad Fakurian)
  • Recognition: Ever found yourself daydreaming about the weekend in the middle of an important meeting? That's your mind drifting away. In meditation, it's about catching that moment when you start thinking about that cool movie or what's for dinner.

  • Refocus: Once you catch that daydream, it's time to reel your brain back in. It's like realizing you missed a turn in a video game and quickly steering back. In meditation, that's getting your focus back on your breath or whatever you were concentrating on.

  • Repeat: Meditation's a lot like working out. When you lift weights, you do reps to build muscle, right? So every time your mind drifts and you bring it back? That's like doing a brain rep. Keep it going to build that strength and muscle memory.

This practice helps you gain control over your mind, rather than letting it wander aimlessly. It trains your brain to notice distractions and then consciously choose to refocus your attention.


The payoffs

(image credit:  Isaac Smith)

Practicing this technique can have several real-world benefits:

  • Better Focus: Like being able to watch your fav show even when your siblings are being noisy.
  • Chill Out More: Less overwhelmed by stuff, like when everyone's spamming your group chat.
  • Get Stuff Done Faster: Fewer distractions = tasks done quicker.


When to train?

Just like the timing of your workouts, the scheduling of your meditation sessions is key to maintaining consistency. This particular meditation practice requires a notable amount of energy to cultivate intention and build resilience. As a result, it might be more manageable for some to practice once a week, while others may prefer daily sessions at specific times. Experiment to determine what works best for you, then create a plan and stick to it.

(image credit:  Charanjeet Dhiman)

    Before work: It's a brain warm-up! Kickstart your day and get prepped for all those meetings and clients...

    After work: Think of it as that last push-up you push yourself to do. This is prime time to challenge your focus and build mental resilience.

    Weekends: Time to switch things up. Maybe try longer sessions, introduce different background noises, or if you feel like it, go back to the basics with some chill, quiet meditation. It's your call! Just enjoy it.


    The Roadblocks

    This isn't easy mode. But remember, every game has its tough levels.

    Because you've been practicing meditation, you probably have some expectations for immediate results, but keep in mind, this new practice is a muscle gain workout, not a stretch to whine down. It will be exhausting and frustrating at the beginning. After this training, a short session of a quiet meditation like you always do can be ideal for a proper stretch.

    (image credit:  Kyle Johnson)

    Go Easy On Yourself: Just like in any game, there are moments when you might lose track or get sidetracked. When meditating, it's natural for your mind to drift or wander. Instead of getting frustrated, remember it's all part of the learning process. Every player, no matter how pro, had to start somewhere.

    Start Slow: Imagine you're playing a new level in a game. You wouldn’t rush in without understanding the challenges, right? Similarly, when you begin meditating with distractions, ease into it. Let yourself get familiar with the process without feeling overwhelmed.

    Stay With It: Think of meditation like leveling up in a game. The initial levels might seem tough, and you might feel like quitting. But remember, the more you play and practice, the better and more skilled you become. Stick with it, and you'll soon notice your focus and concentration leveling up too!



    If you are new to the meditation game, check out our meditation crash course:

    2-min Read: Workout Routine for Your Brain

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