Bernadette Balla is an ambitious and spiritually focused young woman who lives and works in the eclectic hub of San Francisco.
She started in the position of quality assurance manager at Silicon Valley start-up Twitch in 2009. Twitch is the world’s leading streaming video and gaming platform, a recent unicorn, having been acquired by Amazon two years ago for just under a billion dollars.

Over the last few years Bernadette has dedicated herself to the evolution of an authentic and spiritual approach to her life, one she now integrates seamlessly into her career in the tech world. She firmly believes in the power of positive thinking and the importance of savouring every moment you experience in life.

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★ I have explored practical methods to achieve this drawing on my fascination with the way science and spirituality interrelate to create a new way of approaching life!
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  • Masha R "I met Bernadette and my life changed. It gives me so much positivity every day! Bernadette inspires me every day! I work in a creative and thanks to Bernadette, I get a lot of inspiration!!! When I read a book Bernadette, I identified a lot of advice. She inspired me to change! I'm actually very happy that familiar with this lovely girl! I am grateful to Bernadette for her energy, positive! I want to meet Bernadette in person, I want to feel her crazy, positive, and impressive power in real life!"
  • "This is such a great blog. I come here everyday for new content to soak in! It's fun, fresh and exciting. I just cannot get enough. You are amazing to me. Life changing. I am more grateful than words can express. Thank you for being"
  • "Bernadette is super fun. I want to meet you in person girl. You have a unique personality that is lovable and loving. Your sharings make me smile and inspire me to be a better person. You are gift. I share you with everyone I know. Amazingly recommended. Fab! "

Why do we shop for stupid things?

Visit any medium or large town on a typical Saturday afternoon and what do you see? Shops upon shops line the streets and busy malls are packed with people, eager to get their hands on something new, something exciting.   

Big signs saying “SALE! HALF PRICE!” attract people looking for bargains. Queues and queues at every clothes shop, perfume counter, jewelers.

But it’s not just any Saturday...

It’s the first since the release of the latest iPhone!

Phone shops are bursting at the seams. Teenagers await their shiny new devices, excited to impress their friends. Mr business man can’t miss out either - he simply must have the sleekest and newest design so his clients know he’s successful and respectable.

What’s this really about?

What’s our real motivation behind this behaviour?

Are these things what we really want?

We live in a world where everything must happen now. That eBay seller doesn’t post items on the same day? They’ve lost a good few sales.

Or how about that customer in front of you in the supermarket, not packing their bags fast enough, delaying your turn by a few seconds?

We want instant gratification, we don’t want to have patience anymore.

This is a whole subject in itself but when you look at people’s shopping habits it’s clear to see...the thrill of something new, regardless of quality.

Instead of saving money and buying good quality clothes that last, many of us compromise and go for what’s cheap and accessible to us in that moment.

Give Me More!

The pressure from advertising doesn’t help.

Playing to our fears and desire to belong, putting pressure on us to conform to keep up with those around us like Mr business man I mentioned earlier.

Happiness, Peace & Joy…in 10 easy payments!

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So Well-Connected Through Social Media, yet So Lonely?

Do you ever think as if you are virtually in touch with the whole world through social media, but still get that lonely feeling? Is ‘liking’ all those pictures of friends on Facebook and Instagram, causing more thoughts about missing out and happiness rather than delight? Don’t worry. You’re not the only one going through this.

In this age of social media dominance, where a majority of the population is found texting on their smartphones while walking, talking or driving, it has become a norm to spend a vast majority of the day interacting through an LCD screen with others.
Whether it’s youth trying to keep up with their peers or the older generation staying updated about the current affairs through social networking sites, our entire society is turning into cyber slaves!
Many of us have a habit of checking social media for news and updates about our friends and interests, first thing in the morning and last thing before going to sleep, not to mention the countless quick visits during the day! It’s no doubt an addiction which is considered to be the next biggest health issue on par with obesity and substance abuse.
There is no denying the fact that being surrounded by loved ones brings comfort and peace. However, unfortunately, when the bonding is through social media rather than through physical interaction, it tends to have a somewhat negative influence.
By increasing the number of Facebook friends and Twitter and Instagram followers, we are losing out on real and meaningful friendships. Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist, rightly pointed out that it’s the quality of social interactions, not the quantity that defines loneliness.
A shocking fact revealed by a recent study is that loneliness increases mortality risk by 26%. Regrettably, this is the direction our society is headed in. Without maintaining a healthy balance, the fun and enjoyment in our lives would be anything but that.
One of the major factors contributing to the loneliness social media has brought into our lives, is that people tend to share only the positives in their lives with others. Statuses about new jobs and new houses, check-in’s to fancy restaurants and holiday selfies, urge others to also post about their happy lives. All this is done under the social pressure to keep up with the rest. It’s a vicious cycle. The problem starts when we compare our behind-the-screen life with that of others’ oh-so-perfect life portrayed through social media. There are no genuine shared experienced which are important to build real friendships. But with the absence of anything vulnerable, social media users tend to get more isolated rather than getting connected.
To see the effect of social media’s influence in our lives, several studies have been done, each showing a different result, nevertheless very similar to the rest. One of the studies carried out by the University of Pittsburgh questioned 1,787 people between the ages of 19 and 32 about their use of popular social media sites. The results revealed that people who visited these sites more than 58 times a week were three times more likely to feel lonely compared to those who visited them less than nine times a week. Technology, use it wisely! 
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How to stop thinking unwanted thoughts


I live my life pretty much thinking I will never get to place where I am able to tame my inner voice. You know what I'm talking about, the inner voice in your head. My inner voice won't shut up.  My inner voice talks to me negatively.
I need to have some peace from that verbal thoughts in my head. I started to notice the negativity self talk, from then on, I built on a series of experiences that will allow me to "detach" from the constant stream of consciousness so I can experience more moments of happiness than unhappiness.

It's simple and here is what worked for me:

1. I change myself mentally.

Becoming very aware of thought patterns that do not serve me, is the first step. I catch myself every time a thought spirals into a negative place . When you make this a habit, it will become natural and in time, it will be the default in your brain. I automatically catch myself saying stupid things to myself :

  • if i left my house earlier, i wouldn't have missed the bus. ( well, i missed the bus, okay let's move on)
  • i hate myself for loving him ( ahah! i caught myself, i'll be good to myself)

The world is full of drama and confusion. I realized that my negative childhood programming had left me with low self esteem and some deeply entrenched habits.  I made the decision to change my perceptions and consequently my beliefs. It does take practice and effort. Self talk technique is entirely possible as long as you commit to the process.

2.  I  chose acceptance over struggle to make it through a difficult period.

Funny enough that when I chose acceptance over struggle, I instantly felt a sense of deep peace. I wasted a lot of time trying to control things that are outside of myself. When i realized that the only thing i can only control is me, the faster peace will come. We are often all involved in a constant battle with relationships, money or health issues. I discovered a tremendous sense of release when I decided to not allow my mood or state of mind to be dictated by what another person is or isn’t doing, or how a circumstance is unfolding. Strengthening your connection to yourself is the ultimate empowerment, whatever is happening on the outside. My "what ifs" became less frequent and my mind calm.

3. I keep my muscular system and posture healthy.

I don't feel guilty indulging in regular massages anymore. I honor my muscles and my body, they deal with so much bullshit from our external environments. Often we experience imbalance in our lives because of the disharmony of internal factors in our bodies.

Maintaining a healthy posture activates the anti-gravity muscle in our autonomic nervous systems .

Astrand and Rodahl (1970), in their discussion of the reflex activities of the anti-gravity muscles which maintain our upright posture, note that it is probably the most important relay center involve in this unconscious activity. They state that feeling of happiness, alertness or attention will increase the general gamma 2 fiber activity, whereas opposite types of feelings will decrease it. "In this way the very noticeable relationship between an individual's mood and posture may be explained." (p. 100)
This type of relationship would explain why it is 50 easy to get "stuck" in a mood or posture. For example, a depressed person who is walking around all hunched over and withdrawn is actually perpetuating those feelings and postures due to the impinging proprioceptive impulses on the posterior hypothalamus.

If you want to know more about the emotions and muscular system, check out Douglas J. Tataryn 's "Emotions, Muscles and the Cortex: A Physiological Basis for Repression " full research for free here.

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We’re talking about your brain.
Come achieve inner peace with me

Imagine every single thing, every thought and action, every decision that is a part of your life and makes you so unique and special. 

And consider one more fact. Your brain doesn’t even control all of the aspects of your being consciously... It does far more work unconsciously. Perhaps we can call this phenomenon the difference between the brain and the mind. Try to imagine the brain as the “hardware” and the mind as the “software”. The hardware – the brain, is merely an embodiment of our thoughts, desires, potentials, ambitions and every other aspect that makes each of us an individual. You can see it, you can even feel it. But, you cannot touch or feel your mind. Nevertheless, you know it’s there.

We can agree that every computer, regardless of its size, processor, operating system and other details is programmed to do something. It is utterly useless if it lacks programming! And programming is nothing more, and nothing less than a list of commands by which it operates.

Guess what? Your mind is no different than this. It operates under strict rules and “programs” which are triggered in certain situations and under certain conditions. If any of the two changes, the context also changes, hence leading to a different outcome.

The program tells the computer what to do and how to do it. The hardware cannot do much without the software. And, like any other software, your mind did not come to existence on its own. It is a product of the people you know, situations you were in, and circumstances you came across…to put it shortly, it is a consequence of all the influences you were exposed to, consciously or unconsciously. They are the fabric of what you are.

Remember when we previously said that the brain does far more work unconsciously? That was the bad news. The good news is – you can reach deeper and grasp how your mind works! Once you discover its unconscious mechanisms, you make them conscious therefore – something you can control and guide. That’s where NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) comes in.

We can describe NLP as an integrated approach to communication, psychotherapy and personal development with the main goal of identifying the “bugs” in our software and fixing them. Or, better yet, improving the software so much, that it can actually identify the “bugs” itself, become aware of them and choose not to use them.

Imagine the number of mistakes you have made during your lifetime because you reacted instinctively? You did not choose to act the way you did, you were conditioned to by your subconscious.

NLP is a way to help you get rid of instinctive behavior, become more aware of the underlying mechanisms of the mind and “upgrade” them when necessary. Once doing so, you choose your actions (and reactions) and become a more active participant of your own life.

NLP is not here to fix you, because there is nothing broken about you. NLP is here to help you re-gain control of your own future through self-empowerment and self-fulfillment. The phrase “practice what you preach” is taken literally in NLP. Since the 1970’s when it came to existence, it keeps changing and upgrading. Yes, NLP advocates for self-empowerment and self-fulfillment, but unlike a number of other approaches, it is also a subject to the same principles. NLP is in a constant process of “upgrading”.

NLP is all about excellence. Excellence you can achieve if you put your mind to it, literally. It is not a set of rules and dogmas you must follow to become successful, or popular. Most of all, it is not a set of rules of how to become someone else. It is merely a tool to help you discover yourself, both your strengths and weaknesses, thus helping you – help yourself.

To rephrase a scene from the 1999 movie “Matrix”: NLP can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.

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The Law of Attraction

self help bernadette balla

I talk a lot about benefits of positive thinking. What if the concept of positive thinking doesn't motivate you? 

Enter the concept of "The Law of Attraction." Why? Because The Law of Attraction focuses on the concept of like attracts like. 

This is my understanding of the three steps of the Law of Attraction as expressed through the teachings of Abraham Hicks.

Step 1- Ask. (We are all asking for what we want by default all the time. Asking happens every time we think about the way we would prefer our lives to be)

Step 2 - The answer is given. (The answer is created by the Universe and exists in a vibrational reality that we have the power to access using the next step)

Step 3 - Allow in the answer. (We allow ourselves to match the frequency of the vibration of the things we have asked for by relaxing, visualizing, enjoying and feeling our way to that “vibrational reality” with our emotions)

The books and Youtube videos of Abraham Hicks offer a wonderful variety of creative processes to use as practical tools to help get us into the right frame of mind.

Abraham Hicks takes the concept of energy being at the heart of everything in the universe, and like Albert Einstein, states that when you match the frequency of the reality you wish to attract, you cannot help but get that reality. In other words, focus and attention is the key. Whether you are focusing on the negative aspects or the positive aspects of a situation, you will be attracting that back to you.

With this in mind it’s easy to see that hard work and forceful effort are not the way to successfully manifest what you want.  The key is in allowing all that you dream of to flow effortlessly into your life by effectively lining up your energy to match the vibrational frequency of your desire. You want to allow for the right timing of things, and you achieve that by first becoming a match to the things you desire so that you yourself are ready to allow them in!

What does that mean?! Let’s take an example, you wish to take an incredible trip to a country you have never visited, but you currently don’t have the financial resources and cannot see how it will ever come about.

You could begin reaching for the positive emotions that you feel when you think about going on that trip. Rather than allowing the negative thoughts to take over (I cannot afford it etc.) you focus purely on the feeling place of various aspects of the trip. It could be the excitement you will feel booking the ticket or researching the area, maybe you actually imagine being on the plane or feeling the sand between your toes and smelling the air of the place.

The idea is to stay in a place of positive emotion as much as possible without allowing in the feeling of not having had those experiences yet. When we consistently feel positive emotions first, we are sending a signal to the Universe to bring more things, feelings and experiences that match those emotions. They may start to arrive in the form of ideas, inspiration to have a certain conversation with somebody or to read a certain book or be in a certain place. Staying open to the hows and whys of how something will occur is important.

Abraham Hicks point out that if we are trying too hard (i.e forcing ourselves to feel positive emotion around a subject that is just so heavy with negativity or low expectations it is impossible to really change the energy around), then it’s best to leave that topic alone for a while. Instead we can actually achieve the same results by distracting ourselves and choosing different thoughts.

The message from Abraham Hicks is that any positive emotion we feel is a sign that we are on the right track. Accentuate the things that you enjoy in life, make lists of positive aspects, be determined to see the best in everything and enjoy your life all the while anticipating the future you desire. You have to find and practice the vibration of what you want and how you want to live until it supersedes the vibration of doubt - that is when it happens! Things fall into place, and you move from a state of hoping and trusting to just knowing it is coming.

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I decluttered my space, my life and this is how i did it.

Whenever it is you are reading this, it is never the perfect time to start fresh. Perhaps you want to make lasting changes in your lifestyle, the way you think and live your life but you don’t know where to begin.  Clearing out the unwanted items from your physical surroundings is actually a deeply affective place to start, with the power to  transform not only your living space but your entire life.

This is how I live minimally in my studio apartment in San Francisco, California.

My tips are simple and will set you on the right path to a clutter-free home and a clearer mind.

How to get started. Take a look around your living space and consider how many of your belongings are just taking up physical and emotional space, without contributing much more. Assess what you have accumulated and visualise how you would like your home if it were not so cluttered with the old.

Mental Clutter is Material Clutter. If you’re feeling frustrated or stuck by repetitive negative patterns in your life, don’t underestimate how connected the mental and the material are. Our living environments are a reflection of what is going on in our minds. Something as seemingly underwhelming as throwing out old objects, clothes, books and unwanted knick knacks can literally change the way you view your life.

A Quick Hack to Happiness. The change of space and the visual impact of reducing clutter produces a shift in perception. The connection between where we live and our frame of mind is crucial. Think about it, do you want to come home to a place of scattered, crowded energy or a soothing, open space that ignites creativity and positive thoughts? You don’t have to throw out all your beloved items, there is always a place for the things you cherish, the idea is to create a coherent space of belongings that you love, those that uplift and enhance the positive energy of your home.

Digital Declutter. Don’t stop at clothes and books, extend the purge to your digital belongings. We’ve all got a drawer somewhere stuffed with old cell phones, batteries, chargers and cords. Even our laptops, iPads and phones are bursting with folders of unwanted photos and downloads. Get organized by deleting and moving files, uploading storage to the cloud and making sure you know exactly where to find things when you need to. Clearing your digital desk top of downloads and useless files will give you renewed inspiration when you sit down to a task as well as improving the productivity of your device.

Face Your Fears. What are you afraid of releasing emotionally as you throw out items? Ask yourself if there are things you are clinging to because of sentimental reasons? Old letters, photographs and souvenirs are the big culprits here. A decluttering session can take twice as long as you get caught up in nostalgia and the personal value of things. The focus here should be whether or not you can let go of an object and still hold onto the memory? Do you really need to keep those love letters from your ex? Or can you find a release in the letting go? It is challenging to face these fears, but ultimately clearing the old is accompanied by a rush of excitement, as it makes way for the new.

Focus Your Mind. Once you begin on your decluttering mission it won’t be long before you realize the positive effects. Knowing exactly what you have in your wardrobe makes decisions much easier when choosing what to wear or shopping for something new. Life gets simplified in all areas. It’s as though your mind has found a clearer focus that extends way beyond the task of clearing your space and into the rest of your life.

Be a Positive Influence. You’ll be surprised just how much of an impact your decluttering will have on the other people in your life to make their own changes. Once you have created your ideal living space, hold a gathering to show off your hard work. Your friends and loved ones will delight and compliment you on your achievements, finding inspiration to tackle their own clutter. We all live such busy lives it’s so easy to let years go by without every really making lasting changes. The effortless flow of order that you accomplish with your organized space will be apparent in the positive energy that it radiates.

Minimalist living is an amazing way to rehaul your home and your life. It’s not just about trying to be an organized person, you will witness incredible transformations as your old perceptions change and a fresh approach to life opens up. The accumulated energy of chaotic clutter extends into our minds and lives. It is so important to make your home a luminous sanctuary that reflects the peace and calm you deserve!

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A beginner's guide to the different types of meditation. Find your style.

Meditation has had a surge of popularity in recent years as more than ever people realize the benefits of regularly quieting their minds. However, if you are just dipping your toe into the world of meditation, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the vast collection of different techniques and remain uncertain as to which one would be right for you in your life.  You don’t want meditation to become a chore, the ideal way to practice is to look forward to meditating, because you can feel the positive changes taking place.

Here I will demystify three specific meditation practices that work in harmony together for anyone interested in learning more about focusing the mind.  Binaural Beats Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation and Mantra Meditation.  

Bear in mind that like any new skill, any form of meditating is challenging to get the hang of. Of course you will face some difficulties when you begin your practice, i was on the same boat and still am sometimes!  It’s easy to get distracted at first, your mind will wander and your thoughts will become louder, darting around and zooming off on wild tangents. This is normal and happens to everyone, even those advanced meditators.  

It can help to remember that you do not need to struggle to achieve a quiet state of mind, instead think of meditation as allowing a state of mind to emerge that already exists within you. The quiet mind beneath your chatter,  that calm confidence that is the inner you.

The three meditation methods below are a great way for those exploring the practice to really get to grips with what it’s all about. Simple guidance through these techniques will help you establish a routine of meditating in a way that works by incorporating them into your daily life.

What is Binaural Beats Meditation?

This practice is based on the premise that meditation allows us to change our brain frequency. To fully understand how binaural beats works, you need to know some basics about how the brain functions.  

Our brains are made up of about 20 billion neurons that generate electro chemical vibrational impulses. These electrical impulses are how our brain cells communicate with each other. The patterns that form as a result of this electrical activity are brain waves or frequencies.

Scientist can measure these brain waves using sensitive medical equipment such as an electroencephalogram (EEG). They have found five main categories of brain wave patterns, each corresponding to different activities and associated with a different state of consciousness.

  1. Gamma - The Gamma state is the best time to learn and retain information, it’s when we are at our most intensely focused.
  2. Beta - The Beta state is where we spend most of our day functioning. It is the alert state of mind we are in when working or thinking in an analytical way.
  3. Alpha - The Alpha state is when we are relaxed and calm, after any kind of activity that brings us to a more lucid or reflective awareness.
  4. Theta - The Theta state is where we begin to go into a meditative state. We are intuitive and can visualize.
  5. Delta - The Delta state is the state of being in a deep, dreamless sleep.

Where do the binaural beats come in?

When you listen to sounds of a specific frequency, your brain waves begin to synchronize with that frequency.  Binaural (meaning “two ears” ) beats works because when listening to two slightly different tones our brains register a beat that measures at the difference between the two frequencies, taking us into a meditative state of mind. This is why sound meditation is an effective way to induce a desired mental state by manipulating our brain waves.

How to practice Binaural Beats Meditation?

So many people give up on meditation because they simply can’t train their minds to a quiet space, find it impossible to focus or get frustrated with how long it’s taking to get results. The reason this technique can help with beginners  is because it acts a shortcut to getting the best from your brainwaves. If you surrender to the audio tone, you effectively allow the binaural beats to synchronize your brainwaves and rapidly enter one of the states associated with meditation (usually alpha or theta).

You don’t have to think about anything at all, you just listen and let your brain waves respond. It’s a very natural and effective way to bring your mind to calm every day. It’s best practiced with headphones and there are many free downloads or examples of binaural beats meditations available on the internet.

What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Basic mindfulness is possibly one of the easiest ways to integrate meditation into our daily lives. It is the practice of paying attention to the present moment with an accepting, nonjudgmental disposition. With mindfulness you do not have to try and stop thinking, or empty the mind. It is the ability to become aware of your physical sensations in the present moment and to see your thoughts and emotions more clearly, a way to keep your thoughts in check and not let them become negative judgements about yourself or your life. Mindfulness meditation is really the simple act of being present in everything you do and when made a regular part of your life can in time become your natural way of being.

All those extra words and thoughts that clutter the mind are just serving to cause our energy levels to spike and dip. In moments of quiet we are much more able to feel peaceful and productive, calmer and at one in our lives.

How to practice Mindfulness Meditation?

It’s very simple, all you need to do is remind yourself through the day to be aware of the present moment and really feel and enjoy what is happening in that moment.  Stopping to breathe deeply, to remember what you are doing and why and to take stock of how you are feeling enables you to notice things you normally may ignore without realizing.

You can practice mindfulness in any situation, washing the dishes, taking a shower, driving your car or before making a phone call or sending an email. If you are often stressed out or anxious about life, stopping to just appreciate what is happening around you and within you, even if just for a few seconds is an incredibly effective way to bring your mind back to a state of calm, again and again. Eventually, mindfulness will become seamlessly integrated into everything you do.

What is Mantra Meditation?

When beginning your journey into meditation, reciting a Mantra  can be a very useful aid to inducing the right state of mind for meditation. As discussed, some of the main obstacles to successful meditation are the busy crowd of thoughts that zoom around our heads and refuse to go away. Choosing to repeat a word or phrase either out loud or internally helps to focus the mind. As we pay attention, bringing the mind back repeatedly to the same sound through mantra, the mind becomes more unified and we become more present in our meditation.

The word Mantra comes from India and is said to mean a “mental device” or “an instrument of the mind.” Some of the most common ancient Mantras used are “om” (the sacred sound of Hinduism) and “Om Mane Padme Hum” (Buddhist). Aside from serving as a focus for the brain, Mantras also hold ancient spiritual meaning which is said to transform you through the process of meditation. You don’t need to know anything about that to experience the benefits of Mantra Meditation,  simply by knowing the word or words and repeating them as a method of pure focus is enough.

How to practice Mantra Meditation?

Decide on the Mantra that most resonates with you. There are even more Westernised and modern versions of Mantras you could use if you prefer or you could create your own. The beauty, however of a Mantra like “om” is in its simplicity. It is the most basic and powerful of Mantras, easy to repeat and the sound itself is said to symbolically tune us into the sound of the universe, connecting us with all living things. You can decide whether to chant the Mantra out loud at the beginning of your meditation and then continue internally, or whether it works best for you to speak the word throughout. Either way, the benefits will begin to show themselves to you with time and acceptance.

Meditation really is a process of showing up for yourself again and again and accepting that there will be good days and bad days. Allowing your individual journey to be adaptable, illuminating and above all pleasurable will help you stick to the practice. Meditation is not about being perfect, it’s about connecting with self. It’s easy to bring a little of our productivity mindset to meditation. That desire to win and overcome things isn’t going to help with your meditation practice, you have to feel the present moment and allow it to be as it is. Allow your practice to develop naturally and above all enjoy it.

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How to Overcome your Struggles with Meditation: 10 Steps For Lasting Change!

How to Overcome your Struggles with Meditation: 10 Steps For Lasting Change!

Everyone struggles to meditate at some point during the process. Meditation can seem deceptively simple, therefore frustration kicks in for many of us when we discover we can’t quite master it straight away. Remember, it’s called practice for a reason, it does take time and discipline before it starts to feel natural!

In my own journey with meditation, I had occasions where I wanted to tear my hair out. Intense feelings of irritation and anger would overwhelm me as my busy thoughts refused to go away. I would tune into annoying outside sounds that I couldn’t avoid and want to give up!

I want to save you from the same process of self-doubt and chronic feelings of failure so you don’t turn meditation into a complicated inner battle or a chore to tick off the list.

I’ve created a 10-step guide to help you address some of the common reasons meditation can feel like an uphill struggle. This list will help you breakthrough the barriers to achieving a simple and gratifying meditation practice, allowing you to see you are not alone.

1.Why do You Want to Learn Quieting the Mind?

We are more compelled to do things if we feel inspired, rather than when we feel obliged.
It’s good to remember why you were drawn to the idea of meditation. I found that reading many different books on the topic helped me to keep on track. Knowing that others had experienced such transformative results, motivated me to continue. Ultimately when you are enjoying your practice you will wake up excited to meditate. Until that day, feed your inspiration as best you can.

2. What are your Expectations?

It helps to put some thought into what your expectations from the practice are. Are you hoping to become calmer? More confident? More productive? It’s also beneficial to think of how your meditation may affect others in your life.

3.You must make time.

The reality is we all lead very busy lives and it’s sensible to carve out a specific time to meditate. When you first awake is usually the best time to practice. You haven’t begun a day of distractions. Your thoughts are still in a more relaxed state. The aim is to treat meditation a bit like taking your vitamins, until it becomes a seamless part of your everyday routine.

4.There is connection in shared experiences.

It can be easier to meditate in a group for you and experience the benefits and insights of a shared practice. Instructors are used to students falling asleep in the class, there is no pressure. Others can talk about the challenges they are having and it can help you to feel a sense of joint dedication. If that's not your thing then, consider at least discussing your process with friends who are also starting to meditate. Meditation does not have to be some mysterious, unattainable thing and the more you open up about your process with others the easier it can become.

5. Find your Technique

If you are still exploring different methods of meditation, it can make things harder. It’s a good idea to experiment with various forms and styles but try to choose one that resonates with you and stick to it for a period of time. It’s important to start small and build a practice gradually.

6. Are you Obsessing on Intruding Thoughts?

This is the big one for most people. If you are waiting for some perfect state of mind to occur before you can meditate, that is like saying you can’t possibly meditate unless you have an empty room filled only with expensive candles and crystals. Perfection is not the aim. A common misconception is that we must stop or get rid of thoughts to be able to meditate. I have found it is much easier to consider that the desired state of being already exists in each of us, we simply have to allow it to surface. Instead of a focus on eliminating thoughts, focus instead on allowing in a calmer, quieter sense of self, the one that is there at all times just waiting to rise up.

7. If you Skeptical of Meditation, Keep Doing Your Research

Even just a tiny bit? You are embracing meditation, there must be some part of you that believes in results. It can help to consolidate your belief by researching some of the many articles, books and blogs that address the scientific proof of meditation as a beneficial practice. If you are armed with knowledge and understand that meditation actually alters brain matter, reduces anxiety and stress, promotes positive thinking, body image, confidence and improves brain cognition, you may cultivate a little extra excitement towards your daily practice.

8. Are you making a mountain out of a molehill?

Sometimes we create problems out of nothing, just to make sense of why we are finding something challenging. Do you find yourself criticizing your efforts? Does it feel like your mind is brimming with thoughts that you cannot possible control? Are you filled with a strong desire to stand up and scream instead of meditating? At the beginning it’s very common to become frustrated at how intensely agitated our minds suddenly become when sitting still. When you realize that this part of the process, and in fact if you can allow all of that negative self-talk to just be there in the background, you will find it starts to dissipate. Let go of the idea of there being a problem and see it as part of the learning experience.

9. You will get distracted

The reason why the simplicity of meditation is misleading is that it does actually take some kind of self control to nail it. If you allow yourself to daydream the entire session, you will end up just half-heartedly meditating. It helps to gently remind yourself that some effort is required to keep your mind focused on your breath, or mantra or whatever technique you are using. Be gentle with yourself, but also be realistic. It’s not going to happen without some intention and desire to focus 100% on the practice. You will get distracted, the key lies in calmly bringing your attention back again and again without self-criticism.

10. Open mind to give a new approach a chance.

This is the most crucial point to bear in mind, and especially integral to committing to a practice. I began my own journey because I felt utterly compelled to try something new. I had hit rock bottom in my life and I was basically desperate for anything that would help me make changes. Combined with an enthusiasm and open mind to give a new approach a chance, you will observe incredible transformative changes occur in your life. As you solidify your practice you will see the wonderful effects in your experience and so each feeds the other making meditation an essential tool for a positive life.
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★ I have explored practical methods to achieve this drawing on my fascination with the way science and spirituality interrelate to create a new way of approaching life!