6 quick tips to help you sit still so you never have to worry about fidgeting again photo of woman meditating

12 Meditation Tips for When You’re Struggling to Sit Still

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Have you ever sat down for your meditation or breathwork practice only to realize that you just can’t sit still. You’re itchy, you’re twitchy, your legs are all over the place, you’re distracted, and you can’t focus. I know this is something I’ve personally been struggling with lately, so I wanted to share my twelve favorite tips and products to help you sit for your practices when you’re fidgety and just can’t seem to sit still.

1. Get Comfortable – Meditation Cushions

Get comfortable! Use whatever props you might need to physically feel comfortable. Personally, I use a meditation cushion set that includes a floor cushion with a seat cushion on top. You might need to use some yoga blocks to support your knees. Use whatever props you have including: pillows, cushions, or bolsters. Just make sure that you feel comfortable. If you feel more comfortable with back support, sitting in a chair may be better for you. Support your body in the way that it needs to be supported.

2. Wind Down

Give yourself some time to wind down. If we’ve had a really really hectic day know that our minds and our bodies can’t go from a hundred to zero on a dime. Take some intentional time to slow down before trying to step into our meditation practice or our breathwork practice. That could mean listening to some slow and relaxing music to give ourselves a chance to relax and decompress. Try stretching or some gentle movement to just dissipate some of that nervous energy that you have built up within your body from the day.

3. Try Candle Gazing Meditation

You may be having trouble sitting for meditation because you don’t have a good enough anchor for your mind. Meditations where you focus on something in the room with your eyes open can help because you have a physical thing to actually focus on. Candle Gazing Meditation is a form of mindfulness that uses a candle for this mental anchor. It can be used to help focus the mind and relax. The practice involves staring at a lit candle for a period of time, while focusing on the flame and letting thoughts pass through the mind without judgment.

4. Try Mudras

Try using mudras. What is a mudra you ask? Mudras are really just hand positions. Get on to google and search mudras. You’ll see a wide variety of hand positions with many different meanings and purposes. Pick whichever one resonates with you. Don’t spend tons of time picking, it’s not the mudra that’s critical for our purpose, it’s the act of holding the position. You could also just do prayer hands by pressing your palms together.

The whole point of trying to use a mudra to help you focus is that putting that physical and mental energy into holding your hands in a particular position will take energy away from your body’s desire to fidget and help keep your mind from wandering.

5. Stay Warm, Grab a Yoga Blanket

Also, make sure that you’re comfortable temperature-wise. I keep a yoga blanket on hand because I tend to run cold. If you’re a person who tends to run hot you might want to have a fan on hand.

If our bodies aren’t comfortable our minds won’t be comfortable so make sure that you do what you need to maintain your comfort.

6. Know Your Limits

Always keep your limits in mind. There’s no point in trying to start a breath work practice or a meditation practice that’s an hour long right out of the gate, that’s just going to end up being a frustrating and discouraging experience. Know your personal limits, and be realistic. If you’re having a particularly fidgety or distracting day, try doing a shorter practice for that day.

Make sure that you start smaller and shorter, and then you can work your way up to longer and longer practices from there. Make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success with your expectations for that practice.

Certain essential oils can help you de-stress and focus just with their scent. This is because of aromatic compounds contained in the oils called terpenes. Terpenes are especially effective at decreasing anxiety so we can think clearly and focus. The most helpful of these compounds are eucalyptol, limonene, and pinene. Rosemary essential oil contains all of these compounds. You can also try blending individual oils like pine, eucalyptus, and lemon, or purchase a pre-made essential oil blend for focus.

8. Don’t Give Up

Meditation is hard. It takes practice. But the benefits of meditation are well worth the effort. With regular practice, you can learn to control your thoughts and emotions, and find inner peace. Being able to sit still and clear your mind is a skill that takes time and patience to develop. So if you’re feeling frustrated with your meditation practice, don’t give up! Keep at it, and one day you’ll be able to sit still and calm your mind like a pro.

If you find yourself easily distracted or bored during meditation, it could be that you need a stronger mental anchor. Music and southing sounds can be a great anchor for a busy mind. I own an Ellia diffuser and I love it because not only can I diffuse my favorite essential oils, but is also has a selection of relaxing music and sounds to choose from.

10. Recognize Your Progress

Meditation can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that even making it a few minutes is progress. Meditating is hard! It’s easy to get frustrated when you’re trying to clear your mind and focus on your breath, only to have your thoughts jump from one thing to the next like a monkey on a trampoline. But it’s important to remember that even a little bit of progress is still progress. So cut yourself some slack, and give yourself a pat on the back for making it as far as you have. Be sure to give yourself credit for your accomplishments and reward yourself for sticking with it. After all, you’re doing something great for your mind and body!

11. Use Mala Beads

Try using mala beads. Mala beads are a string of 108 beads. You’ll also hear them referred to as prayer beads. You can honestly use any kind of necklace, beads, or bracelet that you might have around. There’s a specific way that Mala beads are typically used, but for this purpose don’t worry, you can just practice moving individual beads through your fingers. As you’re going through your breathwork or meditation practice this is just a tool to direct our focus away from fidgeting away from our mind wandering onto something else.

12. Be Kind To Yourself

Always remember to be kind to yourself. Committing to a meditation or breathwork practice is not easy, so be kind. Know that anything worth doing is going to be difficult and there’s going to be a learning curve, so be willing to put yourself out there and not be good at something while you’re learning. Know that the struggle is absolutely worth the reward, and that you’re doing something meaningful and worthwhile to improve yourself. Be proud of your improvements, celebrate your progress, and always make sure to reward yourself at the end of the day.

Did I Miss Anything?

Those are just six tips that I’ve personally found helpful. Experiment with them and find what works best for you. If there’s something that you’ve found helpful that I didn’t mention, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

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Andrea Andres
Andrea AndresRegistered Yoga Instructor | Certified Breathwork Coach
Welcome, I’m Andrea, and I help overworked busy people recover from physical and mental stress, and avoid burnout using evidence-based yoga, breathwork, and meditation techniques.