Can’t Concentrate While Meditating?

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Meditation can remove stress and replace it with a dose of inner peace. It’s one of the best tools we have to balance our emotions, deal with physical and psychological distress, and promote the peace of the present moment.

However, have there been times when you sit down to meditate and nothing seems to be working?  You know what I mean. You can’t concentrate, you can’t relax and your mind is zinging off in different directions. You wonder, am I doing this wrong? What’s the point? Nothing seems to be working. Don’t worry, you’re still meditating. Even when it feels futile, there are still important shifts happening below the surface.

Over the years, I’ve played with various techniques to still myself, to prepare to meditate. While chanting is wonderful, it’s not always possible.

Here’s a quick tip that may work for you. If you can’t focus your mind, shift to the physical plane. Say to yourself: Relax your forehead. Breathe. Relax your eyes. Breathe. Relax your jaw. Breathe. And so on.  Usually it’s enough to center yourself, to bring you back into the present moment. Now you can return to your meditation, your mantra or watching your breath with true focus.

If meditating on your own requires some effort, try guided meditations. This is by far the best method for me. The audios literally walk you through a meditation and help you find a calm and peaceful state—one step at a time.


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20 thoughts on “Can’t Concentrate While Meditating?

  1. I agree that chanting is a very effective form of meditation and that is how i gain composure when i am panicky. Another form is tratak meditation. In this form of meditation you have to focus on ur third eye(everyone has one!). This form is not as easy as chanting and requires lot of practice and dedication. While i havent actively been practising it many around thw world vouch for its benefits!

    1. Interesting. I focus on all of my chakras (which includes the third eye). I will have to look up that word. Thanks Aditi! Going to work now but Enjoy your weekend!

  2. I have tried this meditation stuff couple of times and I cannot concentrate. As in I cannot focus for one minute. My mind is always full of stuffs. *sighs

  3. My one hour in morning is Dedicated to God. I read portion of Gita daily. Best person to nudge to take the journey of Yog and Meditation is perhaps Param Hansa Yogananda.

  4. Nice article! I like meditating. sometimes I have trouble concentrating due to severe dissociation. I’d love it if you’d take a few minutes to check out my blog over at I write about my process of psychotherapy and my journey to recovery from severe mental illness. XX

  5. This reminds me of a person I once met that had previously dated a swami. No matter how hard she tried to get clarity, she could not get her mind to focus in meditation. She kept asking me, “How do you tap in?”
    There must be varying degrees of this block. As for me, I just tap in at any time or any place. I just focus on my Higher Power and I’m outside of myself. I’m hearing the things I need to know about myself, situations, or any other thing I need to be aware of at the moment.
    It did take a bit of practice at first. I find it helps to maintain a state of rest, a state of being worry free, a state of trust in the Creator. We are not that far apart and all is accessible at any time. But I understand, it takes a bit for some to experience the calm.

  6. Nice to hear I’m not the only one who wonders !! can totally relate to your experiences, but going to give your suggestion a try, thanks for the tip

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