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AdviceUnder Effort

Under Effort

Helpful advice if you're continually falling asleep or finding that the mind is cloudy while meditating.

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For many people, they probably identify a lot more easily with over effort than under effort. But for quite a lot of people still, you know, this idea of finding the sweet spot between focus and relaxation and perhaps not applying quite enough focus is still a real thing, you know? And if you're someone who you found yourself perhaps falling asleep continually over a long period of time, or you find that the mind is very cloudy, you don't really kind of have that sharp clarity when you sit to get your headspace, then hopefully this little guide will be helpful. Part of the reason whether we kind of apply a little too much or a little less, it can sometimes be sort of a character thing, you know, you even, you see it even in little babies some are kind of always moving, always busy and others are just kind of very relaxed and at ease and they're sort of two ends of the spectrum. And of course in headspace, we're trying to find that sort, that middle spot. But sometimes it's conditioned as well, it's habit, it's how we live, how we choose to live our life. So if we are very, very laid back, to the point of being horizontal in our everyday life, then of course that's gonna show up in our headspace as well. I'm reminded of a time when I can remember, remember sitting, doing some exercises like this in a retreat one time and I could see this guy in front of me and he just looked so relaxed and at ease. And I was kind of new to it at the time and I was thinking, "Oh wow," and I felt so sort of tight, intense, and. And anyway, after, then we sort of close their eyes and got on with the exercise and then afterwards we were chatting and I said to him kind of, "Oh, you know, you must've been doing this for a long time 'cause you looked so relaxed." And he said, "Are you kidding me?" He said, "I just couldn't stay awake. I just kept falling asleep." And he said, at one point, he said, "I just opened my eyes and looked around the room," and he said, "Oh, you look so upright and you look like you are so kind of focused." So our perception of kind of each other was very different from the experience. And in truth, we were probably looking for the somewhere between the middle. But of course, the way we set our body up has a real kind of impact on how the mind behaves. If we are slouching in an armchair, on a sofa, then of course the mind is likely to be sort of a little bit cloudy, perhaps a little too relaxed. So we need to kind of set ourselves up so we're sitting upright with the back straight. Ideally in an environment where there's this sort...


Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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