🧘 What should I do when distractions come up in my meditation practice?

Option 1: Fold them into the meditation

It’s possible to fold some of these challenges into your meditation. When distractions arise, see if you can simply notice them without reacting. Whether the distractions are in the form of thoughts, sensations, sounds, or anything else, we can observe them with curiosity and non-judgment. In this way, the meditation becomes about bringing more into our experience instead of trying to keep things out. Joseph Goldstein’s meditation in Session 5 of The Basics course (“Respond, Not React”) is particularly relevant here.

Option 2: Return to the anchor

The fact that you noticed these distractions is good — they can be moments of mindfulness (despite how they sometimes feel). As soon as you notice that you’ve gotten distracted, gently return your attention to the breath, or whatever you may have chosen for your anchor in the practice. Joseph also offers more strategies for dealing with distractions in Session 7 of The Basics course (“Keep it Going”).