You’ve heard that meditation is good for you and you know it probably will be, but you for one reason or another, you just can’t do it. Don’t worry you’re not alone and here are some of the main reasons why people give up on meditation along with some suggestions to overcome them.
My mind wanders off all the time!
I just can’t sit still for more than 2 minutes!
I just don’t have the time!
I usually fall asleep!
These are all common and valid reasons but there are ways to overcome this and here you will some suggestions and tips.
Reason 1: I just can’t do meditation because my mind always wanders off!
It is a misconception to think that your mind will not wander off during meditation; this is all part of the process. Ironically, exactly what you need to develop is the ability to focus through the practice of meditation. With mindful meditation you allow this to happen and you gently bring your awareness and attention back to yourself, usually by using your breath.
Each time you do this, you are training your mind and rewiring your brain to be more focused. There is no such thing as a bad meditation session, as long as you keep trying you will benefit from it. Just remember it is a meditation practice and just like any practice the more you do it the easier it becomes.
Reason 2: There is no way I can’t sit still for even 2 minutes!
Many people think you have to sit perfectly still, on the floor, cross-legged for at least half an hour to meditate. This is not true, the main goal is to have a state of relaxed awareness throughout the practice, whether it be standing, sitting or lying down or even moving.
Like anything you can start off slowly eg: 2, 5, 7, 10 minutes, then build up as you become more comfortable in your preferred posture.
Alternatively, you can also practice more mindful moving meditations such as: mindful yoga, mindful walking or tai chi. These practices are equally beneficial and can be performed in less than 20mins.
Reason 3: I really just don’t have the time!
There is an old Zen saying- ‘You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you are too busy, then you should sit for an hour’.
Yes, life is busy and how can you spare time to meditate. With mindfulness you have both formal and informal practices. With the informal practice, this is how you go about your daily activities, such as, brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, walking the dog, taking a walk or even having a shower. As long as you practice these things mindfully, it is essentially a mindful practice and it takes no extra time out of your busy day.
The formal practice is when you actually ‘stop’ for 5 or 10 minutes and do a meditation practice. Think about it, it’s only 10 minutes of your day and the benefits are really worth the effort.
Reason 4: I always fall asleep!
This is a valid barrier and it highlights the need for more rest and restoration in your life. If you frequently fall asleep during meditation it could mean you simply aren’t getting enough sleep at night, which is critical for our bodies to recover from the physical and emotional stresses throughout the day.
Try incorporating short rest and restoration periods through the day, and mini-mindful meditation practices, starting with just a few minutes and build them up over time. Research suggests that 20mins of meditation has the same restorative benefits as 2hrs of deep sleep.
The solution is to try to sit up, or prop yourself up with pillows if you prefer lying down. The more you restore your body with adequate rest and meditation periods the better you will get at staying awake and present.
It is motivating to remember that all of these barriers can be overcome and I’ve helped hundreds of people learn to meditate.
Note: If you have a different barrier that is holding you back from meditating, we’d love to hear from you and see if we can find a solution for you. Email me at [email protected]