Have you been struggling to meditate? Do you keep saying you’ll get into it but then never end up committing?
You and me both.
I’ve realized I can easily come up with a plethora of excuses to avoid meditation, but I need to stop. There’s so much research to show that meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety, and increases focus and clarity. It seems silly not to be doing it.
So why don’t we meditate?
Here are some hurdles we create, and ways to overcome them. I’m mentioning these because I want to actually start committing to a daily practice. You can work on it with me.
Excuses for not meditating:
- I’m too busy. For 5 minutes? If you have time to scroll on social media for half an hour, I’m sure you can spare 5-10 minutes. Or even 1. Seriously. Commit to 1 minute a day and you’ll quickly be doing more than that. Just COMMIT! Any new habit you’re trying to form is best done at the beginning of the day, so try to do it first thing in the morning. The later you do it, the more daily things (ahem, excuses) get in the way. Make it a priority.
- I’m too tired when I wake up, I can’t stay awake. I feel you. Then do it after half an hour once you’ve woken up a bit. Or do it first thing but be ok with nodding off for a second here and there. It’s alright.
- I start to yawn too much, then my eyes water, and my sinuses get plugged. Anyone else struggle with this? Maybe it’s because I eat too much dairy (it plugs up your sinuses). But it’s a real issue for me, especially when I’m tired. When I focus on taking really deep breaths I often end up yawning so much that I have to blow my nose. Solution? Don’t focus specifically on the breath. There are other methods you can use, like repeating a chant (ie. a mantra); or doing a body scan and assessing how each part of your body feels – focusing on relaxing each area. That’s one of my favourites.
- I don’t know how to/can’t sit in that weird yoga position. You don’t need to sit in any specific position. Just do it seated, on a chair or on a cushion. Or in shavasana if you want (ie. lying on your back). It’s not about being in the perfect pose, it’s about being comfortable so you can focus inward.
- I can’t do it on my own, I get too distracted. Ok, then listen to an app. The meditation app Headspace offers several free meditation sessions to start. Calm is another app you can try. Or google youtube videos of free meditations, there are lots. And find somewhere quiet to do it. Fewer distractions are better when first starting to meditate.
- I don’t know what to do. See the previous question.
- I keep thinking random things when I try to meditate, so I’m not doing it right. Wrong! That’s perfectly normal. That’s all part of meditating. Just gently allow yourself to come back to the present and focus on your breathing or whatever form of meditation you’re doing.
- It’s hard. So is working out when you don’t feel like it, or learning a language. It just takes practice, it’ll get easier. Or so I’m told.
- What’s the point? It doesn’t feel like it’s helping. Keep at it, you’ll start to feel the changes.
Ok now I need to take my own advice and actually start meditating regularly. Want to do it with me?
Why not start by trying a Body Scan Meditation:
Let me know how it goes! And keep at it!