Why You're Not Meditating—And Why You Really Should
“You Should Try Meditation!”
Have your friends, coworkers, even your family doctor ever suggested this to you?
Maybe outwardly you nodded your head and acted like yes, you’ll definitely take that advice into consideration.
But inside you’re thinking—do you have any idea how busy I am?
Or—hey, why don’t you mind your own damn business, because your life doesn’t seem so great!
(If your response is closer to the second, I think mediation could help you with those anger issues. Just sayin’)
Let’s face it, by now, unless you’ve been living in a cave with your hands held over your ears, you’ve probably heard about meditation and all that it can do for you.
From managing stress to having full-on mystical experiences, meditation is no longer just for yoga devotees, members of the
mindfulness movements, or holistic practitioners.
Meditation, in all it’s forms, has become the darling of the medical world.
It’s been a slow journey of acceptance, but more traditional doctors and therapists are recommending meditation to help their patients.
And for good reason.
Unless you haven’t heard, or have conveniently forgotten, here are a few of meditation’s health benefits.
(And yes, they’re backed by science.)
Eases anxiety and depression
Bolsters self confidence
Improves brain health
Controls food cravings
Decreases blood pressure
Pretty amazing huh?
Let’s now list the more intangible positive side affects that can come with a daily meditation practice:
Sense of calm
Better decision making
More joy and happiness
Does this mean meditation is the cure all for every malady?
No, of course not.
However, there’s enough good stuff there to intrigue even the biggest skeptics.
Most people I work with tell me that they know they should mediate, but there are a lot of things keeping them from doing it.
The Top 5 Reasons You’re Not Mediating
You don’t have the time.
How much time do you spend scrolling social media?
Checking on other people’s vacations you don’t even know, your sister’s dining out pics, or watching those cute cat vs. dog videos?
Just asking, no judgments.
It’s too noisy and there’s no privacy.
I get it. You’ve got kids, pets, a roommate with some boundary issues.
Is there a porch, deck or stoop you can sit on?
A bathroom where you can lock yourself in?
A closet that nobody would think to enter unless it’s to fling dirty laundry?
Okay, so sitting in a heap of unwashables may not seem so relaxing, but you get the idea.
I can’t clear my mind.
Don’t try to. It’s impossible to have absolutely nothing going on inside.
If you can close your eyes, become somewhat still and follow your breath, you’re halfway there.
I’m afraid I’m doing it wrong.
Let go of the the idea of perfection, or even “doing it right.”
You don’t need to master meditation to get something out of it.
Sure, there are the gurus out there, who will tell you that your palms must be up, your legs crossed like a yogi, with the smell of burning incense wafting through the room.
Let them do it their way.
Start with what works for you. And go from there.
It doesn’t work for me.
If you’re searching for nirvana, hey, it may take awhile. Or, not come at all.
Look at meditating as a way to slow down for a bit and reset your mind and your body.
Start small and work your way up.
Ten minutes a day can turn into twenty minutes twice a day.
Your surroundings don’t need to be ideal.
Find a space, plop down on a pillow or chair and close your eyes. Use earbuds to drown out any distractions.
Listen to music or use an app with guided meditations.
Don’t try to clear your mind.
As a matter of fact, don’t try to do anything.
Relax your muscles by breathing in and out, slowly and easily.
Get quiet and observe what’s going on inside. Allow images or thoughts to float in then float out.
Don’t worry about whether you’re doing it right.
Honestly, who really cares?
There’s no department head of meditation who’s going to barge in and berate you for not following the rules..
Like anything, when you first start out it may feel weird or unnatural, as if you’re never going to get the hang of it.
Just stick with it.
Meditation isn’t a cure all.
The benefits can be wonderful, but if you’re expecting miracles, you’re probably going to be disappointed.
Look at it as part of your everyday health and hygiene.
Like brushing your teeth, bathing, drinking water and eating your vegetables.
You do those things not only as an investment in your future well-being, but also because you know they’re good for you.
Most importantly, even without those proven positives, meditating actually feels good!
It’s like taking your mind on a much needed vacation.
Maybe now you’ll reconsider the excuses.
I know… they’re all pretty valid ones, and I’m not here to convince you of anything, or make you feel badly.
I just hope you’ll give it a try—or if you’ve fallen off the meditation wagon–I hope you’ll hop back on and join me.