Why Meditating Can Be Difficult
Almost everyone knows that meditation is good for them, but still just few seem to make it a daily practise.
With meditation, it's hard to come up with excuses. It's completely free, possible for everyone, and you can literally practise it wherever you want, whenever you want.
Free, simple and incredibly beneficial - so why is it so hard to keep doing it?
In this post, I'll go over some of the most common obstacles and ways to overcome them.
1. Lose all expectations
I often hear that people say they “can’t stop thinking” or "are not good at meditating" because they have some preconceived idea what “proper” meditation should be and feel like. Many think we have to completely stop thinking, which is absurd especially when we are just getting started.
First we need to let go of all ideas what meditation should be like and stop comparing our experience to expectations.
2. Don't judge your experience
Don't judge whether the meditation session is good or bad, or worry about not doing it right. Instead, just simply remain in that moment. Fixating too much on the results can produce anxiety that undermines the benefits of meditation. Literally all you need to do is show up.
3. Trust the process
Stop trying to meditate as if it was any other task on our “to do-list”. Just let go and enjoy the fact that there is finally something in your life that requires you to achieve absolutely nothing. The less effort - the easier it will be! The right meditation practise that works best for you will develop over time and will happen naturally - you just need to trust the process.
4. Face your fears
Many people use technology (TV, radio, phones) as a distraction to avoid facing the uncomfortable silence where the undesired thoughts and feelings reside.
If you haven't spend much time in silence in a long time, many of these thoughts and feelings that you've been running away from may surface when finally starting a meditation practice. This can feel uncomfortable and make relaxation difficult at first.
But the truth is you can't keep running forever. Or actually you can, but you're using so much more energy by repressing and running away from these undesired emotions and thoughts than actually facing them.
Be brave and look your fears in the eye. When we finally surrender to feel them and let go, we can stop carrying with us all the unresolved feelings and traumas we have been holding onto for years and start the healing process.
Each meditation will get easier until one day you realize you CAN’T WAIT to do it.
5. Be compassionate towards yourself
Don't judge yourself for having a busy mind or getting carried away by the difficult thoughts or emotions. Instead, start cultivating compassion towards yourself.
All the thoughts that you might consider undesirable are traumas, insecurities and repressed thoughts that your mind tries to show you so you can acknowledge them and let go.
Just observe your emotions and listen to your thoughts with same love and compassion you would listen to your best friend.
6. Meditation IS for everyone
There is a wide misconception that just like not all sports don't fit all different bodies, meditation does not fit for all personalities. This is not true.
For example, I've heard many high-achievers say their mind is too busy for meditation or they don't like sitting and doing nothing. However, more often than not, an obsessive to-do list mentality is just a defence mechanism from facing some deeper issue.
It's true that it might be more difficult for the Type-A high achievers to get started with meditation, but they might actually need it more than anyone else. Some people also believe that you need to be spiritual, hippie, vegan or do yoga in order to practise meditation. This is not true either. Meditation is for everyone.
Don't give up, the practise will pay off
Meditation is simple, but not easy. I remember when I started I couldn’t sit still for 5 minutes. I was extremely distracted, my back hurt and I was having a dialog with myself about how bad at meditating I thought I was. Now I can sit for hours.
It takes time and it needs constant practise but I promise --magic starts to happen as soon as you start a consistent practice.
Meditation has been the biggest transformation in my life and it can change your life too. And the best part is, it happens automatically! One day you'll just wake up and notice that the things or people that used to bother you just simply don't affect you anymore.
"Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it." Charles R. Swindoll