Help! I Can’t Meditate.

HELP! I can’t meditate
Today it’s hard to miss the buzz around mindfulness and meditation. It’s talked about on the news, in sports, corporations, magazine covers, yoga studios, and even schools. Science shows meditators have better sleep, attention, immunity, blood pressure, relationships, and overall health. We now have research to show that meditation has even creates physical change within a person’s brain visible via MRI scans. However, even though many people are now aware of the benefits of meditation, does that mean it’s being practiced on a consistent basis? In my experience, no. When I ask people if they meditate most people either say “no, I can’t meditate” or “I tried, and it didn’t work for me.” When I dig in and find out the reasons why people quit or don’t get started at all it’s usually because they have misconceptions around meditation. They believe they don’t have the time, they don’t know how to start, or thinking they are doing it wrong. One of the ways I help my students overcome their struggles is by teaching the 5 Essentials of Meditation by Sarah Mclean. The 5 essentials are simple can a reminder before starting a meditation practice and encouraged throughout guided meditations.
1. Thoughts are okay. Thoughts will natural arise during meditation. Acknowledge the thoughts and bring your attention back to the focus of the meditation.
2. Be kind to yourself. Be gentle and apricate yourself.
3. Don’t try too hard. Keep your focus without effort.
4. Let go of expectations. Be open to whatever happens during your meditation. Try not to judge the experience.
5. Stick with it. Choose an amount of time you plan to practice and stay with it the entire time.

Contact me if you’d like to learn more about the 5 Essentials of Meditation, and how you can live a more fulfilled life.

What are meditation misconceptions?

There are a lot of silly misconceptions around meditation. I’m guilty of having preconceived notions around the practice. I used to think you couldn’t meditate if you aren’t a monk. I also thought you had to wear hippie clothes and live in a monetary. I never pictured myself practicing meditation much less teaching.
Here are 5 common misconceptions and truths around meditation.
1. Myth: You must be religious or change your religion to meditate. Truth: Meditation can be religious, but it doesn’t have to be practiced as part of religion. Meditation is a non-sectarian, non-religious, and non-theistic practice. It’s simply a mental exercise with a plethora of known benefits.
2. Myth: You have to sit a certain way to meditate. Truth: You can sit however you want in meditation. Sitting isn’t even required, but it is preferred to prevent falling asleep. Sitting in a chair or on the floor is completely acceptable no need to sit in a lotus position on a cushion as seen in many traditional meditation pictures.
3. Myth: You must stop thinking to be able to meditate. Truth: Thinking during meditation is completely normal. Thinking in general is completely normal. Meditation helps quiet your mind and refocus your intentions.
4. Myth: Meditation must be practiced in a temple or holy place. Truth: Meditation can be practiced anywhere it is relatively quiet and you feel safe. I often meditate in my car.
5. Myth: You must practice for years to notice the benefits of meditation. Truth: Research studies show significant changes in a person’s brain after only a few short weeks of meditation.