Something strange happens when I talk to people about meditation and how beneficial it can be. Even when I tell them that meditation can change their whole life for the better, I’m met with a list of reasons why meditation isn’t for them. They think it’s too hard. They don’t know how you can possibly sit and not think about anything at all. They believe they don’t have time for it. They think it’s a little too “woo-woo” for them to buy into.
I get it. If you think any – or all – of these exact same beliefs, trust me when I say you are not alone. But let me convince you of some truths. Meditation isn’t hard unless you make it hard. Meditating does NOT mean emptying your brain. You absolutely DO have the time. And honestly, meditation is not scary at all, and only has to be as, well, “woo-woo” as you want it to be.
I always like to point out that there are as many ways to meditate as there are people on this planet. You don’t have to meditate in any way that doesn’t make you feel good or comfortable.
Let’s address these common concerns together, okay?
1. Meditation is hard
Many things are hard before you begin. No one becomes an expert at anything without working on it. The great thing about meditation is that even when you’re just starting out, it will have such an impact on your thoughts, your stress, and your life. The good news is that the more you practice, the easier it will feel (that’s why it’s called a meditation practice!).
2. I don’t know how to stop thinking
Here’s some more good news – meditation doesn’t mean clearing every single thought out of your brain. That would be a great achievement, but most people will never do that in their entire lifetime. Meditation isn’t about complete mental silence. It’s about focus. You aren’t trying to control your thoughts, you’re learning to stop letting them control you. Instead of letting your brain throw one thought after another at you, you pick one with purpose and focus on that. Yes, you might catch yourself wondering what’s for supper, but you can gently draw your attention back to your intentional thought.
3. Ain’t nobody got time for that
As I mention in the second chapter of my book, You Have Four Minutes to Change Your Life, I created a practice that fits my life because I don’t have the time to create a life that fits my practice. We all live very busy lives. Who has an hour to spare? Luckily you don’t need it. It’s about quality over quantity. If all you can spare is four minutes to release the endless chatter in your brain and the tension in your body, your life will already be improved. Over time you may start seeking out longer sessions, but even if you never spend more than four minutes in meditation you will be ahead of the game.
4. Meditation is scary and weird
Meditation has been used in numerous religions, so it’s commonly considered to be spiritual. Some people worry that it goes against their own religious beliefs. In truth, meditation is simply a very practical tool to manage stress and ground your energy. It doesn’t have to be spiritual unless you want it to be. Science has proven the mental and physical benefits of meditation – so much so that even sports figures and military personnel have used it to heal, motivate, and improve. You can make your meditation whatever you need it to be for your own life, even if you don’t believe in a higher power at all.
Did you find any of your own objections in the concerns above? If so, I’ll bet you already feel better knowing that meditation is accessible for anyone. If you’ve ever felt meditation sounded great but that it just wasn’t for you, hopefully this has shown you that yes, it IS for you too.
Meditation belongs to you. Now go ahead and let it change your life.
If you want to find out more about getting started with a meditation practice see my book, You Have 4 Minutes To Change Your Life. I will guide you through 27 different meditation practices and share personal stories that demonstrate how meditation has helped me overcome various challenges. I also answer commonly asked questions like “Do my eyes have to stay closed?” and “What do I do if my body starts to hurt?”; as well as technical information about props, postures, and mantras.
For limited time I am also giving away The 21-Day Soul Cleanse ($49 value) and Turned On: Find Your Light ($99 value) a brand new interview series and mini-workshop, to anyone who orders the book here.