Despite the growing popularity of meditation, prevailing misconceptions about the practice are a barrier that prevents many of my family & friends from trying meditation and receiving its profound benefits for the body, mind, and spirit
So if you’ve ever found yourself saying, “I can’t meditate,” it might be time to revisit the practice with a deeper understanding of what meditation is really about.
Here are the 3 meditation myths that might prevent you from experiencing (like I have) the life-changing benefits of the practice.
Myth #1: It takes years of dedicated practice to receive any benefits from meditation.
Truth: The benefits of meditation are both immediate and long-term. You can begin to experience benefits the first time you sit down to meditate and in the first few days of daily practice. Many scientific studies provide evidence that meditation has profound effects on the mind-body physiology within just weeks of practice. I found that as little as 2 weeks of meditation helped me to decrease stress levels, improved concentration (less procrastinating!) and feel calm; it also helped me to sleep soundly after daily meditation practice.
Myth #2: I don’t have enough time to meditate.
Truth: If you make meditation a priority, you will do it. I started with mediating for 5 minutes which is better than none. I encourage you not to talk yourself out of meditating just because it’s a bit late or you feel too sleepy. As I spend time meditating on a regular basis, I find I actually have more time. In meditation, we are in a state of restful alertness that is extremely refreshing for the body and mind. As I stuck to my meditation ritual, I noticed that I was actually able to accomplish more while doing less (go figure). Instead of struggling to achieve my daily tasks, I spend more and more time in the flow.
Myth #3: Meditation is a spiritual or religious practice.
Truth: Meditation is a practice that takes me beyond the noise of my mind into a place of stillness and silence. It doesn’t require a specific spiritual belief. Most of the meditators I know have no particular religious beliefs. We meditate in order to experience inner quiet and the numerous physical and mental health benefits of the practice – including lowered blood pressure, stress reduction, and restful sleep.
Meditation has helped me to enrich my life. It has enabled me to enjoy whatever I’m doing in my life more fully and happily – whether that is working, playing sports or taking care of my son.
I recommend starting slowly. Start with just 5 minutes each day. Gradually increase the time over several weeks. When I started meditating, five minutes felt like an eternity. I now practice for 20 minutes a day, and sometimes I am surprised at how quickly it passes!
When it comes to different types of meditation classes, there’s definitely not a shortage. I recommend checking out Gabby Bernstein’s free Youtube guided meditations. Here’s one to get you started.
The advantage to guided meditations is that the narrator or teacher walks you through how to meditate, what to expect from your mind and body, and how you can apply what you learned in the meditation to your life. If your mind tends to wander during meditation, the guidance of an experienced teacher can help you focus and bring you back to the present moment.
I promise you that slowing yourself down for 5 minutes can begin to change your whole world dramatically. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like a bit more peace, focus, and clarity in their life, and it’s all here for us, right here, right now.
I’m Brett Thiedeman – Just an ordinary guy focused, conscious and intentional about my learning, growth & being a change maker in my own life and the lives of others.