It can seem to be there are extra methods to fail than succeed at meditation. We plop down on a cushion, twist our legs into lotus pose and determine to present meditation a strive, anticipating a transparent thoughts and sense of calm.
Meditation is an ancient practice that helps connect the body, mind and soul. Over the years, many myths have been spread about this holistic practice that need to be addressed.
In actuality, the experience of meditation is commonly something however that. Random ideas race by our thoughts. The breath is the very final thing we are able to give attention to. We sneak a look on the clock and discover it’s solely been two minutes, when it felt like 20. Why is meditation so arduous?
The reality is that we frequently anticipate meditation to be one thing it’s not, and find yourself specializing in the improper things. These misconceptions about meditation make us really feel like we are able to’t do it. We get pissed off, surrender and miss out on all of the methods it could actually improve our lives.
If you’ve ever discovered your self saying, “I can’t meditate,” it is perhaps time to revisit the follow with a deeper understanding of what meditation is actually about. Here are the 11 meditation myths which may stop you from experiencing the life-changing advantages of the follow, based on mental health specialists and meditation lecturers.
Common misconceptions about Meditation you should stop believing
1. Meditation have to be practiced in silence
Fact: “Vipassana meditation, which involves being completely still with a subtle, natural breath, is the type of meditation many think of at first. But we can also enter a flow state and access a meditative calm when walking, running, humming or singing. The idea is to transcend our usual ruminating thoughts and focus our full attention on our breath. A quiet mind and activated calm don’t necessarily need to be accompanied by a still or quiet body,” mentioned Stephanie Thoma, meditation facilitator, networking technique coach and creator of “Confident Introvert.”
2. The purpose of meditation is to clear your thoughts
Fact: “Meditation is about watching the mind and trying to achieve a deeper control of its natural state through the awareness of thought. It’s through this deeper awareness that mindfulness can be found, and it can be achieved through different tactics using concentration techniques such as mantras, conscious breathing, body scans or being the watcher of the thoughts appearing and disappearing in the mind itself. When our everyday ‘monkey mind’ presents its usual thought patterns, catching it in the act and bringing peaceful concentration and awareness back to the forefront is the successful art of meditation,” mentioned Juliana Spicoluk, meditation teacher and co-founder of the yoga life-style model Boho Beautiful.
3. Meditation is stress-free
Fact: “It’s a myth that meditation calms you or makes you feel better. Meditation can actually cause some dysregulation or anxiety because it might be the first time that someone sits with the discomfort of their inner experience. They may observe things that they don’t like or that scare them. When we start to pay attention, truths are brought into consciousness where they had previously been hidden underneath layers of defensiveness. Although relaxation can sometimes be a fringe benefit of a particular meditation, some days you simply might have noticed that your mind was all over the place,” mentioned Katie Krimer, therapist at Union Square Practice in New York City and founding father of Growspace.
4. Meditation isn’t working in case your thoughts wanders
Fact: “If you noticed you were having thoughts during meditation, that means you were doing it right. Meditation is about honing our ability to notice various aspects of our internal experience—not about changing that internal experience. The more we practice meditation, the better we get at not getting caught up in our thoughts. Eventually this can help us feel more in control and more tranquil, but the thoughts don’t disappear. In fact, when people tell me they had no thoughts during a meditation, I just assume they didn’t notice them,” mentioned Paul Greene, meditation teacher, psychologist and director of Manhattan Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in New York City.
5. Meditation is difficult
Fact: “While it can be challenging to sit down and meditate for extended periods of time, we meditate all the time. Meditation is the act of putting the mind on an object of focus for an extended period of time. We already do that with Netflix, with Instagram and more. The point of meditation is to meditate on something that will change our lives or help us grow in some way. There is a lot of evidence that meditating on compassion for all beings, impermanence or even where your anxiety or depression are really coming from is immensely helpful to people,” mentioned Stephen McManus, meditation trainer and director of Three Jewels Meditation Studio in New York City.
6. Meditation is a egocentric indulgence
Fact: “Meditation is only selfish if sleeping and physical exercise are also selfish. Meditation is an essential exercise for your mind and awareness. It makes you calmer, less reactive and more centered. This positively influences people around you and empowers you to do a better job at work,” mentioned Giovanni Dienstmann, meditation trainer, creator of the meditation weblog Live & Dare and creator of “Practical Meditation: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide.”
7. Meditation will make you weak
Fact: “I’ve heard from many men that they think meditation will make them soft, that they’ll lose their edge. Meditation stops the fight-or-flight response and brings us to the present where we can work on responding, rather than reacting. Meditation sharpens our focus and heightens our performance. Many sports figures meditate and there are even professional teams that use meditation and self-hypnosis instructors,” mentioned Kathy Gruver, meditation trainer, stress discount teacher and creator of “Conquer Your Stress With Mind and Body Techniques.”
8. You have to be sitting to meditate
Fact: “You can meditate and achieve a mindful state while moving. My favorite meditations are walking meditations, hiking meditations, meditations where you observe your environment and narrate what’s around you. Research has shown that moving meditations provide benefits similar to those of non-moving meditations, including reducing anxiety and worry, achieving a more peaceful state of mind and organizing your thoughts. Moving meditations also have additional benefits, such as boosting blood flow, increasing circulation and improving digestion,” mentioned Dr. Judy Ho, scientific and forensic neuropsychologist, associate professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and creator of “Stop Self-Sabotage.”
9. You’re not “good” at meditation
Fact: “Meditation can come in many forms, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. It’s called a meditation practice because we are practicing at strengthening a skill of both open monitoring and focused attention. There is no such thing as being ‘good’ at meditation. The purpose of meditation is not to get your thoughts to stop or to feel zen-like and peaceful. It’s an opportunity to practice a new way responding to thoughts, emotions, sensations or distractions, and rewire your brain for new habits and patterns,” mentioned Joree Rose, meditation trainer, marriage and household therapist and creator of “Mindfulness: It’s Elementary.”
10. Meditation is a spiritual follow
Fact: “Although many religions talk about meditation and its importance, it does not have to be a religious thing. I tell my students to look at it as a spiritual thing without the rules or dogma of religion. Whereas prayer is asking, meditation is receiving, and from whom you receive is really up to you, whether that be God, Allah, your higher self, the universe or something else. A belief in God does not need to deter anyone from meditating,” mentioned Jaime Pfeffer, meditation trainer and life balancing coach.
11. Meditation takes hours
Fact: “Some people think you have to have hours every day to meditate and literally shut yourself in a cave. Caves are highly overrated and in this busy world, no one has hours to meditate. People can benefit from five-minute meditation breaks. Need a mental recharge? Stop, pause and gently close your eyes. Count your breaths without trying to alter them, in and out, until you reach a count of five, then start over again. After this brief pause, you will feel like a new person,” mentioned Heidi J. Dalzell, psychologist, coach and co-author of “A Clinician’s Guide to Gender Identity and Body Image.”