What You’re Doing Wrong In Meditation
Want to know what’s keeping you from finding a consistent meditation practice everyday? Here’s what you’re doing wrong and how you can change that.
1. You’re too hard on yourself
Meditation practice is really all about letting go. Letting go of the expectations of what your practice is going to look like. You have to be able to accept that while you’re trying to meditate especially in the beginning, your mind is going to wander. It’s impossible not to. But trust me, it will get better. If you are able to only find stillness for 3 minutes, it’s okay. It is 3 more minutes of mindfulness than if you didn’t meditate. And next week when meditating, you’ll have 4 minutes of space, and the week after, 5 minutes. And it will keep coming more and more naturally.
2. You’re reacting to your thoughts
The problem is when you allow reactions to come from those thoughts. When you think to yourself ‘ugh I’m thinking again’ or ‘why am I thinking about this?’ or ‘why can’t I just meditate?’. The key to success is accepting your thoughts. Accept that you wandered off for a little while, and just very simply, come back to that quiet place. Even if it’s only for 10 seconds before another thought arises. Just keep coming back again and again without getting upset, angry, or emotional. Be patient with yourself.
3. You are meditating for too long
Most people who want to start integrating a meditation practice into their daily routine tend to start out too big. You do not need to meditate for an hour a day to see an impact on your life. I am telling you 5-10 minutes per day will make such a big difference. You’ll have so much more peace of mind and clarity throughout your day, you will be able to see a change in your reactivity to small things that normally trigger you, and you will be able to stop reacting so quickly with anger and frustration. Once you’ve got a solid 5-10 minutes per day, then slowly you can increase the amount of time. Please, please do not set unnecessary guidelines to force yourself into sitting for one hour a day. Start small, work your way up, and it will be much more manageable.
4. You think everyone else is doing it ‘right’
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. If you think that everyone else is sitting there perfectly in meditation for one hour a day without their mind wandering once… you’re wrong. It’s not happening, trust me. We’ve all got a million thoughts, fears, doubts and worries running through our minds all the time. You are not alone in the struggle. It takes a lot of practice to quiet the mind, but you have to start from somewhere. Come with the right intention and you will learn as you go.
5. You are too worried about the position
When you’re starting out meditating, how you sit, which way your legs are crossed, how many times you move….it doesn’t matter. Make yourself comfortable. Don’t worry about trying to sit in the perfect lotus posture and beating yourself up when you’ve got an itch you can’t bear anymore. Use a bunch of pillows, sit against a wall to support your back, sit in a chair, do whatever you need to to make yourself feel at ease. Yes, it’s definitely beneficial when you can sit still and your spine is straight and you allow energy to freely flow throughout your body, but it is not the end all be all. Slowly stretch your legs whenever necessary, but do it with mindfulness. Become aware of every single movement. The stillness within is what is most important.
Try not to stress so much on the how and focus on the ‘why’. Intention is key in every meditation practice. Go into it with an open heart, full well knowing your thoughts are probably going to wander and it’s not going to look ‘perfect’. But you showed up. You sat here in silence and you’re making an effort. THAT is what is important. Breathe, relax into it, and your mind will follow.