It’s not easy to start a new habit. It’s kind of like forming a healthy eating habit or getting into an exercise routine, building a meditation practice takes work! Here are some suggestions for overcoming the common challenges of starting a daily meditation practices:
“I don’t know why I should bother” There are many ways that meditation improves your life; check out this post of mine for a list of benefits. And most importantly, wanting to meditate is not enough; you have to DECIDE to meditate.
“I am too busy” Meditate as soon as you wake up. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Don’t check your phone/email when you wake up. Just sit up and meditate. Another good time to mediate is for 10 minutes in the parking lot sitting in the car when you get to work or after you return from lunch. If you commute on a train or bus, you already have a time and place to do that. You might try meditating at night right before bed. You might find it helpful for you to fall asleep.
“I forget to meditate” Have an accountability partner. Get clear on your reasons for meditating. The reason can be mental clarity so you can be more creative with your work, calmer at dealing with frustrating relationship, etc. Set a reminder on your calendar. Join a meditation meetup. Follow other people, websites, blogs, Instagrams that encourage and remind you to meditate.
“I can’t stop thinking while I mediate” Don’t get down on yourself. It is okay to think. When you notice you are getting more involved in your thoughts, just notice that you’re doing that. Label it as: I’m worried about xyz, I am planning, I’m thinking about my kids, I’m ruminating, etc. Be okay with the thoughts that come up. It’s part of the process. Come back to your breath after you noticed your thoughts.
“I start fidgeting after 2-3minutes” It’s okay to feel restless. Notice your restlessness and pay attention to it. See if you can notice whether you’re restless for a particular reason. Notice the reason, and notice yourself noticing that….. (that’s a brain trip!), then come back to your breath.
“I don’t know how to meditate” There’s more than one way to meditate. But the basic gist is to sit and be aware of yourself. You might start by becoming aware of your breathing, aware how your body feels, aware of your feelings, aware of your sensations. There’re a lot of guided meditations on the YouTube and iTune store.
“I don’t get it, what’s the purpose of this again?” Yep, it’s confusing what the benefit is when you just meditate once or twice, feel frustrated and restless, and are not sure where you are going with it. I can’t say mediation is like masturbating, but it’s kind of like that in which that you intrinsically know that you’re trying to get somewhere but you’re not sure how if you never experienced an orgasm. The benefit of trying is that you’re learning something and using your instinct to figure out where you’re going.
Let me know how your meditation practice is going and what challenges you experience. If there are other questions I haven’t addressed, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you. Subscribe to my email newsletter and I will send you my next blogs on my meditation series.