If you are like most people, you have many misbeliefs on meditation and mindfulness. However, you need not be most people. You can find the time, practice meditation and mindfulness daily, and reap the many benefits that it gives us. All you need to understand is what meditation and mindfulness really is. Once this framework is understood, you can be on your way to meditating multiple times each day. This will help calm the mind, and open your intuitive pathways to more insight and guidance.
Misbelief #1 – Meditation takes too long
Too many people picture the practice of meditation taking up hours of their day. This is one of many very big misbeliefs on meditation. People often don’t even begin to practice because they don’t think they have the time.
The fact of the matter is that mediation can be as short as 30 seconds of quiet time. It need not take up hours of time.
Chances are you have many opportunities throughout a given day to meditate. Do any of these moments in time sound familiar?:
- riding on public transportation
- going for a walk or run
- sitting down to eat
- driving to or home from work
- or any other mundane daily task
These as well as many other moments of time throughout our days are all opportunities to meditate. We have more time than we often realize to create space, pause, and practice mindfulness.
If nothing else, dispelling the belief that meditation must be “so many minutes or hours” of time is crucial. Once we get past this first hurdle we can move onto another misbelief – to meditate we must clear our minds.
Misbelief #2 – To Meditate properly, I cannot allow any thoughts into my Mind
There are a lot of people that have misbeliefs on meditation and mindfulness because they believe they aren’t doing it right if thoughts enter their minds. This is so damaging because most people can’t avoid this when they first begin. They instantly want to give up since they think they are doing the practice incorrectly. The fact is, even very seasoned and experienced practitioners of meditation watch thoughts creep into their minds while meditating.
The trick too kicking this misbelief to the curb is to allow thought to enter the mind. Observe it and then quickly and quietly dismiss it.
You will find it often and frequent at first to see thoughts coming and going into your frame of reference. This is completely normal. Dismiss the thought and tell yourself you are here in this time to observe the practice of meditation. Do not beat yourself up or become discouraged if thoughts continue to enter your headspace. Simply acknowledge them and let them go. Bring yourself back into the present moment and continue to put out the intention of practicing meditation.
The more you make the effort for a few minutes each day and continue to allow the passing thought, the more you’ll find yourself with periods of calm mind and thoughts.
Misbelief #3 – Meditation must be done in a certain posture
The above image is a typical representation of what most visualize meditation to look like.
The fact is that meditation can be done sitting, laying, standing, walking, running, and in many other points of posture. This is one of the biggest misbeliefs on meditation. For myself, the typical “sitting lotus” position is not comfortable. I prefer sitting in a chair, with my back relatively straight and my feet on the floor, or when lying down.
You need to find a position that you’re comfortable in. Once you find what works best for you, then work to get your body and breath work in proper synchrony.
The position of the hands can become relevant for certain different types of mediation, but the placement is not overall related to the practice of meditation. The key is get your body relaxed and comfortable so that your mind doesn’t naturally wonder due to your body being uncomfortable.
Explore and find what positions work best for you. There really is no one best position that works better than others.
Misbelief #4 – I’m going to see immediate benefits
While you will feel more calm and collected immediately upon completing any amount of time of meditation, the vast improvements in your life come later.
Like in all things, the real benefits take some time. We’ve all heard the analogy of working out in the gym – muscles don’t grow after just one workout. We need to apply ourselves routinely in order to notice changes. The same can be applied here.
Over time the many benefits become noticed. They are, but are not limited to, the following:
- lowered blood pressure
- lowered anxiety
- increased focus and awareness
- increased levels of intuition and “gut instinct”
- ability to enter “flow state” and maximize idea generation
All it really takes is a small amount of time each day or even small increments multiple times a day. I find myself making a game of it to see how many times in one day I can bring myself fully into the present moment. This is one simply way of practicing meditation – the more presence you attain in one day, the more you are practicing meditation and mindfulness.
Misbelief #5 – Meditation is hard
Another one of the big misbeliefs on meditation and mindfulness is that it is too hard.
This is simply not true. The fact is that meditation is actually quite easy. All you need to do is rewire your mind to understand that anytime you bring yourself into the present moment – you’re practicing meditation. You become more mindful when you are not dwelling in the past or future. There are many great benefits to becoming more present in life.
When you frame it up this way, you can really make some great progress in the meditation and mindfulness space. Think of all the times through the day you get stuck in forward thinking aspects of life or issues from the past. Just make more of a commitment to bring your thought and focus into “the now” or present moment.
There may be no better way to do this than observing nature. I find nature as the most calming and ever present aspect of life. Perhaps this is because nature itself isn’t stuck analyzing itself. It just simply – “is.” There is no past or future in nature. The time is always “now.”
So even if you’re stuck in traffic, in a boring meeting, or worried about a future project; just take a peak outside or get outdoors and notice the present beauty in whatever is happening. You’ll likely find you have far more ability to meditate and practice mindfulness than you once realized.
What misbeliefs on meditation do you have?
I’m sure those reading this have heard of the many significant benefits in meditation. However, they often talk themselves out of getting serious about the habit.
Part of my purpose in life is to remove limiting life beliefs for people that don’t see themselves in the most empowering light.
Are there any other aspects of life that deter you from the ability to make a great daily mediation habit? I’d like to hear them so that we can together work to dispel any misbeliefs on mediation and mindfulness that keep us from attaining greater levels of happiness, wellness, and meaning. As well as sharing any best practices that help aid the cause towards more meditation and mindfulness.
Please feel free to share a comment or perspective. I’d love to hear your thoughts…