10 Reasons Meditation Might Not Be Working For You
Meditation is simple, cheap, and highly effective, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And to be honest, it actually is pretty easy, it’s just often not what people expect it to be.
Beginners experience all sorts of challenges when meditating, but most of them aren’t really problems. The issues many beginners have are simply part of the meditation process. Keep reading to learn 10 reasons meditation might not be working for you.
Meditation can work for everyone who puts in the time and effort.
Are these challenges holding you back?
- Your mind is too active. Of course it’s active. It takes practice before the mind quiets down, and it’s rarely silent even after years of practice. It takes about 20 minutes for experienced meditators to notice a slowing down of the mind.
- This isn’t really a problem. Part of the purpose of meditating is to learn how your mind operates. This is how it operates.
- Just return your focus to your breath.
- Your mind wanders. It’s not uncommon to suddenly realize that you’ve been daydreaming for the last five minutes. The solution is the same as the previous issue. Just return your attention to your breath and continue.
- A lack of consistency. Meditation needs to be practiced regularly to see the greatest benefits. Get as much practice as you can, even if it’s just a few minutes a day.
- You fall asleep. This is very common with meditation, so you’re not alone! According to Headspace,“When we are learning to meditate we are looking for a balance between focus and relaxation and, in that process of learning, it’s inevitable that from time to time we’ll drift a little too far in either direction, sometimes feeling too tense and at other times falling asleep.”
- If you struggle to stay awake, try sitting up straight. If you lie down, you may doze off.
- Body pains. Holding one position can be painful, especially when you’re just starting out with meditation. Over time, your aches and pains will largely go away.
- Meditation teacher davidji says comfort is queen. Do your best to get into a comfortable position and support your body in any way you need to.
- Feel free to move or change positions if you need to.
- Boredom. Yes, meditation can be boring, especially if you’re used to significantly more stimulation. Learn to sit still with your boredom and just observe it. Boredom can be more fascinating than you might think.
- Rationalizing that quitting is a good idea. Common thoughts include things like, “This is a waste of time.” “Why am I doing this?” “Is this all there is?” Again, just sit with your thoughts and notice them.
- Oftentimes it’s actually our discomfort with stillness that’s bothering us. You’ll likely come to understand that many of the things you do in your life are to avoid this feeling.
- Finding time. In today’s busy world, it can be hard to fit in one more thing. So how do you find time for meditation? Put it on your schedule and commit. Find the holes in your schedule where you have a few minutes to connect to your breath.
- If you have time to watch TV, surf the internet, or play on your phone, you likely have time to meditate.
- Check out my recent blog post, Three Steps to Start a Meditation Practice, for more helpful tips if you’re just getting started.
- Desiring perfection. Perfection in meditation isn’t achievable, but you don’t need to be perfect. Put in the time with your best effort. That’s all that’s required.
- Expecting more. Meditation rarely involves earth-shattering insights. It’s a gradual process that brings understanding over time.
The challenges above aren’t really problems per se. They’re simply a part of the journey of settling into a regular meditation practice. Just keep at it and have faith that everything is as it should be. Over time, you’ll begin to notice the positive effects of meditation in your life, such as:
- Stress relief and stress management
- Increased self-awareness
- Better focus
- Improved patience
- Fewer negative emotions
- and so much more…