I cannot speak for everyone, but I have started meditating after several physical therapists recommended it to me. You see, I have to be on-the-go all the time because of my job as a sales representative. There are customers here and there, as well as products to carry at times. After my working hours, I still need to tend to my house, do the laundry, start meal prepping, etc. A few times during the week, I play football with my friends or lift some weights at the local gym.
The result of my activeness is not only body ache but also a restless mind. Every time I would go to bed at 10 PM, I would end up falling asleep around 3 AM. I tried different techniques to feel drowsy, such as turning off my TV on time, not coming near my iPhone, and reading a boring book. I also thought that working out before bedtime would help, but that was when my eyes stayed open until sunrise. So, that’s not a good option.
Then, one of my physical therapists insisted, “You should try meditation. I do it to relax my body and mind as well.” Also, I read a quote by Dr. Nikki Martinez, PsyD, LCPC, stating, “It could be exactly the missing piece you have been looking for to create optimum health. Meditation is good for the mind, body, and overall emotional well being.” I was doubtful for a hot minute, but when I tried it, it worked like magic for me. I would meditate two or three times a day, depending on how restless I feel. Sleep came more easily, stressful activities, or people no longer bothered me, and life became more effortless to live in general.
The truth is, meditation served me so well that I recommended it to my friends and family members months later. It boggled me, though, when some of them said it’s a bogus practice. I mean, it honestly worked for me, so I knew that’s not true. However, it did nothing but waste their time. I took the high road and respected my loved ones’ opinions about meditation, but when I came home, I looked for some explanation online as to why it won’t work for some people.
Here’s what I found.
1. You Believe That Meditation Will Not Work
The first flaw in the plan is keeping the assumption that meditating is a fad. People say that the words we use are too powerful, in the sense that what we say is typically what happens. So, when you mention, “No, meditation will not work,” that is what you will see: a failed technique.
A quick fix for this issue is to avoid using overly certain words. Never say never because something good may not ever take place if you do that.
According to Psychologist David Creswell, “Adopting an attitude of openness and acceptance toward one’s experience is critical to becoming more mindful. The idea is to be view these moments with a detached and non-judgmental curiosity.”
2. You’re In Your Head Too Much
Another thing that makes meditation a failure is that the individual cannot quiet down or let go of their thoughts.
You may keep your eyes closed, but you are thinking about what you should eat for lunch. You may be trying to take deep breaths, but your mind is picturing out your paperwork or piles of laundry.
When you meditate, you cannot multitask like that. It is vital to focus on clearing your thoughts and freeing yourself from your worries, albeit momentarily. That is the only way for meditation to have a positive effect on your life.
4. You’re In A Noisy Room
Meditating in a room that’s full of noise is not always a smart move. The distraction does not come from the loud sounds that kids or other people make, after all. When you have a new TV or game console to play within the same place, you may become too eager to get to them. If there are books that you have to study, that’s all you may think about.
What some practitioners do is that they go to a room with the least amount of furniture or any object that may distract them. Others even face the wall or put on noise-canceling headphones, especially if they live in the city. You can do the same things if you want to give meditation a chance.
5. You Expect Too Much From It
The expectations I heard from my friends regarding meditation blew my mind. One said, “I thought I would see the universe or some heavenly beings if I concentrated enough, but I did not.” Another person said, “My stress level did not go away completely. It’s a bummer.”
The reality is that meditation is not an incredibly magical concept that will take you to another dimension or remove all your worries. Its healing properties will take effect over time. Only the experts have a shot at seeing the things that the naked eye cannot as well. As long as the practice gives you peace and allows you to find your direction, that’s more than enough.
Alexis Conason, a clinical psychologist, reminds us that in meditation, there is no right or wrong practice. She wrote, “People often think that a good meditation session is one where you can keep all of your attention on the object of your practice, such as your breath, but the nature of the mind is to be active, and noticing the active mind is itself part of meditation practice.”
It is no secret that meditation is not for everyone. It may have worked for me, but it may not do the same thing for you. Still, give it a try to know which is which.