The benefits of meditation are undeniable. Science has proven time and time again how critical meditating is for our health and wellbeing. A few of the science-backed benefits of meditation include reduced stress and anxiety, reduced pain and stronger immune system, lengthened attention span, improved sleep, and decreased blood pressure. So why aren’t more people meditating? I believe it comes down to 5 huge meditation myths. This blog post is set to debunk some of the most common meditation myths.
Meditation Myths #1: I can’t meditation because I can’t quiet my mind.
Every 5-6 seconds your mind is naturally going to be diverted to a different though. This is human nature. Meditation doesn’t ask that you “simply stop” these thoughts. Suppressing the thoughts actually causes more resistance. In a recent study, suppressing a thought actually causes the thoughts to appear more.
However, allow your thoughts to drift in and drift out. Observe your thoughts as if they are clouds. The cloud floats into your mind and then it simply floats out. Allowing the mind to wander allows the brain to actually rest further. A recent Ted Talk by Light Watkins says that these thoughts aren’t “blocks” to your meditation; however, they are symptoms.
Meditation Myths #2: I don’t have time to Meditate
If Oprah and Kobe Bryant have time to meditate during their day. It’s likely we do too. However, I’m not trying to shame you or guilt you into meditating, but offer a shift in perspective. Taking time to meditate for even five minutes will actually make you more productive during your day. Because meditation helps improve your focus, you are able to get more things completed in a shorter amount of time.
Additionally, there was a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, meditation slows cellular aging. This affects skin elasticity, vision, cognitive functioning, etc. Conversely, imagine how much stress is advancing cellular aging. If you’d like to read additional articles on this, this one is a personal favorite on meditation’s health benefits.
Finally, there are also short meditations and meditations for beginners that offer five-minute meditations or meditation timers so you may receive many of the benefits without sacrificing too much of your day. Another helpful idea is to pick two days a week to begin your practice. Start small. Set a calendar reminder and commit to at least 2 days a week. Do it as often as you can until you develop a consistent practice.
Myth #3: I’ve tried it and I don’t like it/it’s boring
There are SO many different types of meditation. You just have to find the right one that works for you. You may use various types of meditations. If you are new to meditating you may prefer a guided meditation over unguided. In guided meditation, a teacher guides you through each part of the practice. This can be in person or on an app like Headspace or Calm. Here is a video with more information on guided meditations. Below are a few types of meditations – I placed a star next to my personal favorites!
- Loving Kindness
- Body Scan*
- Breath Awareness
- Focused Attention
- Yoga Meditation
- Breathwork* (Would not recommend for beginners)
Meditation Myth #4: Meditation is Religious or Spiritual
Meditation did draw its roots from Buddhism and Hinduism. However, modern forms of meditation have nothing to do with meditation at all. Can you find a religious meditation? Absolutely. Are a majority centered around religion? Nope! You do not need to believe in a particular religion or any particular thing to have a meditation practice. Meditation is solely about calming the mind and creating peace.
Myth #5: I need to follow certain rules during my meditation practice
You do not have to sit in a specific meditation pose or have a meditation mantra. What’s most important is that you are comfortable. I’ve had sessions where I’ve laid in my bed, sat in a chair, and sat cross-legged on the floor. What’s most important is that you do what’s best for you. There are no rules; however, there are certain practices that are most helpful. I suggest doing some research on Youtube (5-minute meditation or meditation for beginners) or downloading a free meditation (Insight, Calm, Headspace) app to help you get started.
Have you heard any other Meditation Myths that need debunking? If so, reach out to me in the comments or on Instagram. I’m happy to help you regardless of where you are in your journey. One thing I would recommend if you try meditation out! Give it a few tries and enjoy the benefits. Having a regular meditation practice can be lifechanging.
If you are looking for other mindset resources check out the following blog posts!