There is one statement that I consistantly come across when I speak to people about meditation, and I bet you can guess what it is.
"I can't shut my mind off....I'm just not good at meditation."
When I hear this statement I want to scream and then rejoice...I say scream because I feel sad for this person, deeming themselves "bad" at something that you can't actually be bad at.
Then I rejoice, because I am so happy to tell them...being bad at meditation is not possible- it's not a thing!
I will agree that not everyone has the lifestyle where they can sit and do a formal zen style meditation everyday...and unfortunately this is the style of meditation most people associate with having a meditation practice...it's also unfortunate that the people who can benefit most from a meditation practice (ie. stay at home parents, workaholics and people riddled with stress... I'm talking to you)- feel the most deterred from trying one due to this common misconception.
However, everyone, I repeat EVERYONE can incorporate a meditation practice in to their daily life, no matter how busy they are, or how hectic their mind is.
The only thing you need to meditate, is yourself and a desire to do it.
In meditation we encounter the "space" between our thoughts. These are moments of pure consciousness, void of fear and judgment. The more we meditate, the more time we spend in this place of peace and bliss. So a meditation practice is not about having an empty mind, it's about having a consistent practice where you have these little moments of space...and as you practice more and more, you will find those moment of space are longer and more frequent.
What most people also don't realize is that there are many types of meditation. And there is no "best type"....the best type of meditation, is the one that works for YOU and that you can/will practice on a regular basis.
I feel sad when I think about all of the people who have tried meditation and they sign up for a class or download an app at home....and they get so frustrated that they give up. They write it off as something that is not attainable for them. But I have to wonder, have they tried different forms of meditation that can work within their lifestyle or what they are going through? Did they have access to someone who could help them make sense of what they were experiencing? Someone to make suggestions on different techniques?
When I first began meditating, I found it so difficult to find a class that fit it into my schedule and then sit in silence surrounded by strangers. At the end, I was left with so many questions, was this normal? Is this suppose to happen? How can I change this, etc.? I was often left confused on when to use certain techniques and how to incorporate them in a way that worked for me. It took a long time before I realized that I needed to learn and practice, in my own space, on my own time, with one teacher who could understand me and then make suggestions accordingly.
There is no question that children, adolescents, teenagers and adults can all benefit from learning and practicing meditation and mindfulness. Neuroscience has even shown that a regular meditation practice leads to neuroplasticity, which is the brain's ability to change, structurally and functionally. People who have an established meditation practice exhibit high levels of gamma wave activity and display an ability - even after the meditation session has ended - to not get stuck on a particular stimulus. This means, they’re automatically able to control their thoughts and reactiveness.
In short, meditation allows you to bring your best to every single situation. Here are some benefits of regular meditation:
- Reduces stress, anxiety and depression
- Improves concentration
- Better quality sleep
- Increase in happiness
- Slows down the aging process
- Benefits cardiovascular and immune health
- Aids in pain relief
- Boosts creativity and productivity
If nothing else, I want to express that there is NO SUCH THING as someone who is bad at meditation. So keep trying! If you are curious about how you can incorporate meditation into your daily life, book a session with me I'd love to help you develop a sustainable practice that's right for YOU.