By Guest Blogger: Freddie Tubbs
Meditation can, to the untrained eye, seem quite simple: sit still and try and relax. But in reality, meditation, when done with the goal of achieving true calm and mindfulness, requires quite a bit more effort and forethought to be successful. When it’s a success, it can change your life, but when done wrong it can be a waste of time. If you meditate but aren’t feeling the benefits, or your recent meditation hasn’t felt as fruitful as before, here are 7 things you might be doing wrong in your meditation practice:
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1. Trying To Force Your Mind To Be Calm
In this busy world, it’s quite likely that you have a thousand things running through your head before and after your meditation session. Sitting down and deciding to meditate isn’t the same as deciding to be calm. “It’s okay for your mind to wander away from the present moment”, says Koa Alfaro, a yoga blogger Paper Fellows and Academized. “Trying to force your brain to dismiss thoughts is only going to create friction, which could ruin your whole session. Instead, take a step back and try and observe from a bird’s eye position everything running through your mind.”
As the old saying goes, timing is everything. And with meditation this is absolutely true. It’s a nice idea, trying to stick to a daily or weekly schedule of meditation, and repeated meditation does have its considerable benefits in reducing overall levels of stress. But, forcing yourself to meditate at times when you are distracted or feeling physically sore or when you know you might get a phone call any minute which you have to answer is never going to be good for you. Meditate when you know you will have a fruitful session, and not just because you’ve told yourself you’ll do meditation Mondays.
3. Not Addressing Pain
Finding the perfect position to be in to meditate can take some time and effort. Some of the most common positions will be a bit uncomfortable when you first begin but will ease up as you continue. However, a slight discomfort is not the same as outright pain. If you feel any genuine bodily pain, in your legs or your back as you meditate you have to do something about it. Physical pain will always hamper how effective your meditations are and could be a sign that you are injuring yourself. Find a position which works for you.
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4. Too Many Expectations
Deanna Gray, a health writer at Australian Help and State Of Writing, says that “In the modern world, there are so many stereotypes of meditation, of what people who meditate are like. All of this can add up and lead to unrealistic or unhealthy expectations of what meditation will do to you, for you. The effects of meditation are different for everyone. Have an open mind and you’ll find your own peace.
5. Not Being Consistent
The more you do it, the more you learn and the more that you approach reaching your own sense of calm and peacefulness. To use another saying, practice makes perfect. So, even if you don’t enjoy it the first few times, try and try again.
6. Trying To Teach Yourself
Meditation is an artform and very few artforms are inherent. You have to seek help and advice when deciding to do meditation. Without advice, you’re much more likely to go wrong and end up giving up on the whole project as being ineffectual.
7. Focusing On Others
Maybe you found out about meditation through social media, maybe your significant other does it or maybe your best friend begged you to do it with them. Whatever the case, meditation has to be about you. And, most importantly, doing it to try and impress other people or for some outside reason beyond your own desires will never end in success. You should be able to do it for years without anyone knowing and be completely satisfied.
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Conclusion: hopefully with a few of these potential pitfalls pointed out to you, you will now be able to discover your own perfect meditation program. Always remember, it’s all about you: what makes you happy, what makes you comfortable.
About the author:
Freddie Tubbs is a lifestyle blogger and writer at UKwritings. He regularly attends yoga and meditation events and contributes posting to the Vault, Boom Essays, and EssayRoo blogs. Follow him on Twitter!
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