Misconceptions about meditation
Many of my clients come to me for stress management and I often recommend meditation to help people clear the mind of business and help with the body’s tension. Lots of people including myself have struggled with meditation one or another because we are hung up on what we think meditation should be like which is going to be different for everyone just like an aromatherapy treatment is.
There is lots of scientific evidence now supporting mindfulness and meditation with benefits including decreasing metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves. Tension and tightness seep from muscles as the body receives a quiet message to relax so it is worth everyone having a go at this daily practice.
The biggest misconception is that of staying still for your meditation practice, for some this is easy for others it is a huge challenge. Walking meditation and being in nature is one option or there is creative meditation which is great for our sacral chakra too where you concentrate on something creative whether that is drawing, knitting or writing for example. I often lie down to meditate but there is no rule to say I have to stay lying down and that I can’t sit up half way through if that is what feels right for you and I do that all the time too.
Another one is that you have to meditate for a long time which puts people off as we have such busy schedules now, I typically meditate for between 10 and 20 minutes a day. Sometimes longer and sometimes less it depends on what I have on that day which is realistic, many blogs or teachings specify long times but for best results you need to do a daily practice and not just once a month when you have a free hour. This is why many people choose to meditate before going to sleep as it becomes a habit.
The biggest hurdle is that everyone that meditates instantly empties their mind for the duration of their meditation session like a ninja pro and that if you constantly have thoughts popping into your head you are not doing it right or meditation is not for you. This is so not the case. People attempting to empty their minds are often frustrated because our minds are rarely at rest. Does this mean meditation is pointless? Of course not. The key is not to block our thoughts, or empty our mind, but rather to allow each thought to come and go. Everyone will have thoughts during meditation, and some thoughts will be completely unrelated to your practice but like anything practice makes perfect so the more you meditate the better you will be at dealing with stray thoughts.
There are so many tools available to us now such as guided meditations free online via youtube or other sites or local groups you can attend if you want to try it away from home with the right atmosphere. There are apps such as Headspace and Calm you can download to your phone and you can always form your own meditation such as walking, journaling, having an aromatic bath. I urge anyone to try a few things as I think everyone can benefit from meditation.