I don’t need to tell you the physical and mental benefits of meditation. Plenty of people do that and, if you’re reading this, you probably know them already. It’s one of the best ways you can spend your time. No, not spend. Invest. You earn that time back by being better, faster and calmer in everything else.
And yet, not everyone meditates regularly. Some people never try it. They have their reasons but, honestly, it’s their lost. Then there are people who have attempted meditation and given it up.
Meditation is like exercise. You know you should do it and it makes you feel great. You still need to make it a habit, though. If something isn’t a habit, it doesn’t matter how simple or beneficial it is – it’ll still take effort to do.
Or maybe you didn’t get the benefits you were expecting.
It’s a strange thing to quiet your mind and draw your attention inwards. It’s not easy if you’re not used to it. Not thinking creates space in your mind for other thoughts. Maybe they’re your normal thoughts. Maybe your brain starts shouting at you and throwing distractions. Or you might lose yourself in a daydream.
Meditation isn’t about what you think (or don’t think). It’s a state of mind. While in a meditative state, you think in different patterns. Your usual perceptions and reactions go out the door as you explore a new mental frontier. If you find it hard to quiet your mind – if your mind even seems to fight you as you try – then I don’t blame you for thinking that meditation isn’t for you.
How many would-be meditators allow themselves to be discouraged by this? Probably most of them, based on conversations I’ve had.
If this is you, then that’s okay. Take a moment to think about the reason you gave meditation a go in the first place. Whether you want to feel calm under pressure, reconnect with yourself, enhance your thinking or simply experience something new, let me tell you that you still can.
If you’ve struggled in the past, that’s fine. Meditation doesn’t demand a perfect performance. If you spend the session with racing thoughts… well, we’ve all been there. I’ve been meditating on and off for decades. I’ve spent over a year meditating every day. Even I struggle and yet I still get the benefits.
Your attitude is more important than your performance. Every session is a learning experience. If you can’t concentrate, then you’ll learn more than on the days you can. Be kind to yourself. Judging, analysing and criticising your mental state only shifts it away from what you want. Whether you are meditating easily in that moment or not, accept it.
Reality is perfect. You will get better over time, so acknowledge whatever is happening. Everything is fine.
And you don’t even need perfection with this attitude. Some days you will judge yourself and that’s okay. When you become aware of it, let the judgements go. You’ll learn to let go of self-criticism faster and faster. One day, you’ll be so fast that you never even think the thought in the first place.
Don’t think that you aren’t good enough to meditate. If you have a brain, you can do it. Your attitude is the main thing to focus on. Your abilities will increase in time.
If you want the benefits of meditation through a different approach, consider self-hypnosis. With self-hypnosis you can use the distracting thoughts. Rather than quieting your mind, it helps you think in strange, useful and exciting ways.
My guide to this mental art assumes you have no experience with hypnosis or meditation. You have nothing to lose except everything you don’t want by clicking this link: