So you want to start meditating? That’s a decision that will have an immeasurable return on investment. Check out these tips on what to avoid. Your practice is going to be amazing!
You sit down to meditate. Suddenly you’re flooded with thought after thought. You might be restless. You want to get up. You wonder what’s on TV, what you’re having for dinner. And again why do all these thoughts popping up?
One of the most common mistakes new meditation seekers make is impatience with self.
We think sitting down doing “nothing” should be easy.
In reality, facing yourself is one of the hardest things to do.
To counter this, avoid being hard on yourself or feeling guilty.
Know that any practice takes time to evolve. It takes time to break yourself into this habit. Remind yourself you're doing awesome. Show up and honestly give it your best shot.
2. Not Recognizing It's a Journey
Self-exploration is a journey. It takes time to discover the treasure it brings. Meditation is part of the tour to know yourself and purpose in the world.
You might have days where you have to fight yourself to sit through the entire meditation.
Like I mentioned before, be patient with yourself. You’ll make It through the ups and downs.When you least expect it, you’ll have a great meditation session and perhaps a breakthrough!
Dig even deeper: During your practice list three things you’re grateful for. It could be anything that comes to mind.
This works quite well if you’re having a bad day.
How can you be mad when you appreciate what you’ve got!
3. Checking Your Phone Mid-Meditation
I get it. It’s a digital world. Your phone is practically an extension of your body nowadays.
But know that it only causes you more harm than good to check your phone if you get bored with your practice.
You lose your concentration and devalue the reason you're on your zafu in the first place.
With continued breathing, we can go deeper into our meditation rather than stay at the surface level. If you keep giving yourself a out, then you’re unable to get to this level and explore yourself.
Also, it may help to ask yourself why you keep checking your phone.
Is there something that intimidates you about meditation? Once you discover your inner motives, you can dig into them more.
4. Being Inconsistent
No one is perfect. You’re really busy! It's ok to miss a day or two.
However, the problem comes in when we have an uneven meditation schedule. Kind of like meditating at random.
We meditate on a Monday and then don’t sit on the zafu until Thursday (for 5 minutes).
Then we don’t revisit our practice again until Saturday.
However like many things in life, it’s best to follow a consistent routine. This way your body is accustomed to meditating at a set time. Also, you can get the maximum benefit from your practice.
5. Giving Into Thoughts
We meditate to get to know ourselves a bit better. However, the mind is very clever.
Have you been in this situation before?
We sit to practice, and a juicy thought starts to take shape. We want to indulge a bit perhaps live in the idea or memory.
How can we not?
Be mindful of when this happens.
Bring yourself back to your breath. Bring yourself back to your center.
You can notice the thought but don’t get absorbed in it.
Don't Forget to Enjoy the Moment
Lastly, don't forget to enjoy the moment! This sweet practice contributes to a more abundant life.
The best version of you emerges.
Relish that you have this moment to meditate, to connect with yourself, to appreciate being alive.
Dig even deeper: Set an intention during the last few minutes of your meditation. A goal to achieve. The goal could be to be kind to someone who's left out. Or to support all of life. Whatever your heart tells you is right, listen to that.
Starting out in meditation can be challenging.
Having so many thoughts might distract you. Or having to sit still. However, sometimes the hardest part is just starting.
Have you noticed a change in yourself since meditating?