Meditation has numerous benefits—that’s no myth.
Research conducted within the NIH shows that meditation treats numerous conditions such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and pain. It also increases overall health and well-being.
But for all of its proven benefits, many people still have trouble getting started with meditation thanks to the cloud of myths and misconceptions that hover around it. Let’s look at some of the top meditation myths we tell ourselves and break them down:
Myth: Meditation Is Religious or Spiritual
Meditation can trace its roots to Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Today, though, many people practice meditation without studying or following these religions.
Meditation focuses more on being aware of your thoughts, and when you think about that concept…there’s nothing inherently religious about it.
And since meditation can be practiced completely separate from religious or spiritual teachings, this means that practicing it won’t put you at odds with any current beliefs you do have.
Myth: “I Don’t Have Time in My Day to Meditate”
It would certainly be difficult to put aside three hours of every day to dedicate to the practice of meditation. We all lead busy lives: work, family, homemaking, friends…and sleep fits in somewhere, too!
The good news is that meditation doesn’t have to take a long time. In fact, the best way to make meditation part of your daily routine is to start with just a few minutes everyday.
The benefits of meditation come more from consistency—trying it daily—than any lengthy amount of time you can practice.
Myth: Meditation Is Boring
If you think meditation is just sitting and staring at the wall, sure, meditation might seem boring. And, yes, thinking about absolutely nothing for an hour would be a bit tedious.
But neither “sitting and staring” nor “thinking about absolutely nothing” is an accurate description of meditation.
When you meditate, you pick a focus, such as your breath, a phrase or mantra, a specific sound, or a guided meditation recording. And you are bound to have other thoughts, and these are fine, too, as you learn to refocus them. There is also a whole range of meditation styles to experiment with: like visualization, mantras, and more. There’s nothing boring about sampling them all.
Myth: Meditation Is Too Complicated
It’s not uncommon for people to think that meditation requires memorization of mantras, an entire carefully decorated room, burning incense, an uncomfortable posture, and a long playlist of the sounds of the ocean. While some people who meditate may prefer to practice this way, it is far from necessary.
Most forms of meditation require only four basic elements: a quiet location, a comfortable position, a focus of attention, and an open mind.
Perhaps more importantly, there is no wrong way to meditate.
Myth: Meditation Takes Years to Learn
If you have never tried meditation before, it’s unlikely that you’ll feel you’ve completely mastered it after only five minutes on your first day. However, it will not take long for you to start to feel comfortable with meditation.
A Harvard study shows that participants in a mindfulness meditation program had measurable changes in their brains after only eight weeks.
Even better, after just one short session of meditation, you are likely to feel more relaxed than before you started.
Myth: “Meditation Doesn’t Work for People Like Me”
Do you feel like you have too many thoughts constantly running through your head, such as errands, lists, and due dates? Is it difficult for you to sit still for more than three seconds? Do you tend to overanalyze everything? Are you super busy?
None of these things will prevent meditation from working for you.
Meditation is a practice. This means it’s something you learn. So over time, even with just a few minutes in your busy day, you’ll learn to quiet your mind and be still.
So Let’s Recap:
There are a lot of things meditation is not. It’s not a huge burden on your time. It’s not religious, boring, or complicated. And it’s not meant for only certain types of people.
But there are also a lot of things meditation is. It’s a short break in a busy day. It’s an effective technique to quiet your mind and find relaxation. And most importantly, it’s a way to listen to your body.
With meditation as part of your weight loss journey, you’ll find that you have the ability to reduce negative thoughts, fight your craving, and nurture a mindset of success.
Learn more about the MindFirst approach to weight loss and try one of our meditations for free today by clicking here.