As the number of people who practice meditation grow, so does the science backing up the benefits of a regular meditation practice. Long gone are the days of only hippies and martial artists meditating. Meditation has now been adopted by entertainers, CEO’s, and athletes.
Multiple studies have shown that a regular meditation practice can aid with depression, high blood pressure, lower stress, improve memory, and actually alter the brain’s physical structure by increasing gray matter. Getting started with meditation is far simpler than many people believe. Understanding these myths will help you start meditating sooner.
Meditation Takes a Long Time
This is a myth brought about by the stories of meditation sessions that are transcendental and last for hours. The truth is you can benefit from just a couple minutes of meditation at a time. It is recommended that you start your meditation practice with short 5 minute sessions. This will help to train your mind and ease you into a regular meditation practice. Trying to jump immediately into 30-minute long meditation sessions can set you up for failure. In the same way you ease your body into a physical workout, it is important to not over train your brain early on in your meditation practice.
Meditation Is Hard
The difficulty in meditation comes from unreasonable expectations about meditation. Meditation is simply about being. Learning how to meditate is about learning to focus your attention intentionally. Much like you will run at a high-intensity for short periods of time to get in shape, in meditation, you will focus your attention on something consistent, like your breath, for short periods of time. The same way the sprints build up your running stamina, meditation increases your ability to focus your attention.
If I Think About Something I Failed at Meditation
A basic tenant of meditation is a non-striving mindset. The only way you can fail at meditation is by thinking you can fail or succeed at meditation. Meditation does not change your thoughts or prevent you from having thoughts, it does not even prevent your mind from wandering. Instead, the practice of meditation is simply about having an awareness of your thoughts and then separating yourself from them. Instead of learning to turn off your thoughts, meditation will teach you how to realize when you are distracted and enhance the time of calm experienced in between thoughts.
The Lakehouse Recovery Center offers 30, 60, and 90 day programs to men and women seeking to recover from drug and alcohol addiction. In addition to providing excellent clinical care, we offer both recovery and non-recovery activities. Our goal is to show clients how to have fun again, learning how to live in recovery without drugs and alcohol. For information, call us today: 877.762.3707