When people first hear that I meditate, they begin listing reasons why they can’t meditate. Although the reasons come from a sincere heart, they reveal that many people don’t understand what meditation actually is. Here are 3 reasons why you haven’t meditated yet, and why they are actually excuses.
Reason #1: “I can’t stop my thoughts.”
Great observation! Correct too. You can’t stop your thoughts. So it’s a good thing meditation isn’t about stopping the voice in your head.
Meditation is about taking some time to notice what the perpetual torrent of thoughts that are flowing through your head are comprised of. Is it good stuff? Bad Stuff? Are we rewinding back to that heated/alcohol-infused conversation and saying what you should have said? It’s possible that this isn’t the best use of our mental energy.
When you sit down to meditate you aren’t stopping your thoughts. You’re focusing on your breath. Then when you realize you have been distracted by your thoughts, you bring your focus to your breath again.
Remember that ultimately we do not control thoughts. This is similar to how we don’t control the weather. What we do control is our relationship to these things. We all know people who get aggravated over a little rain and others who can carry on regardless of the weather. Meditation can help you walk through the rain without looking down.
Reason #2: “I don’t have time.”
Another very popular reason to avoid meditation is busyness. When we’re busy, it seems that we’re using every second of the day for productivity. But as Tony Robbins says, “If you don’t have 10 minutes for yourself, you don’t have a life.” So make the time!
Wake up a little earlier and meditate in the morning. The 10–15 minutes you trade in sleep will be small compared to the benefits. You’ll be less rushed and get more done throughout your day. I recommend doing a little stretching first to wake yourself up.
Also, you don’t need to spend 30 minutes a day with an instructor to get results. I started with 1 minute for 2 weeks. Then I did 3 minutes. Then 5.
Reason #3: “I’m too stressed.”
Being too stressed to meditate is like saying you’re in too much pain to take aspirin. See the flaw in logic? If you’re stressed, then meditation is perfect you.
Numerous studies have shown that after only a few days of consistent meditation, cortisol
levels significantly decrease. As soon as you begin meditating your heart rate begins to slow and even blood pressure falls.
After only 5 minutes of meditation for a couple weeks, your relationship to stress will completely change. Sitting down and watching your breath for 5 minutes each day has a bunch of nice little byproducts don’t you think?
In the end, you have to remember that meditation is a gift you give yourself. It’s not some annoying thing you have to do because some blogger said you should. It’s a daily practice to allow you to be a better you. So whatever your reason may be, chances are it isn’t solid enough to not practice meditation.