Why can't I meditate? -Overcoming meditation
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why can’t I meditate?” Maybe you’ve never tried meditating or maybe you’ve tried it in the past and given up on it. Meditation isn’t something that’s easy but it is something that gets easier with practice.
Today we are going to look at the most common reasons why people feel like they “can’t meditate” and uncover how to get around these perceived limitations.
"Why can't I meditate" - 5 Reasons you may feel this way
1. You can't quiet your mind.
This is probably the most common reason I hear from people when they explain why they “can’t meditate”.
When I hear this I think, well yes, that’s why you should meditate! Meditation teaches you how to quiet your mind. I don’t think anyone is able to sit there and get their mind to be still within the first few times that they try to meditate. For most of us, it takes a lot of practice to train the mind to quiet!
We have so many thoughts that run through our minds throughout the day and our mind is constantly stimulated by the external world. This makes it a challenge for most of us to quiet the mind and to stop the many thoughts that are constantly running through our brains. The point of a meditation practice is not to be perfect and never have a thought during your practice, it’s to start to let go of your attachment to your thoughts. The easiest thing to do when a thought pops up while meditating is to just bring your attention back to your breath. With practice, you will start to have less and less distracting thoughts while you’re meditating.
Even though I meditate mostly everyday, it’s not like I sit down and have no thoughts. It takes me a few minutes at least to allow my thoughts to fade away and in some sessions they don’t fade, and that’s ok too. Even when the mind isn’t quiet, the act of working to release attachment to thoughts is going to be beneficial for you.
Meditation is like a rest for your mind. Like we’ve discovered, the mind is constantly working so doesn’t it deserve some time to rest?
2. You don't have time.
Isn’t time an excuse we use for everything? We don’t have time to work out, to eat healthy, to see our family. But it really comes down to what we think is important enough to make time for. While it’s true that there’s only so much we can do in one day, for most of us, there’s usually somewhere in our day where we’re not using our time efficiently.
I know I’ve used time as an excuse for not being able to get certain things done in my business. I’ve said it plenty of times, “I have too much to do, I don’t have enough time in my day.” But when I step back from feeling frustrated, I can see multiple points in my day where I’m wasting time. Did I really need to spend 15 minutes scrolling on instagram? Did I really need to take a 30 minute nap? (I love naps….not the best habit I have lol)
My point is, there’s most likely places in your day that you can find time. And the beauty of finding time to meditate is that doesn’t need to be a big chunk of time, you really only need 5 minutes! While I suggest trying to meditate a little longer, 5 minutes is still great and is usually pretty manageable to add into your daily routine.
Also, if you’re someone who is truly extremely busy throughout the day, you, probably more than anyone, need meditation in your life. Your mind is probably so stimulated throughout the day that it’s important to allow it time for some rest.
3. It's too boring.
In my opinion, a problem that many of us have as humans is that we constantly need to be stimulated by something. We need to feel “entertained” or we need to feel like we’re doing “something” at all times. This is not ideal for us from a mental health standpoint.
We need to be able to sit without ourselves quietly and be ok in our internal world. We can’t find peace in our internal world if we are always looking for external stimulation.
So I’m not sure that it’s so much that people find meditation boring, it may be that they feel uncomfortable sitting with themselves in silence. This is nothing to be ashamed of, it can be really difficult to sit and do nothing and feel ok. This is why I avoided meditation for a while! But I really do believe that it’s important to be able to spend time in your internal world without distractions in order to keep your mind, body and soul healthy and happy.
4. It's uncomfortable sitting on the floor.
It’s a common misconception that you need to sit on the floor with your legs crossed to meditate. While you can meditate in this position, this isn’t going to be comfortable for everyone, and if you’re uncomfortable, it’s going to be difficult to get into a meditative state.
There are so many options on positions you can meditate in. You can sit in a chair, you can kneel, you can even lay down. I do recommend sitting as it helps keep you more awake but if it’s really uncomfortable for you, then by all means lay down. Find what works best for you.
If you can sit comfortably but find that you feel muscle fatigue from sitting up straight, just know that this feeling will get better with time so you just have to practice.
I have a video where I go over different ways you can sit for meditation which you can watch here if this is something you struggle with: Decrease Discomfort While Meditating
This video can help you find a way to feel comfortable while mediating.
5. You don't know how.
There isn’t one specific way to meditate. There are so many different ways you can meditate but they all have the same goal, working on letting go. Letting go of what happened earlier in your day, letting go of what you need to do later, letting go of your thoughts and just being in the present moment.
So really all you need to do is find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and work toward letting go; letting your mind relax, your body relax, and your thoughts fade away. I know this sounds easier than it actually is but as you can see, the steps are simple.
If you are new to meditation, guided meditations are a great place to start because they can help guide you through this process.
I suggest trying out different techniques and seeing what works best for you. My free 7 day yoga experience contains 3 different types of meditation including guided meditation, breath-work, and mantra. If you’re interested, you can get access to these videos here: FREE 7 day yoga experience
There are so many benefits that meditation can bring into your life that I don’t want you to miss out. There are many scientific studies out there that show the benefits of meditation, so it’s not just us yogis saying it’s good for you, it’s actually backed by science!
Continuing to ask yourself, “why can’t I meditate,” is only continuing to convince your mind that you can’t. And as you can see here, if any of these 5 reasons were the cause of why you felt like you “can’t meditate”, you actually can 🙂