By now, you’ve probably heard about some of the benefits of meditation, like how it can reduce stress and pain, and even improve aspects of mental health. Nearly everyone can benefit from this kind of help from time to time, so why aren’t more people meditating?
While meditation has grown in popularity throughout the years, it’s still not as commonplace as it really should be, despite its significant benefits and the fact that it requires no special equipment or cost. It seems that people may be put off by some of the myths and misconceptions about meditation, so they’re really not even giving it a fair try in the first place.
Are meditation myths preventing you from reaping its rewards? If so, keep reading while we debunk some of the most common misconceptions.
Myth: You Must Maintain a Certain Posture
When you think of someone meditating, you may picture them sitting up straight with their eyes closed, legs crossed, and their hands resting on their knees. While this is a common image, it certainly isn’t the only way to achieve a meditative state.
You’re welcome to sit in any position that is comfortable for you: sitting in a chair or on the couch; sitting on the floor with legs extended in front of you on the ground, having your back supported by a wall, sitting with knees bent so your bum is on your heels – move around and see what way feels best for you. You can also lay down on your back for meditation (as long as your breath flows with ease).
If sitting or laying down isn’t comfortable for you, you may want to try a moving meditation – where your eyes are open (you don’t want to run into anything!). Consider going for a walking or hiking meditation – focus your attention on the environment around you – what can you see, smell, touch, or hear? Moving meditations can also help improve blood flow, circulation, and digestion, providing you with physical health benefits in addition to the mental health ones.
Myth: You Need Complete Silence
If you have rambunctious kids or other loud roommates, you may think that there’s no point in trying meditation because you just about never have the necessary silence. While the quiet can help some people meditate, it is certainly not a requirement.
For example, if you’re doing a moving meditation, you’re likely not going to be surrounded by complete silence. You may hear traffic, birds chirping, the wind in the trees, etc. These noises can actually help support your meditation, reminding you life is not silent or still – finding quiet and calm within yourself, is what matters most.
Myth: You Must Clear Your Mind Completely
In order to meditate properly, you may have heard that your mind must be completely blank and clear of thoughts. In reality, if you notice you’ve been having thoughts during meditation practice, you are actually meditating.
Meditation is more about taking the time to notice your internal experiences and avoid getting caught up in them, not stopping them altogether. Over time, you may notice more space between your thoughts and you may notice more peaceful + compassionate thoughts vs, fearful or critical ones that cause you worry or stress. Meditation is a skill, and like any skill, it requires time, patience, and practice in order to improve your ability.
To try a guided meditation, click HERE.