So, you’ve started your meditation practice, or you’re about to.
Many people are aware of the benefits of mindfulness that can be achieved through meditation. There are other mindfulness techniques, but meditation is on the top of the list.
The thing is, not everyone can achieve it. There are a lot of people who say that it’s difficult.
Are they, really?
Or are you just committing these five common mistakes?
1. Seeking Relaxation
One of the most common mistakes that a lot of people commit is that they are quick to do meditation to relax. However, it doesn’t work like that.
Keep in mind that meditation is not about relaxation. Instead, it’s about creating the perfect equilibrium between balance and alertness.
The most common scenario is, a person rushes in to meditate following a stressful situation and expecting instant relaxation. As mentioned, it’s not natural to fall into a relaxed state immediately, especially if you haven’t been practicing meditation or mindfulness regularly.
The first few days or even weeks of meditation will have you experiencing a combination of all sorts of emotions opposite relaxation, such as restlessness and discomfort. It’s quite likely that you’ll catch yourself bored.
But that’s fine.
Meditation is about bringing more awareness to the inner you. The relaxation that comes with it is only a side effect when you get used to doing it.
Mindfulness requires regular practice.
Don’t rush into it and expect it to work like Xanax.
2. Relying Too Much on Guided Meditation
There’s nothing wrong with a guided meditation. I have nothing against it; in fact, I support it. The thing is, you can have too much of it that your mindfulness journey may be reliant on something or someone else.
When it’s not supposed to work that way.
The reason you’re doing mindfulness practices, and using guided meditation, to help you is to ease you into the practice so eventually, you can do it on your own.
At some point, you should practice mindfulness and meditation in total silence, and only by yourself. Doing so is the only way to mage progress.
3. Practicing When Upset or Anxious
“Meditate,” has become a piece of common advice for anxious or stressed out individuals. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this.
But if you will only meditate when you’re upset, stressed out, or anxious, then you’re doing it wrong.
You also have to remember that the brain will find it challenging to do something new when we’re under stress. So, meditating at a time when your stress levels are at its highest isn’t a good idea. You might want to give it a couple of days before you commit to a practice.
Mindfulness and meditation will allow you to be better at the present moment, so the next time you encounter a stressful situation, or when you feel like your anxiety is creeping in, you can easily ground yourself through mindfulness.
4. Holding On To Thoughts
When we meditate, it’s normal to be distracted with thoughts—that’s how the brain works. The key here with meditation is to allow the thoughts to pass.
However, some people who complain about struggling with meditation is because most of them hold on to the thoughts that come to them. It’s natural for a human to cling onto a thought, but the key is to let them and go.
Meditation is not the time to analyze why your boss hasn’t promoted you yet or that guy from the bar hasn’t called you yet.
All you need to do is acknowledge that you have a thought, and then bring your attention back to your breath.
5. Expecting Fast Results
If you look at meditation as medication, then you’re better off rolling your yoga mat and just doing some other mindfulness practice. Seeing meditation this way is only setting yourself up for failure.
You have to realize before you practice meditation, is that it’s a spiritual practice. The sooner you realize that, the better.
The benefits of mindfulness will come to you naturally, and by the time that they do, you’ll no longer see them as benefits.