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For most people, meditation at first doesn’t come naturally. Therefore it can be frustrating and makes you wonder if you’re doing something wrong. Maybe you will feel tempted to quit meditating before you experience any benefits. Before you quit, look at these 3 common meditation struggles and try if the solutions below work for you. Everyone´s different and not everything works for everyone. So, don´t give up. Try and find the way that works for you.
Struggle #1: Expecting to feel good or different
You’ve tried various forms of meditation, looked up meditative mantras and tried to connect with your inner self. You still feel the same though, not better nor different and you don´t understand why.
Imagine you had fifty pounds to lose and you were serious about losing the weight. You´d most likely join a gym and spend months training. You go to the gym regular, run and stick to the workout plan. Then after a while, you notice that not every gym session feels great. After the initial excitement wore off, it just felt extremely hard.
With meditation it´s the same concept. Sure, you have amazing sessions and you feel like you’re making great progress. But many sessions are not going to feel like that. Most will be challenging, specially at the beginning. The key is to remind yourself that even though it’s difficult, meditation is very important for your well-being.
Struggle #2: Hating the sound of silence
Nowadays we live a busy, hectic lifestyle and are surrounded by constant noise even if we don’t realize it. The laptop hums, the lights buzz, and car horns outside beep. Co-workers are having a phone conversation, the radio is playing, and phones are beeping.
So, it’s not a surprise silence can feel awkward and uncomfortable to many people. Specially when you’re just getting started with meditation. Should you find the silence hard to deal with, try adding some white noise. You could listen to white noise through a website like Simply Noise. Or type the words white noise into YouTube.
Another option is to look on YouTube for meditation music. There are millions of videos featuring relaxing soundtracks allowing you to slip into a meditational space. I like using the nature sounds in YouTube as they help me when background noise is getting too much for me.
Struggle #3: Getting restless during sessions
It seems strange that you can sit comfortably at your TV or computer for hours on end. But as soon as you get quiet and settle down for meditation, you suddenly feel like you can’t sit still. Or like my son likes to say: you get bees in your pants…
Don’t feel bad if this happens to you. Your body and mind are just struggling with the transition from movement to stillness. If you were driving your car at 50 miles per hour for a long time and then suddenly turned onto a road where the speed limit was only 20 miles per hour, you’d feel tense at first, almost like you stopped driving as it seems so slow.
When you meditate the feeling can be similar. You’ve been running around, rushing since you woke up and then slowing down feels odd. Be patient with yourself if you get restless during meditation. Your body and mind are simply adjusting to a different speed. And don´t try to force yourself too much. This will have the opposite effect. Just accept that you are a bit restless and don´t continue to think about it. It will soon go, as long as you don´t focus on being restless. Just continue with your meditation as if nothing is going on.
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Most important to not give up: Meditation is not something to be achieved, it is a journey you are taking. Enjoy the process and learn from it. There are many benefits to meditation if you stick with it, but only if you are not trying to force the result to come. It´s like learning to walk. If you or your kids would have given up after falling a few times and would have lost the fun trying, nobody would walk.
I hope you have learned to recognize the 3 common meditation struggles and have found ideas on how to prevent them. Which one have you been struggling with? Let me know in the comments.