Meditation has been used for centuries, used by some of the most powerful and successful people. It has the power to align the body and mind, improve empathy, ground emotions, reduce stress, and more. It is a wonder cure for so many things, and it doesn’t require any prescriptions, special tools or anything. The only requirement is YOU.
So why is it so hard and why do so few people practice it? The challenge is that it has been around for centuries and there are so many misconceptions about how to meditate. Let’s start with those misconceptions and break down the barriers to meditation.
- Misconception 1: The Quiet Dark Room. Most people think meditation must be done in a quiet, usually dark room with zero disruptions. Meditation can be done anywhere and having distractions can help you focus by allowing you to use them as a centering point. It is easier to focus on something happening then focusing on the presence of nothing.
- Misconception 2: The Meditation Stance. We have all seen someone sitting with their legs crossed in a specific way. Again, not a requirement. Meditation can be anywhere, anytime, even walking around. The goal is to just to observe and be present in the encompassing world.
- Misconception 3: Meditation is too hard or for certain people. The power of meditation can benefit anyone, especially if you are stressed, anxious, depressed, etc. It can be hard to start, but if you remove the misconceptions and fake-rules, meditation is easy and gets more powerful with practice.
There are more misconceptions like needing special sounds, music, or instructions. To keep the article short we won’t go into all of them. Just know that there are no special tools, places, things, people, etc needed to meditate.
Meditation is easier than you think. It can be achieved in just a few minutes and doesn’t require anything special. It is the perfect relaxation technique before a big meeting, speaking event or whenever! It just takes 3 simple steps.
- Step 1, Clear Your Mind. This is the hardest part of meditation is clearing your mind of all distractions. However, it doesn’t have to be and gets easier over time. Clear your mind and let any mental distractions come and go. Don’t try to force them away, just let them flow through you. Don’t tie them to an emotion or any reaction, again just let them flow. Your head will fill with them, especially when you start out. Don’t worry this is fine!
It is best to be/get comfortable but it is not a requirement. In fact you can use any discomfort as a focusing anchor which is step 2
- Step 2, Focus on Something. As you begin meditation start by focusing on something. Use it as a tool to clear your mind, not as something to keep the mind focused on. When distracting thoughts enter your mind, or your eyes begin to focus or wander us that focus to recenter. It is important not to “focus” on the something, again it is just an anchor to help you enter a state of meditation.
- Step 3, Become an Observer. The goal of meditation is to become an unbound observer of the things around you. This is the state you are trying to reach which each session. It takes time but with practice you can enter this state in minutes. You want to observe by “seeing or feeling” without tying anything to that or holding onto it. The goal is to just let everything flow.
This takes time and practice but there are no hurdles to starting meditation. In fact, you can do it right now. After this article take a few minutes to just clear your mind, focus on something and then let everything just flow. It starts out hard, but it will get easier.
Meditation has been a key part to my emotional grounding and balance. I use it before every speaking engagement, difficult board meeting or whenever I start to feel anxious. It helps me to untie emotions to the event and realize the universe is vast, whatever I am doing or feeling will pass and everything will be ok.
Now you have no excuse, start your first meditation session right now.
Then create a calendar event or task to meditate every day at a specific time. You can meditate as much as you want every day but select one specific time each day to ensure you practice. It’s a great way to get ready for bed.