Why Can’t I Sit Down and Meditate? 5 Tips to Help.

There are a number of reasons why we don’t meditate. Sometimes we feel we can’t or don’t know how and other times we plan to, but it just never seems to happen. Despite good intention, we get side-tracked with procrastination, fear, priorities, time constraints, busy schedules and forgetfulness. Firstly let’s acknowledge that these are merely excuses not actual reasons – gulp. Nonetheless this is where we are at.

Meditation can feel daunting because so many of us think that the intention is to ‘clear the mind,’ ‘empty your mind,’ or ‘be still and quiet.’ This is enough to already turn us off. So let’s start with Top Tip #1:

Top Tip #1: Stop Trying!

Don’t try to meditate. Don’t try to empty your mind (it doesn’t work anyway). Just be. Just sit, or stand, or lie down. Just BE. Don’t worry about thoughts racing but rather accept the mind for where it is. That is the point – Acceptance, Non-judgement.

We cannot fail at meditation. If we intentionally sit for just 5 minutes in silence, even if the mind was in a spin, but we continued to sit in that space – then we successfully meditated. This brings us to Tip #2.

Top Tip #2: Congratulate Oneself.

When we continue to stay in the space of sitting, standing or lying for two minutes, five minutes or thirty minutes, congratulations is in order. Yes, even if the mind was busy! Maybe we felt distracted or ran through the day’s to do list, BUT If we intentionally stayed present in that space, despite the noise of the mind, then we must congratulate ourselves. Why? Because it is hard, and we stayed there anyway.

Too often we try meditation and then say, “I can’t do it,” or “I don’t know how to quiet my mind,” “But I’m still thinking” or “I’m not doing it right.” This self-talk only stops us from sitting down another time. Few people when they begin meditating for the first time(s), just sit quietly and meditate. It takes time and practice. We are learning a new thing. If we want to be a marathon runner, we don’t just become one, we need to stretch and practice running first and congratulate ourselves every step of the way –I ran 1km, or 2kms or 10kms, which takes us directly into Tip #3.

Top Tip #3: Start Small.

If we are new to meditation (or coming back from a hiatus), start small. For many, turning up to a 60 or 90-minute meditation class once a week can create more frustration and disheartenment than peace and calm. This completely defeats the point. So start small. Small can be one-minute, five minutes or ten-minutes and increase as you feel more comfortable. This is also a great way to get us to actually do it. The excuses of time constraints, busy schedules and even fear and anxiety can go away when you set ourselves just five-minutes. Anyone can do anything for five minutes.

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