In teaching meditation, people often run into obstacles and can get frustrated with the meditation path. I have learned that this is primarily due to trying to learn everything they can about meditation all at once.
Lets, take a look at some pitfalls and tips on how you can focus in on a method that will help you build a proper base for learning meditation.
How can you get rid of these meditation pitfalls? First, there is no way to meditate incorrectly. However, many beginners can get caught up in all the information on the web, try too many methods and just get lost in the process of meditating. Once you complete a focused and structured path for meditating, you can then use that information to branch out into other meditation methods that appeal to you personally.
The Little-Known Drawbacks of Meditating That No One Wants To Really Talk About…
If you want to gain all the benefits that come with regularly meditating, you need to learn a basic step by step instruction for a meditation process that you can personally identify with. There are many mistakes that beginners make that keep them from being able to reap the benefits from a consistent meditation practice. Here are some of the meditation pitfalls to become aware of at any stage of your meditation practice.
Not Being Aware Of What Method Will Work For You
Not all methods work for everyone, you will need to experiment with different methods one you learn the basic meditation technique. You may try several types of meditation methods and find that you just really don’t like the ideas and structure. If you force yourself to continue, you may get frustrated all together and just quit.
It’s ok to try different techniques and methods for however long it takes until you settle on the one that “feels” right and keeps you motivated To avoid this pitfall, make sure you try different methods until you find one that works for you.
Trying To Meditate When You Are Under Stress
Yes, meditation is perfect to “de-stress” your life, just not as a beginning meditator just starting out on your meditation journey. This can actually make your practice ineffective and make you feel that your meditation could be the problem.
If you are under stress, take action on your situation and once things have calmed down, continue with your practice until you feel ready to step up your meditation practice to the next level.
Over Achieving and Meditating for Long Periods of Time
The quality of your meditation time is much more important than the quantity of it, so make sure you’re not forcing yourself to spend hours in meditation when you’re still learning. Meditation is something that takes time to learn and requires practice, so you’re not going to be able to do it for hours just yet.
Make sure you’re taking lots of breaks while meditating and don’t push yourself to meditate for too long.
Using Guided Meditations Can Hold You Back
Guided meditations are a good way to get started with meditation and I highly recommend them. They are a great way to learn and understand how to structure your practice. But, sticking with guided meditations for too long can hold you back from progressing to deeper levels. This is because meditation is a personal experience, so allowing yourself to rely completely on guided meditations is only one method of meditation.
Allowing So Many Distractions That You Can’t Focus
Too much of a good thing is a bad thing when it comes to meditation. Although you may benefit from some soft music playing in the background to help you focus and drown out background noises, too many distractions are going to keep you from being able to meditate deeply and really connect with your inner self.
Find a quiet place to meditate in your home and if need be, you can even shut off the music if that becomes too much for you.
Getting To A High Level Of Frustration
The point of meditation is to relax your mind and body, but many beginners fall into this pitfall of getting frustrated when they can’t meet or exceed their expectations. If you find yourself frustrated or angry while meditating, it’s only going to make it even harder to meditate as that becomes your focus, not the meditation.
Meditation takes time and practice to master, so give yourself a lot of room to make mistakes as you are starting out.
If you find yourself unable to overcome the frustration, contact a meditation teacher or a local class to help you get back on track. Meditation is a creation process, do it your way, some will learn faster, others slower. The speed is not important, only that you continue on with your practice. It’s all good!
Accessories Can Help With Your Meditation
Although you technically don’t need anything more than your own mind to meditate, there are a number of things that can help you meditate more easily, which is especially helpful when you are first starting to learn. Here are a few items that can enhance your meditation.
Comfortable Clothing When Possible
It’s important to be as comfortable as possible while meditating because you don’t want to be distracted by physical discomfort as this makes it a lot harder to achieve a meditative state. That’s why you want to wear clothes that are as comfortable as possible while meditating. This could mean yoga pants and a tank-top, or it could mean sweatpants and a sweatshirt.
Use Furniture To Make Yourself Comfortable
Sometimes, picking the right piece of furniture makes the biggest difference in how well you’re able to meditate. You’ll want it to be comfortable, of course, and located in an area that’s away from distractions. What you sit or lay on to meditate is completely up to you. It could be anything from a yoga mat to a hammock.
Meditation Music To Set The Mood
Having music playing in the background can often help you meditate, especially if you’re using music that is designed for meditation. If you use the same music every time, it will help remind your body what you’re doing and instantly put you in a better state of mind to start meditating. Because phones and computers can be used for so many other things, I recommend using an actual Mp3 player devoted to meditation purposes so you don’t risk getting distracted by your phone or computer.
Meditation Apps Can Help In Moderation
On the other hand, you may want to keep your phone close to you to take advantage of a meditation app. There are a number of apps, like Headspace, or the Simply Being Guided app that will help provide you with guided meditations that you can use as your first learning so you can get the hang of meditation. Just be sure to not get distracted by any of your other apps!
There’s no shortage of mindfulness and meditation apps these days, promising to help you combat anxiety, sleep better, hone your focus, and more. We scoured the app stores to find the most popular, educational, and easy-to-use mindfulness apps that are available.
Essential Oils Can Set The Mood For Meditation
Whether you use a diffuser or simply put a few drops of essential oils on your palms and neck, this is a great way to help your body relax and your mind to focus so that you can meditate. Lavender, clary sage and Roman chamomile are all-natural sedatives that will help you relax. Sandalwood, vetiver, atlas cedarwood, patchouli, and Palo Santo are examples of essential oils that will help ground you.
When using essential oils for anything, be sure to use caution as some people may be allergic to some types of essential oils. You’ll also want to carefully follow the directions for using the different types of oils as you’ll need different amounts for different purposes. Using oil in a diffuser, for example, requires 5 – 6 drops, which is more than you should be putting directly on your skin.
Experiment and Find What Works for You
At the end of the day, whether it’s music, clothing, furniture, or essential oils, you need to be looking for what works best for you. This will take some time, but once you find the right combination, you’ll find that your meditation time is significantly better. This will help you stay motivated and create the right meditation that works for you personally.
Related Questions & Tips For Choosing The Right Meditation Method For You
There are several types of meditation, and you’ll need to choose one that will work best for you. First, we’re going to go over 4 questions that you need to ask yourself to help determine what type of meditation will suit you best, and then we’ll take a quick look at the 3 types of meditation that you can choose from.
1. What type of meditation does my lifestyle need?
If you live a “fast and furious” life where you always seem to be on the go and dealing with a lot of stress, then you’ll need a meditation type that will help you relax and stay centered and stress-free. However, if your life is more laid back, then you’ll want a type of meditation that focuses on keeping you focused and your mind sharp.
2. How much time can I devote to meditation?
If you want to get the most out of a meditation technique, you need to be able to devote a certain amount of time to it. Any less time, and you won’t be getting all the benefits, which is why it’s important to consider timeframes before getting started. While some types of meditation require two 1-hour sessions every day, others only require 15 to 20 minutes a day to work.
3. What do I want to get out of meditation?
Because each type of meditation works differently with your mind and body, you have to also consider what you want to get out of it. While one type of meditation will help you become more compassionate and creative, the other two types can boost your psychological and physical health. Some meditation techniques are targeted at relieving addiction, anxiety, insomnia, and many other conditions.
4. Do you agree with the beliefs and philosophies of the meditation type?
Some meditation types are much more spiritually-rooted than others, so you need to make sure you’re 100% comfortable with the spiritual side of meditation before you begin. Fortunately, there are some types of meditation that don’t have a strong spiritual base, so anyone can enjoy these without feeling a conflict of beliefs come up.
Now, here are the three main types of meditation that you can choose from:
1. Open Monitoring
Often shortened to OM, open monitoring finds its origins in Buddhism. The focus is on being aware of your breathing, feelings, and thoughts, and the goal is to detach yourself from your mind. Once you become successful at detaching yourself from your mind, then it will give you the ability to identify with your emotions rather than being controlled by them.
2. Focused Attention
Also known as FA, this style of meditation involves focusing your attention on one thing. This is usually something specific like an image that you visualize, or it could be something more general like a sound or an emotion. The goal of focused attention is to keep your mind focused on only one thing so that you can relax and allow everything else to fade away into the background.
AST meditation techniques involve selecting a mantra (or having one selected for you by a mentor) and repeating it gently over and over again. It’s the mantra itself as it’s repeated that helps you reach a meditative state and calms the nervous system. It works similarly to FA meditation as you focus on just one mantra, but the two are actually very different.
Meditation is Such a Personal Practice
Everyone has his or her own technique for meditation. Perhaps you begin with yoga poses, a chant, or prayer. Make it a practice you do on purpose and with purpose.