I do not need to tell you the physical and mental benefits of meditation. Plenty of people do that and, if you're reading this, you probably know them already. It's one of the best ways you can spend your time. No, not spend. Invest. You earn that time back by being better, faster and calmer in everything else.
And yet, not everyone mediates regularly. Some people never try it. They have their reasons but, honestly, it's their lost. Then there are people who have attempted meditation and given it up.
Meditation is like exercise. You know you should do it and it makes you feel great. You still need to make it a habit, though. If something is not a habit, it does not matter how simple or beneficial it is – it'll still take effort to do.
Or maybe you did not get the benefits you were expecting.
It's a strange thing to quiet your mind and draw your attention inwards. It's not easy if you're not used to it. Not thinking creates space in your mind for other thoughts. Maybe they're your normal thoughts. Maybe your brain starts shouting at you and throwing distractions. Or you might lose yourself in a daydream.
Meditation is not about what you think (or do not think). It's a state of mind. While in a meditative state, you think in different patterns. Your usual perceptions and reactions go out the door as you explore a new mental frontier. If you find it hard to quiet your mind – if your mind even seems to fight you as you try – then I do not blame you for thinking that meditation is not for you.
How many would-be meditators allow them to be discouraged by this? Probably most of them, based on conversations I've had.
If this is you, then that's okay. Take a moment to think about the reason youave meditation a go in the first place. Whether you want to feel calm under pressure, reconnect with yourself, enhance your thinking or simply experience something new, let me tell you that you still can.
If you've struggled in the past, that's fine. Meditation does not demand a perfect performance. If you spend the session with racing thoughts … well, we've all been there. I've been meditating on and off for decades. I've spent over a year meditating every day. Even I struggle and yet I still get the benefits.
Your attitude is more important than your performance. Every session is a learning experience. If you can not concentrate, then you'll learn more than on the days you can. Be kind to yourself. Judging, analyzing and criticizing your mental state only keeps it away from what you want. Whether you are meditating easily in that moment or not, accept it.
Reality is perfect. You will get better over time, so acknowledge whatever is happening. Everything is fine.
And you do not even need perfection with this attitude. Some days you will judge yourself and that's okay. When you become aware of it, let the judgments go. You'll learn to let go of self-criticism faster and faster. One day, you'll be so fast that you never even think the thought in the first place.
Do not think that you are not good enough to meditate. If you have a brain, you can do it. Your attitude is the main thing to focus on. Your abilities will increase in time.