Deciding to start meditation is the first step towards a healthier you, both in mind and body. So well done for taking that first step!
When you first start meditating it can be tricky to get it down and beginners often run into a few problems. It’s completely normal. And you can overcome these. We’ve put together the 4 most common problems that beginners face when they start meditation, along with some advice on how to tackle them.
1. Being unable to turn off your mind
People who are new to meditation assume that the whole point is to completely empty their minds. So when they start to meditate and thoughts such as “did I take the chicken out to defrost?” and “Oh, I must remember to call my Mother back” enter their head, they think they’re not meditating properly.
In reality, you can never really turn off your mind completely. Even when you’re not actively thinking, thoughts still drift in and out of your head. The trick is being able to separate yourself from your thoughts. Acknowledge they are there and allow them to drift away without delving deeper into them.
2. Falling asleep
Sometimes you get so comfortable meditating, and because you’re sitting still for so long amidst your busy life, it can cause you to nod off. Whilst some experienced meditators use the practice to help them fall asleep, when you’re first starting out, it’s helpful to stay awake to get the most out of your meditation – especially if you’re looking to reduce stress.
To help you stay awake, stay sat up rather than lying down and cool the room down to ensure you don’t get too comfortable. You can even do stand up meditation. But don’t get too hung up about falling asleep – it’s a natural response.
3. Being unable to get comfortable
If you’re not used to sitting cross legged on the floor for extended periods of time, you can get find the position uncomfortable. Maybe you get cramp in your leg or you get pins and needles in your foot. It happens!
You’re not going to get a proper meditation going if you’re constantly switching positions. Find a position that is comfortable for you. There’s no rule that says you have to sit cross legged on the floor. You just need to maintain good posture. You can lie down or even stand up! Whatever works for you.
4. Not really feeling like it’s “worked”
Many people feel frustrated if, after 15 minutes of quiet meditation, they haven’t experienced some life-changing revelation. It’s perfectly normal to feel no change whatsoever. If you feel the same, don’t think of the experience as a waste of time and give up. The more you meditate, the more your mental acuity and happiness will improve. The shift will be subtle but totally noticeable after you’ve been doing it a few months.
It’s worth pointing out that there’s no right or wrong way to feel after meditation either. Whether you feel energised, soothed, relaxed or headstrong, there’s no one way to feel because everyone is different and gets something different out of meditation.
Be sure to keep up to date with our other meditation & healing blogs for helpful advice and tips. And let us know how you get on as you start to delve into the world of meditation!