There are lots of myths about meditation, and in this blog, we will debunk five of the biggest misconceptions.
1. Meditation is hard
Meditation has now become a popular and acknowledged tool for wellness and mental health as a way of understanding ourselves and reducing stress. However, there are many ways to meditate, and sometimes the amount of knowledge available, alongside the various methods to approach it, can be overwhelming. If we hear we are supposed to sit straight, focus on the breath or a spot in the room, ignore the disturbance from the outside world, push away thoughts and go inwards — this actually doesn’t sound easy at all, and rightly so can be off-putting.
When learning Transcendental Meditation, we can take these pressures away. You can sit in a position that is comfortable, you don’t have to concentrate, and you can let thoughts drift past and truly reach a state of deep relaxation.
2. Meditation will solve all my problems
Many articles claim that meditation will solve all of your problems. This is not necessarily untrue, but it’s important to remember that we are all different. Something we learn in Transcendental Meditation is that when our body experiences deep rest it will give us what we need. If you need to sleep, you will fall asleep. If you need to cry, you might cry. Transcendental Meditation has been shown to bring multiple psychological and physiological benefits, but for mental health illnesses as deep-rooted as PTSD, depression, or chronic anxiety, healing is a gradual process and TM should be considered a valuable addition to any treatments prescribed by medical professionals.
Transcendental Meditation helps you reach a state of deep relaxation which will culture your mind and body to function from a calmer baseline. In the long run, this helps us see situations with a broader perspective and we are less likely to react quickly to circumstances without thinking. These earned qualities can help to prevent anxiety, easing depression and PTSD as they help put us into a more peaceful space.
3. I am a bad meditator if I can’t quiet my mind
If you have had this thought, you are not alone. Because of the wide range of meditation techniques in the marketplace, the messages about how to quieten the mind can be confusing. As we are naturally judgemental beings, we can see or hear about a master meditator and assume that because we feel we cannot sit still for twenty minutes or silence the thoughts inside our heads, we aren’t meditating correctly and can never do so!
It is important to remember that meditation is a practice. Just like going to the gym, we can’t expect to run ten miles on the treadmill the first time we walk through the doors. Over time, a twenty-minute meditation twice daily will become more and more natural, and the most important thing is to take it easy.
Every day is different. Sometimes, we might have much more stress to release. TM is about allowing yourself to be in that moment and trusting that your body knows what is best for you.
4. I don’t have time to meditate
‘There’s not enough time in my day’ is a popular comment in today’s world of busyness. People work until they go to sleep; we don’t take enough breaks. But if we think about our actual day there will be some downtime.
The interesting thing about TM is that by practicing it daily, we experience more efficiency in action. If we are tired or stressed, all the tasks we mean to do only get half done or are not done properly because we are exhausted from overworking.
“I got more and more happiness in the doing of things, ideas seemed to flow more freely. “- David Lynch
There is an endless space of creativity we can tap into by getting out of the pressure we put on ourselves. This creates a more focused environment to work, spend time with family or be present with whatever task it is we want to complete. There is always time in the day to meditate, for example; when traveling, before work, during a lunch break, or when dinner is in the oven. A little goes a long way, and some meditation is better than no meditation at all.
As TM gives us more time in the day, saying we don’t have enough time to meditate is like saying we don’t have enough time to fill out a tax rebate form to receive extra money. As we all know, it takes a while to integrate a new habit, but once you find a place for meditation in your routine, it will feel like you have more time!
5. Success in meditation is based on the stillness of my mind
In TM, a successful meditation is turning up to your practice, and through using the mantra correctly, entering a state of relaxation. Some days, the mind will be busier than others. During TM, we don’t strain or force the mind to be still; we allow whatever comes up. When we are meditating correctly, the body normalizes and therefore gives us what we need. If this manifests as the mind is busy, we can take an attitude of equanimity towards thoughts and chatter during meditation.
Again, with practice, meditation will become easier and turn inwards more naturally, reaching deep relaxation and, therefore, releasing stress without judgment.