It’s easy to think that there’s something wrong with you when your meditation practice doesn’t bring you the sense of calm that everyone else swears by. However, this is far more common than you might think! Instead of beating yourself up for doing a bad job or deciding that meditation isn’t for you, try to see if you are making any common meditation mistakes.
Begum C is here to help you understand what might actually be ruining your practice! Here are a few things meditators do wrong that hold them back from experiencing the power of meditation. Take notes to bring your A-game on and learn how to start an effective meditation routine.
1- Trying Too Hard
One of the most common meditation mistakes is trying too hard. Meditation is based on the principles of consistency and discipline. These qualities can only be inculcated in an individual over time. It is important to recognize that meditation is a process rather than a destination. The journey towards mindfulness and inner peace is what counts as progress as opposed to rushing to a certain goal!
In their struggle to achieve a milestone, beginners do not realize that they are investing their energy in the wrong goal. Judging, and criticizing yourself for not doing good enough is not helpful in this process. Let yourself get comfortable and set a pace that suits you!
2- Emotional Bypassing
The most crucial aspect of meditation is learning to strike the right balance between different emotions. Beginners often misunderstand this and believe that bypassing emotions is the right way to meditate or be mindful.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Meditation allows you to be more conscious and aware of your thoughts and feelings. It requires one to be accepting of where the mind goes, which is the complete opposite of bypassing your feelings. It is this acknowledgment of emotions that helps meditators find what troubles them and engage with it in a healthy manner.
3- Forcing Yourself to Stick to a Timeline
This is one of the most common meditation mistakes that beginners make! Although meditation’s core values include being consistent and disciplined, it also requires one to know their needs. If your mind and body are uncomfortable with your meditation routine, you need to recognize the signs and make amends accordingly. Your body knows what you need and you should always trust your instincts when making such decisions. A strict regimen will only burn you out; this is a clear sign that your practice is not helping you, rather, it is coming from a negative place.
4- Comparing Your Progress With Others
The cruelest and most unloving thing you can do is to compare yourself with others. Since everyone is unique, each person has a different pace. Comparing your progress with others only traps you in a rut of demotivation and self-loathing. If you’re experiencing these emotions, maybe it’s time to ask yourself who you are doing it for. The act of meditation should be about your mental and emotional wellbeing. By being hard on yourself and turning this into a competition (which is exhausting!) you’re running in the wrong direction – towards the mindless chase!
5- Chasing a Goal
As mentioned above, the process is way more important than the goal. Meditation is not about ticking the boxes off a checklist or hopping from one achievement to the other. It is about tiny victories; for example, expanding the duration of your daily practice and being consistent is a much better goal than just achieving milestones. It is about internalizing the experience; feeling every ounce of the lesson that you have learned during the process, and remaining grounded in the present.
Being hard on yourself, chasing a goal, and speculating about the future is contrary to what meditation stands for. Hold your ground, let the calm wash over you, and follow the path of intuition.
We always seem to have a long list of reasons to delay taking some time out for ourselves. We are taught that self-love is a selfish act and often feel guilty about it. However, to overcome this toxic world-view, we need to indulge in practices that benefit us, especially meditation. By practicing mediation consistently, you begin to see it as a part of your routine and it no longer seems like an act of resistance. Staying consistent is the key to avoiding many meditation mistakes as it allows you to experience the progress and growth every day as opposed to randomly doing it once in a while.
7- Trying New Things Every Day
While it is good to expand your practice, staying consistent is important if you want to experience the full benefits of meditation. Trying out new things every day reflects inconsistency and indicates that you are uncomfortable with your routine. Dedication is a prerequisite for meditation and it is vital to allow your body to be immersed in a routine so you can fully grasp the essence of this exercise. Too much change can disrupt your growth.
8- Meditating to Jump on the Bandwagon
One of the most common meditation mistakes is to start a routine just to jump on the bandwagon! Don’t think of meditation as a way to look cooler or to be a part of some trend. This is not only counterproductive but it will also exhaust you further. Meditation is a practice where you have to invest in yourself; it is not just another thing to add to your exhaustive to-do list. Unless you are fully engaged in your practice, it will not yield positive results no matter what you do!
9- Exhausting Yourself During the Day
Not taking small breaks can burn you out physically and mentally. Although mediation is a great escape from external chaos, it cannot replace the small breaks you need for yourself. It is important to recognize your stressors and break away from situations that trigger you. Taking small breaks during the day will rejuvenate your mind and body.
10- Waiting for an Ideal Situation
Stop waiting for things to get better to begin a meditation practice. Start meditating now so that you can learn how to respond to situations when you’re aggravated. It is a great way to declutter the turmoil and work through your emotional responses. Remember, there’s no such thing as an ideal time!
If you could resonate with one of these common meditation mistakes, do not feel hopeless or give up. Allow yourself to acknowledge the mistakes that are hindering your growth and build your way up to a meditation routine that brings you joy and peace. Trust us, a serene, and happy life awaits you!
Head over to our Wellness Blog for more resources on meditation and mindfulness that can help you create the lifestyle you desire!