Today I want to run you through 10 Common Myths & Misconceptions of Meditation that could be holding you back from succeeding with Meditation and adopting it into your daily routine.
Before I learned of these myths, I found meditation to be a slow and frustrating process. I was putting tons of work and effort into my practice but wasn’t seeing results (or so I thought anyway).
Once I learned how to Meditate the right way through extensive research, courses and trial & error, it was like “BOOM!! Myths Busted!” And, it all started falling into place.
Meditation became a lot easier because I realised I had been overthinking it. You may be too.
Since learning to meditate the right way, I feel happier, more productive and more able to effectively manage stress and anxiety symptoms.
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this video below. In this video, I explore 4 common meditation misconceptions that may be holding you back from getting started.
4 Common Meditation Misconceptions
Meditation Myth #1:
Meditation is difficult. You need to be a trained professional to do it
Myth Busted! Although meditation is not always easy, it doesn’t have to be difficult all the time either.
When you learn tips and tricks from an experienced and good teacher, meditation can be easy and fun to learn.
Sure, not all sessions will be “out of this world”. Some days you may struggle to focus but that’s all part of the practice. You just continue to push through.
Some of the concepts and techniques used in Meditation are actually really simple such as focusing on your breath or repeating a mantra (a single word or phrase). However, some people perceive meditation to be difficult because they:
- Over-complicate or overthink it
- Try too hard to concentrate
- Become overly attached to seeing results
- Are paranoid about whether they’re doing it right
As a newbie with no idea what I was doing, I experienced all of these at the start of my Meditation practice. I was overly focused on seeing results and would worry about whether I was doing things right.
This caused me to struggle with getting into a relaxed state, but now, through patience, commitment and consistency, I have learned to relax my mind, let go of the things listed above and just go with the flow.
This has improved my meditation sessions immensely.
Meditation Myth #2:
You have to quiet your mind from all thoughts
Myth Busted! This is probably the biggest Myth when it comes to meditation and mindfulness and is the cause of many people giving up in frustration.
Meditation isn’t about stopping your thoughts or trying to empty your mind completely. If you try to do this you’ll just end up even more stressed and distracted as it is literally impossible.
We can, however, decide how much attention we give our thoughts.
When they arise, as they inevitably will, do not judge or try to push them away. Instead, acknowledge that they’re there and gently bring your attention to your object of focus (eg. Your breath).
The more that you practice meditation, the longer the period of silence and calm will become in between thoughts.
Meditation Myth #3:
You have too many thoughts and not enough time to Meditate
Myth Busted! Many try to use the excuse that they don’t have enough time or think too much to be able to spend time on meditation.
Yet, there are many highly successful and busy executives around the world who swear by daily meditation and have not missed a session in years. If they can do it whilst managing an empire, so can you!
It’s up to you, and only you, to make meditation a priority.
If you feel like your schedule is too full for the day, even just sitting down and meditating for a few minutes is better than not meditating at all. You can always scrummage up 5 minutes and use a meditation timer to ensure you don’t go over time.
In relation to this myth, I have my own experience to back this up.
I personally found that my morning Meditation actually makes me feel more in control over the time in my day and as though I actually have more time. It makes me feel refreshed enabling me to accomplish more in the day, even though I kind of feel like I am doing less.
Instead of struggling to achieve daily goals like I once used to, I feel like I am spending more time in a “flow state” of calm.
This particular myth was once used as my excuse to procrastinate with my practice. Don’t let it be yours too.
Meditation Myth #4:
You need to be a spiritual or religious person
Myth Busted! Absolutely not. Meditation is a very old practice and although yes it was once created or discovered within religious contexts, most modern techniques of meditation have nothing to do with religion.
For many, meditation doesn’t require a spiritual belief and those with varying religious beliefs can practice it without feeling any conflict with their current religious beliefs.
On the other hand, there are those who have no particular religious beliefs or are atheist or agnostic – like me! I’m not religious or a very spiritual person, yet I love meditation!
For me, I wanted to get started with meditation for its health and well-being benefits such as:
- Developing a positive mindset
- Feeling more content with life
- Being able to handle Anxiety, Stress and managing difficult emotions
But with time, I have become more open to spirituality and am very much aware of the power of the mind on our bodies.
Meditation Myth #5:
You need to meditate for long periods of time to achieve results
Myth Busted! If you’re just getting started with Meditation, daily sessions as long as 2-5 minutes are probably all you need.
People who meditate for 20+ minutes per day are unlikely to be beginners, so keep that in mind. However, the duration can also depend on your preferences.
For me, as an example, I traditionally meditate for 10-15 minutes. But it can also depend on whether I choose to meditate on my own or by following a guided meditation. With guided Meditations, I can meditate for over 30 minutes.
For you, it’s no different.
There is no set time on how long you should meditate for, however, always start small and work your way up from there. Just as you would at the gym.
Meditation Myth #6:
It takes years of dedicated practice to notice any benefits
Myth Busted! The benefits of meditation can be both immediate and long-term. Some say that they have noticed benefits from meditation in the first few days of daily practice.
Other scientific studies show that meditation can have profound health effects on the mind and body within 3-8 weeks of practice.
For example, a landmark study by Harvard University and Massachusetts’ General Hospital revealed that even eight weeks of meditation can help people to decrease anxiety and feel a greater sense of calm. It also helped to promote growth in the areas of the brain associated with:
- Sense of self and
- Stress Regulation
Meditation Myth #7:
Meditation is for people wanting to escape their problems
Myth Busted! To be honest, Meditation is not a great technique if you’re trying to escape or run away from your problems. The reason for this is because really, the main purpose of meditation is to tune in and get in touch with your inner self.
Kind of contradictory, I’d say…
Through Meditation, you’re able to delve below mind’s surface (which is often consumed with repetitive thoughts and worries about the past and future) and into a quieter state of consciousness.
If you start your meditation practice with an “I’m running away” attitude, you’re going to be disappointed because, unlike your expectations, everything that you’re trying to escape or supress is likely to come to the surface.
That is why some people can find meditation a bit daunting and difficult in the beginning.
Meditation Myth #8:
There is only one type of Meditation
Myth Busted! The word Meditation actually acts as an umbrella title for many different types of meditation.
This was a shock to me at first when I was getting started because I had not realised that there were so many different meditation types out there. It can become quite confusing.
As some initial examples there’s:
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Mantra Meditation
- Chakra Meditation
- Walking Meditation
- the list goes on and on…
So, before you start feeling overwhelmed, just think of it this way: If one type of Meditation isn’t working for you, just try another one, rather than dismissing the whole idea of meditation altogether.
You may discover that your body responds better to a technique you hadn’t even considered in the past.
Meditation Myth #9:
You need to meditate in a special location
Myth Busted! Meditation can be done almost anywhere.
Whether you find a nice spot on your bedroom floor, on a chair at your desk or even as you go on a walk during your lunch break, meditation can be done.
As long as you have a quiet space, where you’re unlikely to get distracted, this practice is very versatile.
This is what makes it so great!
Meditation Myth #10:
There’s only one Meditation position to sit in
Myth Busted! When many think of meditation, they picture a Buddhist monk sitting in the full lotus pose – sitting on the floor with their legs tangled around each other like some intense game of “Twister.”.
Like really, who can even do that, right?
But contrary to this myth, no, that is not the only pose for Meditation.
There are actually a large variety of different poses and postures you can try based on your experience, flexibility, and comfort.
In addition to sitting poses on the floor, you can also try lying down or even leaning against a wall.
This is great because it means there is a range of poses you can try to find what works best for you and your body.
So, now I bet you’re wondering how you can ensure that you start doing Meditation the right way?
Well, the best first step would be to sign up for our FREE Meditation for Beginners eCourse, as highlighted below.
By completing this 3-day Mindfulness Meditation course you will gain an insight into:
- The basics of Mindfulness Meditation
- The Health Benefits of Meditation
- Reasons why you should practice Meditation daily
- Meditation Tips for Beginners
- How Meditation Can Help to Manage and Reduce Stress & Anxiety
- & Much Much More!!
The course topics are sent straight to your inbox each day, so you don’t have to worry about logging in to any special platforms. So, what have you got to lose!
You can sign up here or by entering your details directly below.
All the best guys!
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