Do you need to reach a zen-like state to meditate? When we think of the word ‘meditation’, an image of a person in a trance-like state comes to mind. Meditation seems like an unachievable feat at times. With the constant demand for it, in our lives, it seems more of a luxury than a necessity if we include it in our daily routine. However, the benefits of such a practice cannot be felt overnight. It’s the constant daily practice of being mindful for a small amount of time, that can help us reap the benefits we need. While a few misconceptions encircle the word ‘meditation,’ it may be easier to incorporate it into our daily routine than we think.
Here are 5 beliefs we may need to unlearn….
Meditation requires a lot of time.
Contrary to the unpopular belief that meditation requires a great deal of time, it’s not actually true. If you set aside one hour everyday and you feel that’s the best for you, then that’s great. However, one hour isn’t the baseline requirement. Five minutes a day, everyday, is effective too, to bring a sense of stability to your life.
You are meditating correctly only when you reach the zen state.
With the not so successful attempts we have had with meditation in the past, it’s not hard to see why. The pursuit to reach the zen like state may make us feel it’s unattainable for working people like us. Meditation isn’t about reaching a trance like state, though some great images do propagate that ideology. It’s about striving to achieve some peace and calm and consciously making an effort to stop and pause for a moment.
You need to have a clear mind.
If you constantly have worries floating into your brain then you aren’t doing it right. That’s what we have heard right? You constantly criticize yourself and eventually give up. Meditation isn’t about having a mind free of thoughts and anxieties. It’s about finding a moment of calm amidst these worries that dwell within our brain.
Meditation doesn’t help in times of panic.
When we go through panic attacks or anxiety attacks, the very famous said practice, ‘Take a deep breath’ may in fact only work for characters in the film we watch. But, in reality let’s admit it, for most of us it never works. There are a couple of techniques and ways of meditation, one can implement when such attacks take place.
Meditation needs us to be in the cross legged position.
While meditating we don’t need to sit crossed legged and put our bodies through that excruciating pain. As a dancer myself, the crossed legged sitting position isn’t possible for me either for more than 10 mins. The leg cramps would always start to kick in. I do have alternate ways to continue my meditation practice. I either sit on the edge of my bed or on a chair.
Some mindful practices encourage mindful walking. Yes! Mindful walking is a form of meditating.
If you don’t know where to start and haven’t had pleasant experiences with meditation, I’ve been there myself.
My perspective on meditation and mindfulness changed when I came across this app, “Ten Percent Happier.” As much as the name intrigued me and as skeptical as I was at first, I went ahead with the beginner session. With just a five minute practice, I realized a great deal of enlightening moments with each session.
But you don’t see wonders overnight, it’s a consistent practice that keeps you grounded. The simple approach makes it relatable, doable and feasible as we navigate our way in life’s journey ahead.