Let me start this blog post by sharing my opinion on whether meditation is hard to me. I think it may seems a little hard at first but it is no longer hard after forcing myself to do it daily for a few weeks. Having said that, I don’t have a super busy life and I don’t work in a very high-stress environment which I believe makes it easier for me to meditate and clear my mind. In this blog post, I will explore on why most people find meditation hard. I will also look at whether it is really that hard if you do it right.
Meditation Can Be Really Hard for People with a Short Attention Span
I believe that we are living in a world where we very naturally become more and more impatient. Our lives are basically surrounded by different types of slot machines which make our minds extremely noisy. What? You think that you are not surrounded by slot machines? Let’s take a closer look here. Slot machines are machines that give us variable rewards. Our smart phones is the biggest and the most handy slot machines of all time. Think about what happens when you open your Facebook apps and keep scrolling to check different pictures and posts posted by your friends. These posts and the entertainment and excitement that come from them are variable rewards. All those instant messenger apps which give your different text or picture messages from different friends are extremely addictive too. The sad thing about these slot machines around us is that they can make us extreme impatient. Think about it. If you can get your variable rewards freely and instantly by simply picking up your smartphone, how patient do you think you can get? When is the last time that you didn’t check your smartphone for 5 minutes? Are you able to not pick up your smartphone even if you hear the notification sound that indicates you get a new message? If you can’t even live without your smartphone for a few minutes, I must be asking too much to have you meditate for 10 minutes.
Let’s Re-Learn How to Focus
Don’t be discouraged by the fact that all those social media apps make us impatient. I used to be like that too but I am now proud to say that I only check my smartphones a few times every day. The bad habits we developed due to the culture we are in can actually be un-developed, although difficult. It can be done because an average person like me has done it. As long as you realize that checking your phone and social media every 5 minutes is harmful, you can fix it. Start with checking your phone every 1 hour, then every 2 hours and then gradually every 4 hours. You will be surprised by how much better your life is by not addicting to your phone. You don’t necessarily have to remove your addition to your phone before you start meditating. You can do both at the same time indeed. I just want to remind you that the goal of meditation is to be able to clear your mind. Removing your addiction to your phone is almost as valuable as meditation, if not more valuable.
Meditation is Difficult Because I Simply Don’t Have Time
Some people may argue that it is not possible to meditate in their busy days. I would say that you may have a misunderstanding. It doesn’t really take you that much time to have effective meditation. Many people would recommend you to have 20 minutes of meditation in the morning and another 20 minutes before dinner or before sleep, I actually find that doing only 10 minutes of meditation in the morning only already makes my mind very clear. Don’t underestimate what the 10 minutes can do for you, they can actually make your mind very clear and sharp. I would also argue that you can actually think clearly and work faster with the 10 minutes of meditation. That may end up making you finish your daily work faster and actually save you time. For those of you who don’t drive or walk to work, you can actually meditation on the bus or on the train on your way to work.
My Mind is Keep Thinking About Other Stuff When I Meditate
If you find it difficult to clear your mind, you are probably doing your meditation wrong. When you meditate, it is very natural to have thoughts and ideas flowing into your conscious mind from your subconscious mind. That is normal and that is good. If you think deeply about those ideas and thoughts, of course you can’t clear your mind effectively. Instead, you should simply “say hi” to your thoughts and let the thoughts pass by. It’s true that some of the incoming thoughts can be some bright ideas but you don’t have to worry about not remembering them. The truly bright ideas can always stick and you can always revisit them when you finish meditating. Those ideas and thoughts that you don’t remember are not really that important.
I am Too Tired to Meditate
From my own experience, it is possible that meditating after a tough work day doesn’t work. What I mean is that I simply fell asleep instead of being in the half-asleep state that I am supposed to get into during meditation. The solution to me is very simple. I simply only meditate in the morning. I know there are recommendations to have one meditation session at night, but meditation is not exact science. Do what works for you is the only guideline that you will need.
My Family Think I am Weird
First, meditation has become more and more popular these days. It is indeed trendy to meditate. Second, who cares about whether your family think you are weird or cool. Just explain to them that this is just a tool that allows you to clear your mind. It is nothing religious related. If they can it, fine. It they don’t, it is okay too. They will love you anyway even if you have some seemingly weird behaviors.
In conclusion, meditation is not hard. It just seems to be hard at first. The biggest obstacle is our inability to focus for more than minutes. With just a little bit of determination to get thru the first few weeks, things will get a lot easier.