Have you tried meditation and decided “it’s not your thing”? Or perhaps you have not tried it yet because of some common believes. Here are three more myths you might be telling yourself that prevent you from one of the best gifts you can give yourself. You can read Part 1 here.
Myth 4: I do other activities, like running, yoga or cooking, as my meditation.
That could be true, but is it? There is such thing as mindful running, walking meditation and yoga only if you are present. The key is being fully aware and focused during these activities. Now, be honest with yourself, are you absolutely present and focused during running, cooking or on the mat? Or are you using it as a distraction? Let’s take running for example. Mindful running means no music, no planning the day. Pure focusing on each step you take, noticing the breathing and connecting with your body and the heartbeat. If you wander, you start all over, again and again, and again. Do you run like this? Same goes for cooking, gardening, doing yoga.
Meditation is about training your brain by giving it full focus and attention to one object or activity. When your mind wanders, and thoughts come in, which will happen 100%, gently return your focus and attention to that same one object. It is much easier to catch your mind drifting away when the rest of you is not moving. If running is your thing, go for it, just make sure you are present.
Myth 5: Meditation makes me sleepy.
Meditation is a powerful gym for the brain, as long as you address your biological needs before you do any mental work. If you fall asleep or feel tired during or after the meditation, it means that you are sleep deprived and just need more rest. Are you getting enough sleep? If the answer is no, neither meditation nor other practice to train the brain will replace your need for sleep. By falling asleep during the meditation, your body tells you that you must nourish and replenish yourself before giving it mental exercise on focus and productivity. Take a nap then meditate.
Myth 6: Meditation is too religious for me.
Some people of various religions and backgrounds may view meditation strongly associated with Buddhism. Although meditation originated and was mostly spread in the western world through Buddhism, by now, it has been approved by many scientific and medical organizations as well as people of all religions, races, and nationalities as a practice of self-care and well-being, just like brushing your teeth and exercising. Many meditation techniques do not include any mentioning of Buddhism nor any other religion. It is a practice of training the brain and available to all. So even if it does, enjoy it as part of the history.
Whatever you told yourself about meditation, be adventurous and give it a try. Worse case scenario, you can just go back to the old story “it’s not my thing.” Best case scenario you will adapt a life-changing practice that brings a breath of fresh air to the heat of your day.