Stressed? Anxious? Can’t sleep? Meditation can help! Maybe you’ve heard about the benefits of mediation but you aren’t convinced. Perhaps you have some doubts or reservations. There is now considerable clinical evidence to prove that meditation is good for your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. A 2014 study¹ showed that mindfulness-based practices were effective in supporting people suffering from depression and anxiety. In this post, we uncover some common myths about meditation that might surprise you and entice even the most hardened skeptic to give it a try!
Myth # 1- Meditation is religious| Although almost all religions include some form of meditation as part of their practice, meditation itself is not religious, nor does it belong to any particular religion. Meditation is about simply stopping for a while to be still and doesn’t require any belief system. People of many different faiths practice meditation without any conflict with their religious beliefs. So don’t worry, you don’t have to chant mantras, burn incense, or wear special robes to enjoy the benefits of meditation!
Myth #2- Meditation is uncomfortable| You don’t have to sit cross-legged on the floor for hours to practice meditation! Although some meditation traditions place a great emphasis on posture (and there are valid reasons for this) sitting meditations can be done in any kind of chair or on the floor using whatever props help you to feel supported. You may not know this but there are styles of meditations that are traditionally done lying down. When your body is comfortable, it’s much easier for your mind to relax! As meditation instructors, we believe that the attitude we each bring to our practice is more important than any hard and fast rules about posture. Approaching meditation with sincerity and the willingness to meet experience in an open way is key!
Myth # 3- Meditation is difficult| Meditation is actually very simple. To sit and just be is completely effortless! However, it doesn’t necessarily seem that way because we are so accustomed to doing in our culture. We think that meditation is yet another thing I have do, get right, or be perfect at. We put it off because we think it’s going to be difficult. Meditation is actually a surrendering of all effort to do something, get somewhere, or achieve something. When we relax back from these energies, our wise woman within comes out to play!
Myth # 4- Meditation is self-indulgent| Particularly as women, we often tend to take care of everybody else’s needs before our own and can feel guilty about taking time out for self-care. It is not selfish at all to dedicate time to meditation. Quite the opposite, as we begin to discover our own inner peace through meditation, it spills over into our daily life. It can be felt by our family, friends, and all those whom we come into contact with, helping to awaken the same peace within them. In fact, we do a great service to all those who we love and cherish when we commit to a meditation practice, so don’t feel guilty!
Myth # 5- Meditation is about controlling the mind| Sadly we don’t have an on/off switch for our minds (or even a volume control)! Trying to control the mind is like trying to control the weather; impossible and endlessly frustrating! The good news is that meditation isn’t about controlling or making an enemy of our mind. In meditation, we simply observe the nature of the mind without judgment. When we quit trying to control the mind, it naturally relaxes in its own time. Ultimately meditation is about remembering who you are beyond your thoughts and feelings. A reminder of the incredibly powerful, beautiful whole and complete being within you!
We hope this has dispelled some common misconceptions about meditation! Many people find it helpful to have a guide for their meditation practice, which is why we created Rest & Be. We make meditation simple, comfortable, and convenient with our deeply relaxing, highly restorative guided meditations online. At Rest & Be you will find meditations from 2 to 45 minutes. You can enjoy pre-selected playlists and new meditations each week for complete beginners as well as experienced meditators. There are meditations for restful sleep, emotional support, stress release, and many other topics to support you through all the challenges we face in our busy modern lives. Rest & Be is an affordable and easy way to take time for self-care and look after your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Your peace of mind is worth it!
This post was written by Mandy Penalver, a yoga and meditation instructor. Along with her business partner, Theresa Timmes (a former lawyer turned meditation instructor) they now dedicate themselves to spreading awareness and guide people all over the world to live mindful lives.
As a special gift to this blogging community, Theresa and Mandy have kindly extended a complimentary 2-month trial of their Rest & Be app. To claim your gift, simply visit their website where you can download the Rest & Be app. Enter the promo code: SELF-LOVE to have access to a variety of guided meditations. This gift is valid until May 31, 2018.
If you have any meditation questions you’d like to ask, feel free to leave them in the comments for Theresa and Mandy to get back to you on. Are there any myths that you’d add to this list? Are you mastering the art of meditation or are you a skeptic? I know it was very challenging for me in the beginning and now I love to practice active meditation myself. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and show Theresa and Mandy some love for this great post and generous gift!
Thank you so much, Mandy and Theresa, for taking the time to share this with this community. I’m so glad we connected! It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you and I’m sending you both a big hug!
As always, sending you all lots of love and wishing you all that you need to support you in living mindfully.