You go to hot yoga weekly, you drink kombucha daily, and you even take ACV shots in the morning. But for some reason, when it comes to your meditation practice, you just can't seem to commit to it with the same gusto.
Despite your good intentions, despite your "I will meditate this morning" promises you make, you find yourself ditching your meditation pillow each morning. You know meditation is good for you. It's known to lower blood pressure, improve heart rate, breathing, and helps decrease stress. So why do you keep doing it?
For some insight, Organic Authority turned to Emily Fletcher, founder of Ziva Meditation and author of Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance, as to why you keep quitting your meditation practice and how you get back to your pillow.
You Haven't Found the Right Practice
"The most common reason for someone quitting their meditation practice is they are practicing a type of meditation that wasn't built for them," Fletcher tells Organic Authority. "Many people are exclusively practicing mindfulness (which is largely what apps and drop-in studios are teaching) and these were originally designed for monks - not busy people with busy lives."
Because of this, says Fletcher, most people feel like they need to clear their minds in order to successfully meditate -- which isn't true.
"Meditation is largely viewed as difficult to do and commit to because many people think they need to clear their minds, sit in fancy cross-legged positions, and burn incense to meditate properly," says Fletcher. "But the truth is, the mind thinks involuntarily just like the heart beats involuntarily."
Our assumption that we should have an innate "handle" on meditation and think that it'a simply a matter of clearing our minds, is why we ultimately fail at meditation, says Fletcher.
"It's inevitable," she says. And then we promptly quit because "people don't want to stick with anything they feel they are failing at."
But, according to Fletcher, this is the wrong approach to your practice. "Meditation like anything else is a skill you have to learn," she says. "Many people think they should have this innate knowledge but in reality, you have to learn how to do it in order to get the greatest ROI on your time investment."
Find a Method That Works for You
"My favorite and most efficient tips to offer someone is to learn a method that is designed for them," she says. And with the many different types of meditation practices available, from transcendental to mantra meditation, there is sure to be one that best suits you.
However, if you have a meditation practice that you really love and connect with but you still find yourself falling off the bandwagon, Fletcher suggests scheduling your meditation time as you would with anything else.
"Stick with a practice that is designed for you and relentlessly schedule it for two months."
"Students all the time come to me and are anxious because they haven't been meditating," she says. "I tell them to just find a chair, close your eyes and fall back into the rhythm. There, you're meditating!"
Don't Be So Hard on Yourself
"You are supposed to have thoughts during meditation - you are not a monk," says Fletcher. "The mind thinks involuntarily just like the heart beats involuntarily. There is some guy out there telling everyone they need to clear their mind to meditate. I need to find this guy and teach him how to meditate."
Fletcher says what's most important is to come to your time in the chair or pillow with no agenda.
"People get frustrated sometimes because when they're meditating, they're not floating around in a black hole abyss. But the goal of meditation isn't to get good at meditation isn't to get good at meditation - it's to get good at life."
Her advice: learn a practice that's made for busy people with busy minds, stop trying to get it "right," and just do it.
"The same way you'd brush your teeth in the morning or wash your face at night," she says. "Meditation isn't a luxury self-care practice - it's necessary hygiene for your brain. I want to shift the conversation so we start to view meditation as a non-negotiable part of our daily routine because the benefits are too stacked to ignore."
"Your job will get easier, you will blow through your demands more elegantly, and you'll start to enjoy your life more."
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