6 Excuses for Not Meditating (and Why They’re All BS)

posted: 08/05/16
by: Katie Morton

"Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss, or tranquility, nor is it attempting to be a better person. It is simply the creation of a space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deceptions, our hidden fears and hopes."

- Chogyam Trungpa

Meditation. The word used to conjure mental images of flowing robes and sitting cross-legged and barefoot, while gongs sound off in the misty distance.

Times have changed. Modern meditation has gone mainstream. Doctors and medical professionals now report that even brief periods of meditation can have profound positive effects on the human body--including reduced stress levels, improved sleep, better concentration, and a more powerful immune system. Wow, right?

Read on as we debunk all the reasons you haven't been meditating and tell you why you should start today.

Excuse #1: You're Too Busy for Meditation

Truth: With smart phone calendars filled to capacity, the idea of adding one more commitment to the list deters many of us from scheduling time for ourselves. The good news is that no matter how full your schedule, meditation can fit into your daily life. In fact, the busier (and thus, more stressed) you are, the more meditation can help you manage stress and stay centered.

Dr. Karen Sutton, Yale Orthopedic Surgeon, has found that simple deep breathing exercises and visualization help her de-stress and improve work performance before surgery. If Dr. Sutton can find time to meditate at work and on the fly, so can you.

Excuse #2: You Think Meditation is Hard to Learn

Truth: Meditation can be as complex or as simple as you choose to make it. Meditation can be as simple as focusing on your breathing or repeating a brief, soothing mantra. There is no right way to meditate. With some practice, you'll soon find the type and style of meditation that feels right to you.

Excuse #3: You Don't Think Meditation Will Benefit You

Truth: Meditation has been proven to effectuate both immediate and long-term effects. Some studies have shown that meditation can create positive physical and mental changes in just a few weeks.

A recent Harvard University & Massachusetts General Hospital study found that just eight weeks of meditation could reduce anxiety and stress. Even more impressive, this same study found that meditation produced growth in the areas of the brain associated with memory and empathy. Meaning, just as physical exercise can reshape your body, the mental exercise of meditation can literally reshape your brain for the better!

Excuse #4: You Don't Have a Dedicated Meditation Space

Truth: You don't need a fictional Golden Room of Light and Calm to practice meditation. From the smallest of urban studio apartments to the floor of your office to the midmorning commute, you can make meditation happen, wherever you happen to be.

Excuse #5: You Don't Have the Right Music or Guided Training

Truth: Modern technology to the rescue. There are literally thousands of options online, so you can find the music or guided training which speaks to you. One popular meditation track is iTunes The Splendor of Meditation by Dr. Siddharth Ashvin Shah.

Excuse #6: You Think Meditation is a Religious Practice

Truth: Meditation is not a religious practice, but a way of controlling breath and calming thoughts. Anyone can enjoy the physical and mental benefits of meditation without ascribing to any religious or spiritual practice.

Meditation is a simple, free, attainable way to enrich your life and improve your health. Meditation can be done by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Quash your excuses and give meditation a try--you may find yourself pleasantly surprised at the positive impact on your heath and well-being!