We need the benefits of meditation now more than ever. In this day and age, though, we are always on-the-go and most people don’t have the patience to stop and mindfully practice meditating in their free time. Even though we need something to help us destress and reconnect, a lot of society’s portrayal of meditation has led to inaccurate, fantasized ideas of meditation. So if you’re new to meditation, or perhaps just haven’t received the results you desired, we want to help you avoid the common misconceptions of meditating. Read below for our 3 key things you may not have known about meditation:
1. You shouldn’t expect a certain outcome.
If you’re new to meditation, you may be seeking it out as a solution to a problem or to improve a certain aspect in life. It’s perfectly normal to do that, but going into meditation with expectations can risk an ineffective meditation period. If you’re concentrating the whole time on what your desired outcome should be, it will distract and occupy your mind, rendering the meditation pointless. Meditation shouldn’t be viewed as a quantifiable or calculated practice. Many people believe that putting in a certain number of hours will equal a specific amount of results, which isn’t quite the right mindset to have going into a session. Try instead to drop expectations and forget what you want out of the session — just let yourself sink into the calm mind.
Let the noise of your objectives slowly melt away, and as you sit in the silence, try to forget about what was on your mind previously. You may be surprised to gain an unexpected, yet positive result at the end.
2. You don’t have to sit still.
Contrary to popular belief, meditation doesn't have to be sitting still for hours on end. You can meditate while walking (like longevity walking
), lying down, or even while making a cup of coffee. The ultimate goal of meditation is to reach a mental state of relaxed concentration. If you’ve ever gotten to the point where you are deeply engrossed in something while solely focused on it, that’s the goal for head space. It's a state of mind rather than a physical act of sitting still. Some people even find sitting still causes rising chaotic thoughts. So, whatever it may be for you, find the method or action that puts you into the most meditative mode possible.
3. Your environment doesn’t have to be silent.
Meditation is always pictured being in a silent, serene scenario. Yes, it’s great to have a peaceful environment when practicing meditation, but there doesn’t need to be complete silence. In fact, it’s really helpful to use a chant (or Om) as you do it, as well as having ambient sound or music playing. The pattern or rhythm of a sound like that can aid your brain into falling into the brainwaves of meditation, or the alpha state. Meditation is all about the state of your brainwaves, so as long as you’re doing something to get your brain to that alpha level, you’re entering a meditative state. You’ll need to go through some trial periods to find what fits you best and is most effective. Try the altering methods yourself and see how it works, you could be surprised at how different your session may be, especially when visiting a true meditation mode where your brainwaves get to the alpha level.
Did you learn anything new about meditation?
There are many myths in the media about how to meditate, or what meditating should look like, but just remember that meditation is, in its purest form, based in science. It’s entirely about the state of your brainwaves, rather than form or technique. So if you can get your brain to that place, whether it’s moving around, listening to music, or sitting still, you’ll find a deeper, more meaningful connection with yourself every time you do it, and you’ll never go back to life without meditating.