Reviewed By Pamela Kirkpatrick - Senior Accredited NCS & Registered Member MBACP Adv. Dip.
Meditation: 6 Barriers for Newbies
30 January 2024
Knowing the hurdles you might face as a beginner can really help. Plus we've a bonus, easy-peasy meditation for you to try that won't take up any of your time.
For beginners the path to meditative tranquillity may seem too far away and super daunting.
It’s really common for new meditators to feel overwhelmed. It’s easy to decide that you are rubbish at it, or to give up or vow to never bother trying again.
Meditation is beneficial, but only if you make it a practice. Your attention and focus is something that needs slowly built up, just like the muscles for a push up for example. You wouldn’t expect a friend that’s never been to the gym, to join and do 30 push ups on their first session.
You might suggest they start 3 half push ups, on their knees. Depending on their circumstances you might suggest they start with light weights, and build up slowly to using their body weight.
When it comes to building our mindful muscles, just learning anything new, we will face barriers or hurdles that make us stumble, and waiver, or want to just throw the towel in.
6 Barriers to Meditation you might face as a Beginner
1. The Myth of a Silent Mind:
Barrier: Expecting your mind to hush up completely.
Solution: It's okay to have thoughts during meditation. Instead of wrestling with them, or judging yourself, just gently guide your focus back to your breath, a mantra, or whatever feels right to you.
2. Restlessness and Impatience:
Barrier: Feeling a bit antsy when the zen magic doesn't happen right away.
Solution: Cultivate patience, dear friend. Meditation is a skill that unfolds over time. Begin with short sessions, consistently and as you waltz through your practices, you'll find yourself naturally extending the duration.
3. Physical Discomfort:
Barrier: Wrestling with discomfort, whether it's an itch or a fidgety leg.
Solution: Get comfy! You don't need a yoga master's posture. If discomfort taps on your shoulder, acknowledge it, adjust, and return to your tranquil groove. Try this Yoga Nidra Meditation where the posture is... lying down comfortably.
4. Overthinking the "Right" Way:
Barrier: Overthinking the correct meditation technique can add unnecessary stress.
5. Time Constraints:
Barrier: Feeling like meditation demands time you just don't have.
Solution: Begin small. Even a pocket-sized five-minute breathing meditation can weave wonders. Build confidence and trust in yourself by practising in a way that fits in with your life, EVERYDAY.
6. External Distractions:
Barrier: External noises doing a cha-cha in your meditation space.
Solution: Embrace the dance. Focus on your internal serenity. Consider using earplugs or embracing soothing background melodies to hush the external hustle if it’s bothering you.
Did you know that you can meditate while you are engaging in an activity?
When you integrate meditation into your everyday activities it means it is always accessible, and it takes no extra time. Why not try a meditation the next time you engage in one of these everyday activities?
- Brushing your teeth
- Washing the dishes
- Folding the Washing or Ironing
- Going for a walk
- Drinking your morning coffee
- Sitting in traffic
- Boiling the kettle
- Eating a snack
How I hear you ask!
- To do this, simply be fully present where you are and pay attention to what you are doing.
- Focus your attention on your sensory experiences and non judgmentally become aware of what can you see, smell, feel, hear and taste.
- When the mind wanders, compassionately draw it back to what you were focusing on.
- Try this for 3-5 minutes to begin, then build from there if you wish.
Starting meditation as a newbie is a unique and evolving journey. We hope that by acknowledging and being aware of these common hurdles, beginners can glide into the practice and discover the transformative hug of meditation at their own rhythm.
It's not about perfection; it's about starting and consistently practising with the aim of more inner peace.
Happy meditating, lovely souls!
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