Ask someone who likes to meditate about meditation, and they’ll tell you it can do just about everything. Meditation reduces stress and clears the mind, relaxes the body and relieves anxiety. And sure, meditation is all wonderful…unless you’re one of the people who just can’t seem to do it. So what should you do when meditation just doesn’t work for you?
Try Something Different
Everyone from therapists to the barista at the coffee shop might recommend meditation as a great way to feel centered and reduce stress, and that can be very frustrating for people who just can’t seem to get into that meditative state. You may have even used apps, taken workshops or trained with a meditation expert in an effort to learn how to achieve this relaxed state of mind that makes so many people feel better. And you may still have to face the fact that none of it is working.
When all the apps and the experts and the techniques aren’t working, try doing something a little different or outside the norm. Every single person on the planet is different, and all those tried-and-tested meditation methods that work for others may not work for you—and that’s okay. You can still find your own way to meditate that isn’t on any app or YouTube video.
Other Ways to Meditate
Sitting cross-legged or lying comfortably in a quiet room while your mind is blank is a common way to meditate, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone. Try a different type of meditation if you have a naturally restless mind and find it hard to sit still.
You can actually do a walking meditation. Go for a short, 10-minute walk. During the walk, focus on your body. Think about your breathing. Think about where your feet are stepping. Feel the movement throughout your limbs.
You may find that achieving a meditative state isn’t so difficult after all. If walking meditation seems to help, increase your walk by 5-minute intervals until you’re walking and meditating for 20 to 30 minutes a day, whatever you’re comfortable with. You can also meditate while doing laundry, on an exercise bike or standing up.
Focus on Technique
To meditate successfully, you need to make sure your technique is good. Don’t try to meditate when you’re tired or hungry, because your mind will be distracted by these discomforts. Meditate only when you don’t have any immediate pressures weighing on your mind, and you know you have some time. Don’t worry about sitting perfectly, using a mantra or meditating exactly the way you’ve seen it on TV.
There is no one perfect way to meditate, no perfect position, no perfect thought to hold in your held. Don’t worry about “proper” meditation, find a way to meditate that’s right for you. The way that you meditate is always proper for you. If you’ve been unable to meditate, it might be due to the fact that you’ve over-thinking your meditation. Try to just let it happen, however it happens.