Have you ever felt like you needed to slow things down? But life never stops long enough to catch your breath. It never seems to change, and you lose the ability to think clearly enough to make the necessary change. This can happen so easily, and that’s why having a sound meditation practice offers your brain and body a chance to reboot.
The most common barriers to slowing down, and starting a meditation practice are: 1. a lack of emotional regulation, 2. a lack of focus, and 3. being unsure of life’s purpose. Life gets ahead of us and the ego takes over. Unless we intentionally slow things down, either by physically stopping, taking a breath, shifting our self-talk, or setting a firm intention to go slower, life will pull us in a multitude of directions.
Other common barriers to meditation are being unclear of meditation’s benefits, and a low sense of motivation to make personal changes. Of these that I mentioned, what is/are your barrier(s) to adopting a meditation practice? Let’s cover them in greater detail, and see where you might be missing the mark so you can get yourself on the right path.
Lack of Emotional Regulation
The secret to better emotional and physical health is indeed backed by science! Scientific research has supported the effectiveness of mantra meditation as a powerful technique for achieving better harmony with oneself. It has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood, and when you’re in a better mood, you tend to have a better quality of life. Part of emotionally regulating one self if knowing when to stop, and take a pause. Most people believe that stopping means losing momentum – but the opposite is proven to be true. Stopping to have a meditation helps you regulate your stress hormones, to reduce cortisol.
Lack of Focus
Along the same lines as having a lock of emotional regulation, is a lack of focus. This barrier I see commonly with those who refuse to stop. They’re so focused on completing a task and as a result, they simply refuse to focus on taking a pause. When practicing mantra meditation, one focuses on a single word, phrase, or sound and repeats it aloud to themselves. This practice helps to redirect your thoughts and calm your mind, resulting in a greater sense of peace and balance. Additionally, studies have shown that mantra meditation is highly beneficial for problem solving, because you’re actually turning on the Prefrontal Cortex in meditation.
Unsure Of Your Life’s Purpose
Understanding oneself is the secret to better spiritual health, as I mentioned in the article, Why Meditation Is The Secret To Better Spiritual Health. Meditation can be a great way to find your inner voice and enhance your spiritual growth. It can be a powerful self-discovery tool, allowing you to access your deepest thoughts and feelings. Having a regular meditation practice can lead to increased self-awareness and insight, allowing you to gain a better understanding of who you are. This can support you to advance your personal and professional growth by becoming more aware of your next career move, which can save you a lot of wasted time.
Low motivation to make personal changes
Motivation can be a challenge when you’re feeling tired and burned-out, especially working shifts back-to-back. In these instances, all you can think about is getting through the day. You can feel stuck, and powerless. I cover some strategies to get you out of this place in podcast episode 71. When you feel stuck and low on motivation, and it’s preventing you from moving forward, you probably don’t want to start meditating. But this is when you need it the most. Meditation can help to reconnect you with your “why”. Listen to one of my first few episodes on discovering your blueprint for happiness. That episode discusses how your happiness depends upon 2 things: your thoughts and your situation.
Ways To Overcome These Barriers & Fit Meditation Into Your Life
If you can’t get yourself to carve-out 20-minutes to sit still, simply start by closing your eyes for a few minutes and observing the difference. Then consider incorporating other types of mindfulness-based exercises into your life to build the routine. It’s not even necessary that you call it a “meditation” . You can just carve-out the time to do it, and leave the spirituality behind.
Incorporate A Few More Tools Here:
- Do this 5-minute guided meditation, by me. I’ve got 2 different ones to support you; one that’s a full body guided meditation (without background music) and the other is a gratitude meditation with 528Hz solfeggio, where the music extends longer to about an hour. Gratitude is proven to offer people a dose of optimism. Gratitude is a great way to give and receive joy each day. As I mentioned in my article here, gratitude provides us with a sense of happiness because it reminds us of what we do have, particularly in a culture of desire. Having an attitude of gratitude offers us a realization of plenty.
- Do a structured Breath Meditation like pranayama.
- Set-up a structured time to engage with Prayer. You can also purchase some Mala beads like the ones I’m holding in the photograph below, if you wish to have a more focused approach. Mala beads will keep the mind focused on repeating the mantra 108 times. Or you can simply hold the mala beads and create a certain meaning to them.
- Add Mandalas, & Sacred Images to your space to activate sacred geometry symbols. These can be programmed by you to have a particular meaning, like “peace”, or “calm mind” or “focused mind”. You choose!
- Enjoy a moving meditation, like taking a walk. It can just be a focused walk to the cafeteria or to a patient’s room. Moving meditations invoke the power of presence, and awareness to support our everyday mindfulness practice. You can also move through an engaged sun salutation practice on the yoga mat (see my easy morning wellness routine post here).
Are you still asking yourself the following questions:
Why should I meditate?
How will meditation change my life?
What type of meditation is right for me?
Then you may want to consider heading over to our Mantra Studio page where we address some of these common questions. Meditation is easy to learn but it does require training.