Meditation practices are on the rise and that makes me sooo happy. I would still consider myself pretty new to meditation. But, I have already seen the benefits in terms of stress management and having a general sense of calm and ease.
With an increase in popularity it makes sense that there will be some confusion with regard to meditation myths and misinformation. So, that is why I’m writing this post today, to bust meditation myths and give clarity to those who are interested in starting a practice!
Myth 1: ‘You have to be serious’
Completely the opposite, and that’s the beauty of meditation- it’s light. It’s about being kind to yourself. You don’t have to be serious. Rather, just simply focus on following your breath and how your body feels with each inhale and exhale. If you find yourself unable to focus or your mind starts to wander, who cares! Just acknowledge to yourself (kindly!) that you have lost focus and come right back to the breath.
Myth 2: ‘You have to be a hippie-dippie yogi’
I think we’re moving past this misconception these days, thanks to the likes of Goop, Headspace and public figures such as Tim Ferriss. For those who don’t know, I’m also a jewelry designer. I make malas to promote the new, modern idea of meditation. They combine intention and aesthetics- to take you from a 6 am meditation session to going for drinks downtown, because it’s all about balance!
I love fashion, beauty, business (and WINE lol) and would rather go to the gym than a yoga class! Meditation can be for every lifestyle, just implement it in a way that works best for you! I like to start with 10 minutes every morning before I start work. Sometimes if I’ve had a particularly long day I’ll do another 5 minutes before bed.
Myth 3: ‘You need to shut off your mind’
This is probably the biggest misconception. I always hear people say “I would never be able to sit still” or, “I would never be able to stop my thoughts”. Meditation is NOT about eliminating thoughts. It’s about learning to relate to your thoughts in a different way, in conjunction with, creating more space between you and your thoughts. This helps you to learn that your thoughts don’t define you and teaches you to react less to stress triggers throughout the day. PLUS if you really do think that you think too much- wouldn’t it be so beneficial to giving meditation a try??
By continually re-directing your thoughts to a single point of focus (be that the breath, body or mantra) you are strengthening the part of the brain that helps you react less to stress triggers, overanalyzing, worrying etc.
Myth 4: ‘There isn’t enough time’
Okay people if Oprah has enough time, you have enough time 😉 ! What’s important is not the time you spend meditating, rather it’s all about consistency. Seriously, just finding 5-10 minutes everyday helps you realize all the short term (and eventually long term) benefits of meditation.
But here’s another way to look at it- meditation helps improve focus and lowers stress. Therefore, you’ll be able to be more productive and fit more into your day if you take the time out to meditate.