Family obligations! Work! The news! Turning the mind off from the distractions that buzz around us all day long can be a seriously difficult feat. When it is finally achieved, however, it’s complete and utter bliss. Meditation is one sure-fire way to detach from the world and experience the mind, body, and soul connection in its truest form.
Not convinced you can swing it? You're not alone: There are quite a few myths about meditation that often stop newcomers from giving it a try. Ahead, we debunk common myths surrounding self-reflection and offer suggestions for giving it a try without hesitation.
Myth 1: You have to sit on the floor
We often think about meditation happening on a yoga mat, on the floor, in a quiet room, with the smell of incense in the air. Turns out, none of those things really need to happen in order to calm your mind. With the right mindset and focus, meditation can happen anywhere — on the train, at the gym, and even in between meetings at work. Start with a simple breathing exercise before letting your mind wander for a few minutes.
Myth 2: You need lots of time to meditate
An all-too-common misconception is that meditation requires a lot of time and effort. Of course, a yoga class or meditation retreat can be time consuming, but a simple, everyday habit of self-reflection can be just as beneficial. Make it part of your morning routine before jumping out of bed and pouring yourself a cup of coffee. All you need is a few minutes and the willpower to actually do it!
Myth 3: You need a legitimate reason to meditate
For some, meditation is an escape from a concrete thing — a stressful work life, an addiction, or something similar. And while that’s great, you don’t need a motivation for wanting to meditate. Truth is, you can do it just because — and that’s simply reason enough.
Myth 4: You need to know how to do yoga to meditate
Oftentimes, the terms meditation and yoga are used interchangeably. While yoga does involve meditation and meditation can include yoga, you don't need to be able to nail a downward dog to practice self-reflection. As mentioned, meditation can happen anywhere — and, with enough focus, under any condition — so don’t wait for your next vinyasa class to engage your brain.
Myth 5: Meditation requires following a concrete set of rules
When it comes to focus and relaxation, there is no right or wrong. Sure, there are suggestions and tips, but the most important realization is figuring out what works for you. Plus, it’s a common misconception that meditation is easy, since all it requires is a bit of focus. But the reality is that this focus can be extremely difficult for many of us. The secret to meditation lies in a bit of self-reflection, trial and error, and trusting your body’s best judgment.
Myth 6: Meditation means tapping into your religious side
For some, meditation can be a truly spiritual experience. For others, it’s simply a way to detach from the world and clear your mind of toxic thoughts. Either way, both versions are equally valid, and one can choose to make it about religion or not.
Myth 7: Meditation should be used to "solve" something
Most exercises have an end point or a goal in mind at the end of the finish line. Meditation, however, has no end — it’s an ongoing process without structure, which is the exact beauty of it. Therefore, you don’t need any rhyme, reason, or problem for engaging in reflection. All are welcome into the meditative state if they so choose.