In addition to managing stress, mindfulness practices have been linked to better outcomes for patients with heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, depression, and many other conditions.
There are many myths about meditation. It’s easy to see why it’s sometimes misunderstood.
Myth: It’s okay to discontinue medical treatment.
Myth: Only the full lotus position counts.
Truth: Take a seat that’s comfortable for you. That may mean a half lotus on the floor or sitting in a straight backed chair.
Myth: Aches and pains are good.
Truth: Change positions if you feel stiff or get a cramp. Scan your body to detect areas of tension and make adjustments. You’ll eliminate distractions and protect your body from injury.
Myth: Teachers are useless.
Truth: You can learn a lot from books and videos. Live teachers are even better because you can form a warm and supportive relationship. Feeling accountable to another person may also encourage you to practice more consistently.
Myth: Expensive props make a big difference.
Truth: Go ahead and select a cushion that works well for you. You can also use your bed pillow or an old phonebook. Your mind is what really counts.
Myth: Absolute quiet is essential.
Myth: It requires a lot of time.
Truth: You can meditate for a just a few minutes a day. Focus on your breathing when you’re stuck at a red light. Remind yourself of all you have to be grateful for while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew.
Myth: It requires little time.
Truth: Prolonged contemplation leads to deeper insights. You can always adjust your priorities depending on what you want to accomplish.
Myth: Concentrate first.
Truth: Your thoughts may be accustomed to racing around. Over time, you will enhance your ability to concentrate.
Myth: Zoning out is the ultimate goal.
Truth: Meditation can be used just to relax. You can also use your sessions to sort out personal issues or seek spiritual attainments.
Myth: It’s some kind of religion.
Truth: Meditation is a traditional part of many religions. It can also be adapted to your personal spiritual beliefs or be a completely secular activity.
Myth: You’ll wind up isolated.
Truth: Sitting by yourself can actually strengthen your connections with others. You’ll develop more love and compassion.
Myth: Breathing is just for beginners.
Truth: Watching your breathing or counting your inhalations and exhalations is a common technique when you’re starting out. Train carefully. Deep and relaxed breathing is essential at every stage of meditation.
Myth: Progress feels gradual and steady.
Truth: Expect fluctuations. Some sessions will go smoothly and sometimes you’ll struggle.
Myth: Meditation is easy.
Truth: Mindfulness can be hard work. To make breakthroughs in thinking, address your automatic defenses. To set out in a more positive direction, transform your entrenched habits.
Myth: Meditation is difficult.
Truth: Meditation can also be simple and fun. Be gentle with yourself. Lighten up and enjoy the process.
Meditation practices are full of contradictions and diversity. They’re also immensely rewarding and worth all the effort. Clear up the myths and boost your physical and mental well-being through meditation.