The #1 Thing I Tell People Who Want To Start Meditating…

The #1 Thing I Tell People Who Want To Start Meditating

If you’re like many people recently, you’ve probably given meditation a try a time or two because you’ve heard over and over how good it is for stress, anxiety, depression, focus, creativity, trauma healing, just to name a few. Again, like most people, you probably gave up after a few times because you didn’t feel like it did anything, you never felt like you were doing it right or simply because it felt so uncomfortable sitting still for that long!

I get it. I have SO BEEN THERE.

SEE ALSO: 7 Ways Daily Meditation Can Change Your Life

My Personal Experience

My attempts at meditation started in 2012 after I was the victim of a violent attack. I figured it would help me “get over” it. I would love to say that it worked right away and I’ve been a devout meditator since, but that isn’t the case at all. When you first start meditation, your brain has all kinds of thoughts.

  • Am I doing this right?
  • No, this can’t be right.
  • Oh, wait, I’m not supposed to think.
  • Is it almost over?
  • Wait, it’s only been less than a minute.
  • Yeah, I’m definitely not doing it.
  • I should just get up and do something productive.
  • What am I gonna make for dinner?
  • I have chicken in the fridge, I should just use that.
  • Oh wait- yes meditation. Stop thinking.
  • Man, I’m not doing this right.
  • Okay, I’m getting up.
  • Well, I at least I tried.

This is totally normal.

Here’s my advice:

Stay in the Room

If you’ve ever been to hot yoga, you’ll understand this phrase. When doing yoga in 100 to 110-degrees heat, instructors will often say if it becomes too much and you need a break, take a seat, lie down, grab some water, do whatever you need to do, “just stay in the room.”

It will get easier. You’re just adjusting. Don’t quit. This is what I tell people when they start meditating.

“Just stay in the room.” It’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re actually meditating.

It will get easier. You’re just adjusting. Don’t quit.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.

If you’re not able to sit still for 15 minutes with your eyes closed, maybe you just practice sitting in the quiet, without checking your phone for 5 minutes. Perhaps you could set your timer for a few minutes and just look around the room or maybe you close your eyes and let your mind wander. It’s crazy to think that we need to practice “sitting still” but in all honesty, most of us do because our brains are going a millions miles an hour all day long. It’s accustomed to being stimulated at every moment of the day.

It Takes Time

Meditation is like any new activity you try, whether it’s running, yoga, lifting weights, etc., you’re not going to be great at it in the beginning. It takes time. It takes dedication and effort, but the payoff is SO WORTH IT. So if you have wanted to try meditation but don’t think you can do it, just set your timer for five minutes and count your breaths or pull up YouTube and search “10 minute guided meditation” and if and when it becomes uncomfortable, JUST STAY IN THE ROOM. I started and stopped my attempts at meditation so many times, but continually reminding myself to just stay in the room, I have now worked my mediation practice up to 4-5 days a week and I am now enjoying all the benefits that were promised to me.

Stick with it. It gets better because YOU get better.


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Leah Carol

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Leah Carol is a Professional Life Coach recognized for creating powerful change in the lives of her clients. She specializes…

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