Despite the practice itself dating back centuries, there are still a number of myths about meditation and various other misconceptions out there. In this post, we’re going to tackle 7 of the more persistent ones, and bust them as best as we can.
Myths about Meditation
Meditation has been around for a very long time, and over the years, it’s been adopted by cultures across the world in different forms. It’s gained significant popularity in the modern age, with countless working professionals incorporating meditation into their daily routines, as a way to combat stress, improve their sleep patterns, their ability to focus, and more. Furthermore, numerous high-profile athletes and artists have spoken of how daily meditation to calm the mind helps put them in the right mental state to perform, even under the most intense pressure.
To put this rise in popularity into better context, the top 10 meditation apps saw 52 million downloads last year alone! The onset of the pandemic, and the wave of stress and anxiety it brought with it would undoubtedly have contributed to this uptick, but the numbers certainly show that meditation and mindfulness have proven to be effective for millions of people around the world.
At Mindhouse, we’ve naturally stumbled across a number of these myths about meditation over the past several months. We’ve shortlisted 7 that stood out, and have tried our best to dispel them. If you’ve believed in any of these before, that’s all about to change!
#1: Meditation takes up too much time
We can largely attribute this idea to the furiously busy pace of modern life. However, meditation doesn’t actually need a huge time commitment! The science shows that even just 20 minutes of mindful meditation each day can begin to show positive results in just a few weeks. People who have stuck to this time limit over a period of time have found to have measurable improvements in everything from their sleep patterns to their focus, as well as their general calmness through the day. However, if 20 minutes still feels like too much, even just a 5 or 10 minute meditation each day is a great place to start.
#2: Meditation to calm the mind is a religious practice
One of the more common myths about meditation out there. Meditation is purely a mind-training exercise, which provides immense physiological and psychological benefits, irrespective of your religious or spiritual inclination. The modern meditation techniques offered by most apps and modern studios today, including Mindhouse, are also non-religious, and there is enough and more scientific proof of their effectiveness.
#3: Meditation and mindfulness are useful only when you feel stressed
We all take the time to exercise regularly for physical fitness, because we know that regularity is the key to a fitter, healthier body. Similarly, meditation is simply a workout for your mind! A one-off session of meditation to calm the mind during a period of great stress can certainly help settle things down at the time, but the ongoing benefits will only be seen with regular practice. As we saw earlier, even a 10 minute meditation can set you on the path to building your routine, as you slowly begin to work your way up.
#4: Sleeping during meditation is a huge problem
It’s easy to see why someone may think this way! After all, you’re hoping you can stay focused and entirely immersed in your meditation and mindfulness practice, without wavering for a moment. When you’re starting out, it can be common to doze off – but this is by no means a problem! Sleeping during meditation can simply indicate that you are in a deep state of relaxation, which led you to take a short nap. However, with regular practice, you will find that it’s easier to stay awake throughout the entire session, from start to finish.
#5: You need to completely alter your lifestyle to meditate properly
We promise – you don’t need to change a thing! Meditation is a way to help you connect with yourself, and work towards a state of mental and emotional calm. No matter your habits, dietary or otherwise, you don’t need to alter any of them to make meditation a part of your daily life. At the end of the day, meditation is a way to make time for “me time”, to be present with your own thoughts, and shut out the noise of the outside world. The only rule, if any – turn up every single day.
#6: Meditation is boring!
As myths about meditation go, this one seems to be one that endures the most. Meditation is so much more than merely sitting in silence. If you’re the restless type, there are plenty of active and engaging techniques on offer, such as Visualization and Breathwork, that actively stimulate your mind and body and keep you active. Some meditations use music to set the scene for the exercises you’re going to do, so you don’t even need to end up sitting quietly the whole time. A great way to start is to pick a class that seems interesting to you, and we guarantee you won’t even notice where the time goes!
#7: Meditation needs complete silence
This is probably one of the few myths about meditation that’s somewhat easy to understand. When we talk about the practices of meditation and mindfulness, the first thing we think of is a complete lack of sound. However, numerous effective modern meditation techniques have proven that this need not be the case at all. Various exercises that we find today, employ soothing voice overs, calming ambient music, or even sounds from nature, to help enhance the experience, or act as a guide throughout a particular session.
At its core, meditation is simply a great form of exercise for your mind. Regular practice makes you more calm, focused and patient, while also helping to improve your sleep patterns. And there’s no shortage of techniques and tools available, to help keep things consistently fresh. Now that we’ve cleared all that up, you’re all set to take the first step on your very own meditation journey – and you can start right here!