Meditation does not require a large chunk of sustained time, nor is it too difficult to get into. Psychologist Mike Brooks busts the misconception that it’s about emptying your mind. Instead, meditation is about focusing on one thing.
Brooks is talking about mindfulness meditation, which we’ve discussed before, which focuses on being fully in the moment. One of the biggest problems people have with meditation is the assumption that it requires emptying your mind entirely — I’ve seen several people who misconstrued it as that and gave up on meditation far too quickly. Brooks explains it better:
People think the goal of meditation is to empty the mind. It’s not about clearing the mind; it’s about focusing on one thing. When the mind wanders, the meditation isn’t a failure. Our brain is like a wayward puppy, out of control. Catching it and putting it back to the object of focus is the mediation.
Brooks also says that a total of 15 minutes of meditation in a day — not necessarily continuous — is enough to make you feel better. You can practise mindfulness meditation at any time, like when you are eating or walking the dogs or on your commute. One of my favourite tricks is to focus on your breath and count it. We’ve talked about this and more techniques in our beginner’s guide to meditation.
The takeaway here is that mindfulness isn’t difficult. It’s not a failure if your mind wanders. It’s natural for that to happen, especially if you’re new to meditation. Do it in short bursts throughout the day, and you’ll get better at it.
Meditation Techniques For People Who Hate Meditation [Fast Company]