In recent years and in good news, meditation and the art of mindfulness have taken mainstream attention by storm. Whereas people used to pay little to no attention to their mental health, people are meditating and looking within for answers and peace more than ever before.
At the same time, there have been a good amount of myths that have sprung up along the way as well. While this is expected to happen of meditation and just about every other new “trend” to come along (meditation is actually an age-old practice that’s seeing a revival), these myths can also be the reason why many people decide to avoid meditating altogether. Considering just how beneficial meditation truly is, it's important for these people to know the truth and feel encouraged to give meditation a try.
Let’s set the record straight. Here are a few myths that have been floating around, and the truth behind them.
Myth #1: You have to be good at meditation in order for it to work.
Fact: On the contrary, there is no wrong way to meditate. Research has actually shown that new meditators benefit from the practice just as much as meditation veterans do. Whether you meditate with your eyes closed, eyes open, in a grass field, at your office, on the way to work, or right before bed is completely up to you. The simple act of practicing mindfulness and slowing down the pace can relieve stress, improve your mood, reduce the risk of heart-related diseases, and boost your cognitive function.
Myth #2: Meditation is a religious practice.
Fact: This myth is partially true. Yes, meditation is a practice that is strongly ingrained in several religions and cultures. However, you can have a completely different belief system and still enjoy the benefits of meditation.
Myth #3: I can’t turn off my thoughts, so I can’t meditate.
Fact: Name one person who can completely shut off their thoughts, and we’ll call you a liar. After all, we’re talking about the brain here – it’s primary function is to think. Yes, some people are better at relaxing their mind and embracing the moment, but no one is able to completely shut off their thoughts. Instead, people who seem to have a better time focusing have practiced and improved over time.
Myth #4: Meditation requires at least an hour.
Fact: Yes, the more time you can invest in your meditation practice, the quicker you’ll be able to see improvement in your ability to relax and focus. However, meditation can be as long – or as short – as you want it to be. Some people meditate for as little as ten minutes a day and reap the benefits at full scale.
Myth #5: Meditation is a form of escapism.
Fact: Meditation is far from escapism. On the contrary, it is actually a peaceful method of coming to a greater awareness of one’s self and situation, so that he/she can better handle the many stresses and obstacles in life. Meditation is a journey within that helps you to better understand your wants, needs, strong points, areas of opportunity, isms, and more so that you can improve yourself and achieve all that you want to achieve.
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