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Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Meditation for the Masses

By May 1, 2012

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May is National Meditation Month. I'm a big fan of meditation, both as a technique to recommend to readers and clients, and as a personal practice for stress relief, so I'm happy to publicize that meditation has its own month. But some may ask, 'Why meditation? And why nudge people into it?'

The first question is easy to answer: meditation brings many benefits for overall wellbeing: health benefits, emotional resilience, and of course, stress relief, to name a few. (See this article for more on the benefits of meditation.)

But why the nudging? Many people try meditation and aren't immediately thrilled with it. (Being honest, I fell into this category, so I can sympathize completely!) It's difficult for perfectionists who are concerned about doing it 'wrong'. It's challenging to those who lead very too-busy lives and find their 'to do lists' screaming at them from the inside after a few minutes of sitting. Some may worry that meditation conflicts in some way with their religious views. And for those who like instant results, meditation doesn't always supply the quick surge of endorphins of exercise or the obvious tension release of getting a massage--it's more subtle.

However, meditation and meditation-based techniques bring both short-term and long-term benefits that make it absolutely worth the effort to work past these hurdles. And if you're experiencing these challenges, you're not alone. In fact, very practiced meditators and beginners alike can find themselves contending with copious amounts of internal chatter; the difference is that the practiced meditators understand that this is part of the process, and don't let it create doubt or stress within them. If you think you can't meditate, think again.

So this month, why not give meditation a try? Or a second chance? (Or a third!) Read some of the articles below that are geared toward those seeking to get past their meditation roadblocks, and try a new meditation technique today. Then tell me what you think, via the 'comments' section, or post in the Facebook group. And if you find this post helpful, please pass it on via the 'share' button.

Meditation Resources:

Why Meditate?
Meditation has many wonderful benefits for health and stress relief. If you haven't read about them already, learn why the goal of regular meditation is worth every minute of practice.

Meditation For Perfectionists
Meditation can be especially difficult for perfectionists, at least at first. However, perfectionists are among those who could benefit the most from meditation, and perhaps may become some of the most committed to meditation once they master the concept. If you are a perfectionist (or if you just find meditation difficult), these meditation tips for perfectionists are for you!

FAQ: What If You Can't Meditate?
Have you tried meditation, but find yourself getting MORE stressed? Here are some alternatives and techniques to try!

Meditation Techniques to Try
Here are some different techniques to try.

5-Minute Meditation
If you only have a few minutes, here's a quick way to feel less stressed.

Share Your Thoughts:
Do you meditate? Why or why not? And, if you do, what method works best for you? Share your experiences in the 'comments' section. If you enjoyed this post, please pass it on with the 'share' button.

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Comments
May 11, 2011 at 7:17 am
(1) Cali27 says:

I have just started meditating in the last couple of weeks on a daily basis and I find it is so nice to just sit and focus on either my breathing or the top of my head-which relates to the meditation class course I am participating in-and it’s great to just sit and clear the mind.

It’s not easy as words pop into the mind,the mind drifts off and you have to keep pulling back from your thoughts to the focal point,so it’s not easy but it is good to practice.

I feel quite refreshed after a meditation and I feel I want to do it for longer periods. I started small at 5 minutes,then 7,then 10,then 15! it’s nice and a pleasant experience.

May 15, 2011 at 11:47 pm
(2) Elizabeth says:

That’s really great to hear! I remember when I first started with meditation, I thought I was “doing it wrong” when thoughts would pop into my head (even though letting go of these thoughts as they arise is all part of the process), and I’d push myself to meditate longer than I felt comfortable with, which created stress for me. (I was relieved to move beyond that phase, and learning more about meditation from a good teacher really helped.) It’s nice to hear your relaxed take on it, and how just trusting the process is what it’s all about. I hope this inspires others as well!

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