Originally published on Kate’s blog
Sometimes I find myself talking to patients that spend most of their visit telling my why they simply can’t do whatever it is I’m suggesting that they do. As in, they make the time to show up for their appointment at my office and pay me money to listen to “I can’t” over and over, even though simply by BEING THERE, they have already proven that they CAN make their health a priority and they do WANT to change! I have an interesting job, that’s for sure!
Because of this, I have gotten into the habit of imagining objections and composing responses to them in my head. So, here are my responses to the most common reasons people don’t meditate.
“I don’t have time!”
Yes you do, you are just not choosing to meditate with the time you have. Meditating will actually IMPROVE your management of your time, so it will seem like you actually have more! So will exercising and sleeping, by the way.
Well, this one is definitely subjective, but I would challenge you to consider whether meditation is really boring or whether it is simply different than your usual hyper-stimulated state. We can all benefit from taking a break from screens (TV, computers, phones, tablets, etc) and multitasking to just be still, even for just a few minutes.
“It’s too hard!”
Nothing is “too hard,” most things are actually just hard enough to challenge you. I bet you can think of at least 10 things you’ve done in your life that you once considered impossible, right? Meditation is actually the opposite of hard – it requires you to literally do nothing. You just haven’t practiced enough to be good at it. Remember the first time you rode a bike without training wheels? Did you fall off? Of course you did, because you had to learn how to do it and the more you practiced, the better you got at it. The same principle applies to every other aspect of life. Practice makes perfect.
“I can’t clear my mind!”
And that is exactly why you need to meditate! I don’t know anyone who meditates who doesn’t have random thoughts popping up all over the place at some point or another. I like to imagine that all the crazy thoughts that come up while I’m meditating means that my brain is detoxing and clearing out, so I can think clearer and focus on what matters. Meditation will teach you to take charge of your thoughts instead of your thoughts pushing you around.
“I hate it (and I hate you for telling me to meditate!)”
Wow, who knew you felt so strongly? Luckily, you and I live in a society of free choice and you can totally choose to ignore all my suggestions!
But, before you go, just consider all the things people HATE doing that are the exact things that make life more enjoyable, foster good health, or at the very least provide a means to a valuable end. Things like exercising, eating our vegetables, going to bed early, getting our passport photos taken, cramming into a crowded subway with angry, sweaty people each morning, and I could go on… So, rather than throw all your energy into hating these kind of things, how about choosing to see these things simply as chores or what we do to live the life we want.