Occasionally, we can all talk ourselves out of doing the very things that we know are good for us, whether it's eating clean, exercising, or staying committed to our spiritual practices.
I've personally used some very lame excuses to justify my mediocre behavior in the past, and to be honest, I still do it with new habits I’m trying to form. I also did it in my first few years of meditating.
Below, I've listed some of my old meditation excuses, and some others I’ve heard over the years. I've also included ways to reframe them in an effort to motivate you to begin meditating again:
1. "I don’t have time to meditate."
This indicates that you may not be efficient enough with your current time and commitments. Considering that Americans spend an average of 11 hours a day on digital media, everyone should have ample time to meditate at least once a day for 10 minutes.
2. "It didn’t work for me."
That’s probably because your expectations were too high and your commitment was too low. If you never go to the gym, it doesn't mean the gym didn't work.
3. "I'm seeing how it feels to not meditate for a while."
I’ve heard this one from people who started a daily practice, then stopped. At which point I remind them, while you’re taking a vacation from meditating, your stress isn’t taking any days off.
4. "Meditation brings up too many weird emotions and bad memories."
Meditation helps launder stress from the body, which can sometimes trigger strange emotions, sensations and feelings during the practice. But this is actually a good thing, because it indicates that stress is on its way out. And once it's finally released you’ll never have to be affected by it again.
5. "I keep falling asleep."
Remember the all-nighters from school? The jet-lag experiences from work? The mornings where you woke up wishing sleep worked better? These experiences lead to sleep deprivation, and meditation is great at helping the body catch up on all that missed rest in order to restore balance.
6. "I’m waiting for things in my life to improve first."
Waiting for everything to be perfect in order to start meditating is sort of like waiting to be fit before you start exercising. Meditation should be the means for implementing positive life changes, instead of the reward.
7. "I started practicing yoga instead."
Meditation is actually the main point of yoga. All of the poses you practice leading up to Savasana are just to prepare you for meditation. Think of it like this: Meditation without yoga is still meditation, whereas yoga without meditation is just ... exercise.
Try not to get overwhelmed by thinking about meditating every day for the rest of your life. Just sit, do your practice (here are three beginner techniques to try), and make a mental plan for your next one. Meditation is too simple and powerful not to benefit from every single day — so don’t buy into the excuses.
Photo Credit: Neal Kreuser for mindbodygreen