7 Top Tricks To Beat Common Meditation Challenges

Posted on by Thought Wired

Whether you already know how to meditate and love how it calms your brain and lowers your stress levels, or are new to meditation and struggling to practice regularly, obstacles abound. A wandering mind, busy schedule or uncertainty about progress can make it hard to meditate for experienced and novice meditators alike. So, how do you make meditation easier? Consider these strategies to turn your meditation impediments into improvements.

Challenge 1: Sleepiness

The Fix: Try meditating at different times in the day to determine when you’re most alert. Standing up, stretching and even splashing some cool water on your face beforehand can help, too.

Challenge 2: Doubt

The Fix: Recall the real benefits. Meditation isn’t flaky – researchers have linked it to improved sleep, lower anxiety and blood pressure and other positive health outcomes. Start small with short sessions each day, experience the payoff first hand and then let go of your concerns. (Get inspired by reading how meditation has helped celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney, Lena Dunham and Oprah Winfrey, too.)

Challenge 3: Wandering thoughts

The Fix: Notice your thoughts and then bring your attention back to your sensations and surroundings. The brain sensing Muse headband can also help you stay focused. It’s the first tool in the world that can give you accurate, real-time feedback on what’s happening in your brain while you meditate.  As you meditate with Muse, you’ll hear peaceful weather sounds when you’re calm. When your mind wanders, you’ll hear the weather sounds getting stronger, gently guiding you back to calm. So Muse lets you hear your own mind as you meditate, helping you improve.

Challenge 4: Emotions

The Fix: Observe sadness, irritation or other feelings as sensations only and let them pass. It’s not uncommon for meditators to become distracted by emotions and dwell on them. Muse can help you identify when your brain becomes distracted, letting you quickly regain focus.

Challenge 5: Boredom

The Fix: Embrace the calm. Remind yourself that your restlessness may actually be resistance to the very tranquillity you need. You may want to try something new, too. Muse lets you switch between a virtual beach or rain forest environment when you meditate, and offers challenges to help you stay engaged.

Challenge 6: Feeling unmotivated

The Fix: Recall how refreshed you felt after your last meditation session. (And If you’re new to meditation, remember that it typically takes 21 days to build a new habit.) Let the motivational tracking and rewards in Muse encourage you to build a regular practice, too.

Challenge 7: No time

The Fix: Wake up three minutes earlier. Even a few minutes of meditation at the start of your day can boost your focus and happiness. (Get eight more tips on making time for meditation here, plus expert meditation tips.) Scheduling reminders with Muse can also help you fit meditation in.

Don’t have Muse yet? Buy it now and experience all the benefits of meditation with none of the uncertainty.

Originally published on Muse Blog on Sep 02, 2015