Why do people struggle with meditation?

Till now you have read, that meditation is always fruitful, but what about the struggles that one faces in the course of Meditation?

Sometimes it happens that one feels restlessness, as one sits down to meditate. Stray thoughts from all directions start hitting us!  The more you try to concentrate, the stronger these thoughts come and make you restless!

The foremost is, Restlessness

Restlessness can manifest in various forms such as anxiety, resentment, excitement, or sensual stimuli. However, it is a common experience for both novice and seasoned meditators. As restlessness builds up, individuals may feel an uncontrollable urge to move, shift, talk, or prematurely end the session.

It is important to recognize that restlessness is not a sign of failure in meditation; rather, it presents an opportunity for personal growth.

Thoughts in the form of emotions, experiences, and plans linked to the past or future may induce feelings of anxiety, excitement, or arousal. It is imperative not to engage in examining these thoughts, as they are devoid of any inherent essence or meaning. Instead, one should simply drop any thought that arises without reacting to it. It is crucial to remind oneself to remain patient when experiencing restlessness, as the mind may behave like a grumpy monkey and attempt to distract from the meditation practice.

Interestingly, the mind does not become restless on its own during meditation, but rather when one attempts to focus their mind. The most effective approach is to ignore all thoughts that arise during the practice. Although restlessness can be frustrating and discouraging, it is an integral part of the meditation journey. One reason for restlessness during meditation is the busy nature of modern life, where constant stimulation from smartphones, social media, and daily tasks has become the norm.

When attempting to engage in the practice of meditation, the mind often resists the sudden stillness and craves its usual distractions. This may manifest as thoughts about tasks that need to be completed, concerns about past or future events, or even physical discomfort while seated.

However, it is important to recognize that restlessness is not a sign of failure in meditation; rather, it presents an opportunity for personal growth. It teaches us to observe our thoughts without passing judgment, which is a fundamental skill in the practice of mindfulness meditation.

For example, if your mind keeps wandering to an impending work deadline, you can acknowledge the thought without becoming attached to it and gently redirect your focus back to your breath or chosen point of concentration.

Overcoming restlessness in meditation requires patience and consistent practice. As you continue to meditate, your mind gradually becomes more accustomed to the stillness, and the restlessness begins to diminish. This process is akin to training a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Additionally, incorporating techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided meditations can assist in calming a restless mind.

Why do people struggle with meditation?

In conclusion, restlessness experienced during meditation is a natural response to the contrast between our busy lives and the pursuit of inner peace. Embracing this restlessness as an integral part of the meditation process and learning to gently redirect your attention can lead to enhanced mental clarity, improved focus, and a deeper sense of tranquility in both your meditation practice and daily life.

What causes struggle during meditation, will be continued in the next blogs… 🙂

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