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7 Reasons Why Meditation Does Not Work For You

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 5

1.  Your Mind Does Not Stop Racing

It is no secret that our minds are natural chatterboxes.  We go through the day moving from thought to thought, almost on autopilot.  When we sit down and try to meditate, or practice mindfulness, we are bombarded with thought after thought that distracts us and we quickly move into daydreaming, or get anxious that we need to be "doing" something with our time. This is perfectly natural, and is part of the experience.  Meditation is not something that many of us are accustomed to, and therefore, we need to accept this from the start of our practice.  We are a hyper-stimulated society, with distracting messages coming at us from all directions almost all of our waking lives. The trick is to accept it, and when you feel your mind racing, just observe your thoughts, let them run their course, then quietly return to your practice.  In time, this will become easier.  It will become habitual with enough practice.

2.  You Fall Asleep

This is very common, so don't fret.  Sitting still and closing our eyes, then doing the work of meditation is tiring.  Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to remedy falling asleep.Try exercising a bit before you sit down.  This will get the blood flowing and will elevate your heart rate and give you some energy.  In that state, it will take a bit longer to fall asleep.You can also try to sit in a slightly uncomfortable, but not distracting position.  It's difficult to fall asleep when you are not completely comfy.  The trick here though is to not become too uncomfortable that your mind keeps complaining about it.  That could completely nullify what you are trying to do.

3.  You Can't Sit Still Long Enough

This is a tough one to get accustomed to.  Sitting still is not natural for our bodies.  We like to move and feel the energy flowing through us.  We are always on the go, so to sit just feels unnatural in many instances.  We also tend to ache, and our legs can fall asleep.If you can't sit in the traditional lotus posture, or half-lotus like you read in many meditation books, just sit in a chair, and try to stay upright.  Think of your teachers always harping on posture.  Good posture is very conducive to good meditation.  Chairs usually provide good back support as well.  In time, you might find that you don't want the chair and prefer lotus, but take it slow at first.  There are not many rules, and each person is slightly different.  There are practices where how you sit is very important, but it's also important to just start meditating.

4.  You Can't Focus

This goes back to our racing minds.  Try to focus on your breathing.  It is something we all need to do, and our bodies are on auto-pilot with it.  Any time your mind begins to wander, bring it back to the breath, or your heartbeat, or the feeling in your hands/feet/face/etc...  In time, you'll be able to quickly recover from the scattered mind.  It takes practice and patience, but will happen.

5.  You Give Up Too Soon

Meditation is not an immediate gratification exercise.  It is a gradual and lifelong unfolding and deprogramming of your mind.  Don't be too quick to give up on it.  The fruits that it bears can take years to grow.  If you don't see any immediate results, don't worry.  Over time you'll definitely notice a change happening.

6.  You Don't Set Aside Time

Like any other worthwhile endeavor, sitting down to meditate requires time.  You need to dedicate time for it, and clear a space in your schedule.  Try to meditate right after you wake up, and slightly before bedtime.  Some people complain that meditation disrupts their sleep, while others find that it helps them sleep soundly.  You'll need to experiment a bit and find what works best for you. Your meditation time need not be long.  10 to 20 minutes in the beginning is great.  There have been people who attest to doing it 20 minutes a day and noticing great benefits.  You'll figure out what is best for you.  Meditation is not a "one size fit's all" exercise.

7.  You Don't See Immediate Results

We live in a society that is increasingly attention deficit and seeks intant gratification almost endemically.  We find things in a flash on the internet.  We can go to the mall and instantly aquire the material things that we want.  We can go get fast food and satisfy our hunger immediately. We need to accept that there are things worth waiting for, and that not everything can be satisfied immediately.  

Meditaion is not something that you can do once and be forever changed, at least not in most circumstances.  It takes work, but like all things great, it's worth working toward.

Practicing Mindfulness


Apr 14, 2011 9:49am
Wonderful tips. I've always had a difficult time meditating. "Mind chatter" is my biggest obstacle and fighting it makes it worse. I never thought of just letting them run their course. Great suggestions.
Apr 15, 2011 7:00pm

I'm very happy to hear that this could help you! Meditation can be really difficult, so if this helps, wonderful!

Good luck!
May 11, 2011 4:40pm
Mind Chatter is my biggest obstacle. I find deep breathing helps sometimes but you have given some very interesting tips for times when it does not. I will give them a try.

May 19, 2011 12:52am
Darlene, I hope they work for you :) Meditation is a gift, so hopefully you'll find a way past the chatter and experience the calm that lies beyond it :) Good luck, and glad I could help :)
Jan 25, 2013 5:39pm
Mind chatter seems to be the biggest distraction. Or not being able to stop thinking about not thinking... hahaha. These are precisely the reasons we meditate. Now for the ladies above, by simply attempting to meditate they have gained insight into themselves, they have both been able to identify the "problem". And after a couple more weeks will find that they miraculously have the solution :) Thank you for your article. Move the movement, love and light.
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