For those who have never adopted a mindfulness practice or done meditation, it may seem intimidating or complicated. There are many myths about mindfulness and meditation that make these practices appear more difficult than they actually are. In this blog post, we’re going to debunk 3 common myths about mindfulness and meditation, to show how these practices are something that everyone can implement into their lives to maintain their wellbeing.
What is Mindfulness and Meditation?
First, let’s define mindfulness. According to Mindful, mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Mindfulness is all about slowing down and being in tune with the here and now.
Then there’s meditation, which is a form of mindfulness where we explore the inner workings of our minds, including our sensations, our emotions and thoughts. With mindful meditation, we are able to let go of judgements and be curious about what’s going on in our inner mind. This practice involves showing warmth and kindness to ourselves and others.
1- There’s One Way to Practice Mindfulness
Perhaps the most stereotypical idea that we imagine when we think about mindfulness and meditation is an image of someone sitting, cross legged on a mat, with their eyes closed, and repeating the word “om” over and over again. While that’s one way to practice mindfulness, it’s certainly not the only way.
In fact, we all practice mindfulness in our daily lives, often without really knowing it. Mindfulness can be any moment of peace where you are in tune with the present moment. We’ve all enjoyed a good meal or cup of coffee or tea, really listened to a song playing that we love, gone on a walk without distractions, or watched the sunset in silence. All of these activities are forms of mindfulness too. Mindfulness involves any activity where you are fully living in the present moment and paying attention to your immediate surroundings.
2- You Have to Meditate to Practice Mindfulness
Another myth about practicing mindfulness is that it has to involve meditation, where we completely tune out everything around us. But you certainly don’t have to learn how to meditate to still be mindful. From the previous examples above, you can see that mindfulness can be achieved in numerous different ways. Meditation is a wonderful way to really slow down and find peace. But it’s not the only way to feel relaxed and in tune with yourself.
3- You’re Doing it Wrong If Your Mind Wanders
A major misconception about mindfulness and meditation is that you have to shut out all of your thoughts. We may think that we’re doing something “wrong” if our mind wanders and we can’t get rid of our thoughts. Remember that the mind is meant to be thinking. It’s not something that we can ever completely “turn off.” It’s okay if our minds begin to wander when practicing mindfulness. However, it’s important to try to be present as we can. When your mind does wander, try not to be too critical about it. Instead, simply bring your energy back to your breathe.
There are many benefits to practicing mindfulness and meditation. It can help us relieve stress, improve our focus, have a more accepting and grateful mindset, foster better relationships, and more. The more we know about these benefits and the truth about mindfulness, the more likely we all are to more proactively incorporate it into our daily lives. Mindfulness is for everyone.