We all know meditation is good for us. And broadly speaking, it’s not a difficult task. After all, the basics of meditation are sitting quietly with music playing for a few minutes. So then why is it that meditation can sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world to do?
I find that when I feel resistant to meditating, it’s actually that I have a resistance to something else. My ego is trying to protect me from working through something uncomfortable in my meditation, so it shuts the whole thing down. I find every excuse in the book to avoid my practice, whether it’s drifting to social media for a distraction, suddenly discovering chores I’ve left sitting for days that now need to be done immediately, or simply getting sleepy and wanting to nap.
Here are 3 strategies you can use to break the resistance cycle and kickstart your meditation practice.
Schedule Out Time
It sounds basic, I know. And personally I’m not one for scheduling things like this. But if you set aside a designated time in your day for meditation, it will be easier to allow yourself the time without feeling like you’re cutting into your time for chores or whatever your “busy” excuse may be. You can also schedule time for the activities you do as a typical meditation dodge such that everything has its own space in your day.
When you sit down to meditate, you’ll know that the dishes will get done because you’ve already designated a time for it. While it might seem tedious to schedule like this, if it helps you become present and get back into your regular practice, it’ll be worth doing for a while.
Of course, once your meditation practice has nestled its way back into your day, the scheduling may become completely unnecessary. You’ll find that you have more than enough time to get everything done outside of your practice.
Release The Pressure
Sometimes, we don’t want to do things just because we feel like we have to. Something that used to be fun becomes a chore. Meditation is no exception! If your ego has latched onto some idea of a “perfect” meditation practice or the way you’re “supposed” to meditate, that’s plenty enough resistance to stop you up.
Merely by allowing yourself to discover what meditation style is most aligned with your present moment without judging the way or length can be enough to spur you on to a session. Judging your meditation practice (or non-practice) isn’t useful and will only hinder your journey.
Meditation is a deeply spiritual practice and the energetic connections involved are sensitive to our emotions. It’s okay if that means sitting on your mat or pillow for a few minutes at a time, focusing on your breathing, and letting your thought train flow. Once you tap into your flow state briefly, it will be much easier to relax, release the resistance, and remember why you practice.
You may also find that injecting some new-ness into your practice can help with navigating your ego thoughts around meditation. Instead of approaching it from a dogmatic perspective, use your meditation practice as an opportunity to explore new style or incorporate other spiritual practices into your session. Options could include prayer, journaling, smudging, inner voice work, or pulling cards.
Identify The Real Resistance
Start noticing what story comes up for you when you think about meditation. Your brain may very well be giving you clues with what’s actually the issue under the surface.
You might find that a seemingly unrelated issue is actually affecting your practice. When we don’t feel good, we tend to become self-destructive, avoiding activities that make us feel better. Bringing a conscious awareness to your honest thoughts and feelings about your meditation practice and life in general might be all it takes to unblock some of that energy and release the resistance to meditating.
In other cases, you might find that another activity such as tapping (EFT) or journaling can help break down the resistance in your broader life that is stalling your meditation.
Remember, It’s Normal
Developing a resistance to meditating, as well as other spiritual practices, is a normal experience as you grow. The ego is tricky, so don’t get discouraged if you feel a little stuck from time to time. Working through these 3 strategies will give you an excellent starting point for rejuvenating your meditation practice. Happy meditating!