So we all know that meditation is a great practice to instill in our daily habits and it helps us to find inner peace and discover our higher self.
But….many of us hit roadblocks that stop us in our tracks and we get discouraged or stuck.
Have you ever wanted to start meditating, but don’t know where to start?
Are you frustrated with your meditation practice and not seeing the desired results?
Do those ‘Zen’ moments keep hiding from you?….
Then continue reading to learn tips to overcome these roadblocks, so you can start enjoying your meditation journey.
Today I will share with you 8 meditation roadblocks that I’ve faced and the steps I’ve taken to overcome them.
ROADBLOCK #1: LACK OF PATIENCE
On the surface, we all understand that mediation is an act that forces us to be still and go within. In today’s society, it is rare for most of us to even have a quiet moment. Most people are busy moving throughout the day, that staying still often seems impossible and a waste of time. We rush to complete our To Do lists; We wake up, check our phones and start reacting to the needs of others. We even rush the guided meditation audio (2x the speed🤭). Don’t pretend you haven’t thought of it or done that too…lol. We race, feeling we’re missing out on accomplishing something. We want the peace, without putting in the time. Being still takes up time. On top of this, we have to overcome the fight to silence the chatter in our mind. Neuroscience research estimates that the average human has ~3000 thoughts per hour. How do we conquer silencing the mind and overcoming these trained habits?
Focus on the benefits of meditation. It will help decrease your stress or anxiety.
Focus on the self-discovery and the revelations you’ll receive to help you grow.
Focus on the greater desire or outcome, not the pain or discomfort in achieving it.
Just start meditating. The stillness will become an enjoyment with time and soon you’ll cherish those alone moments.
ROADBLOCK #2: WRONG MEDITATION TYPE
There are many apps, youtube channels and sites that offer guided meditations or just meditation music, whether that be sounds of the rainforest, singing bowls or various instrumental sounds. Have you ever sat down to meditate and you chose an audio file that just doesn’t get you in the right mood? Maybe the voice/accent of the guided meditation sounds annoying to you or the music urkes you so much that it’s hard to focus? ex. The speed is too fast and upbeat versus solemn and reflective. This defeats the zen moment you’re looking for because you’re cussing the whole time. When looking to meditate we should choose appropriate music for the occasion. We need to decide if we prefer to do a guided meditation where someone is talking us through it, or do we just prefer music – nature sounds versus instrumentals. Some people prefer to go one step further and just want silence. Whichever it is that you prefer, plan ahead and try a few until you find what works for you.
Research the best apps, youtube channels or sites that offer interrupted music that suits your needs.
Start somewhere, but be willing to change, if necessary. You can always alter your approach if something’s not working.
Plan ahead – note whether it’s a morning meditation versus an evening one; create a playlist of preferred songs.
Suggested Apps/Websites: Amazon Audible; Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s 21 day Free meditation series; Insight Timer App
ROADBLOCK #3: DISTRACTIONS
Whenever we are looking to accomplish something important to us, oftentimes we face resistance. It is in the moments that you’re trying to be still or silent, that the noise comes. I’ve experienced my children all of a sudden needing me, my phone rings or pings, the doorbell rings or there’s an emergency that arises that can only be handled by me or you at the time you plan to meditate. The bill collector calls, you open your eyes to peak the number and then find yourself now worrying about the bills or the conversation you just had with the person on the phone. Even if we try to persevere through the distractions, many times I’ve found I don’t even recall the mantra or saying of the day or wisdom that was shared because I was distracted, so I end up having to redo it. This can reduce the effectiveness of your meditation, because you have to keep stopping and rewinding the audio. You need to approach your mediation practice as an important event during your day. So scheduling out time is a necessary step for success.
Beware and be mindful of obstacles that may come to distract you and be proactive, set yourself up for success
Turn off notifications on your phone/silence it or put it on do not disturb, this way you avoid hearing the pings that interrupt your meditative flow. I also suggest transfering files to a separate audio device ie. cd, ipod, mp3 player etc instead of using your phone.
Get and use a Do Not Disturb sign, like in a hotel or tell others you won’t be available until after you’re done meditating.
Use earphones to block out the ambient noise.
Schedule your time.
Redo the meditation at a later time, if necessary or when interrupted.
Resight the words of your mantra to bring you back into focus and reclaim the mind again; say it outloud.
Envision your better future self.
ROADBLOCK #4: BREATHING TECHNIQUE
I haven’t come across a mediation that doesn’t focus on breathing. Most of them use your breath as a way to narrow your focus and connect your mind to your body. Have you ever been breathing deeply as most meditations request, to find your diaphragm is crying out in discomfort? Well that’s me. I try and breath deeply, but my whole upper body caves in with pain. My lungs, my chest feel so uncomfortable. I’m not used to regularly breathing deeply, I like many are so used to taking shallow breaths, this can become a roadblock to meditation. Instead of focusing on the breath, you begin focusing on the pain or discomfort and start having thoughts that something is wrong with you, which leads to negative thoughts.
Make sure you’re relaxed and comfortable.
Start by breathing with your normal breath, the depth of your breath will improve over time and the more you practice breathing deeply the discomfort will eventually go away.
Focus on the healing that the breath brings to your body and the benefits of the increase in oxygen that flows through your body to all your cells and organs.
Research the best and most comfortable breathing techniques ie. yogic breathing, equal breathing, etc
ROADBLOCK #5: EARLY WAKEUP TIME
Getting our bodies on the cycle of the sun, helps support the progress we achieve in life. If you examine the habits of the wealthy, waking up early in the morning, before or at dawn is normal. It’s been proven that this time of day allows us the most receptive, downloads from the universe. We are coming out of our REM sleep at this time and we are the most creative in these moments. Are you not a morning person, like me? Do you feel guilty when you aim to wake up early to get the jump on the day, but keep hitting snooze? Being able to conquer this is vital to your future health, wellbeing and creativity.
Schedule your time and do not hit snooze, wake up when the alarm goes the first time.
Setup your morning from the night before – Lay out your clothes, have a glass of water ready to go, etc
Shorten the time for your meditations, ie. start by doing it for 5 mins, 10 mins, increase the time in increments as needed and observe the best time length that fits your needs.
Create a simple morning and evening routine you can follow. Start somewhere… whenever you wake up, whether that be 12pm or 4pm, just start.
Focus on the benefits.
Have an accountability partner.
Be consistent, set your alarm and repeat it at the same time daily to form a habit.
Suggestions: Research a morning wakeup podcast you can follow; join a group morning meditation team, there’s many on Facebook.
ROADBLOCK #6: BODY POSITIONING
Have you ever been told in a mediation to sit up or go stand barefoot, but you want to lie down? Or you’re told to meditate outside, barefoot on the earth to ground yourself with nature? Or told to cross your legs like you’re a child sitting on the carpet in kindergarten? Well the way we position our bodies can make a difference in the flow of energy in our body. It is important but can become a roadblock. I know that my adult body has a hard time sitting comfortably in the zen position. I’m not that flexible anymore…lol. If you’re like me, raise your hands.
Start doing yoga or adding stretching to your morning exercise routine. This will help get you more flexible.
Meditate in a position that’s comfortable for you to get going.
Aim to sit up for morning meditations which aligns with your flow of waking up and for evening meditations lie down in preparation for sleep.
ROADBLOCK #7: THE ENVIRONMENT
Sometimes we stop ourselves from meditating because we don’t have access to a zen space. We see what others may do and since we don’t have the space, furniture or tools, we stop or don’t start meditating. The awesome thing with meditation is that it only needs YOU for it to work. Isn’t that so great! WE create the environment! So there’s no need to stress over it, however there’s things you can do to help the process.
You can buy a diffuser and use essential oils which are nature’s gifts to mankind to help create the atmosphere for mediation.
Light scented candles, use dim lighting, burn sage to cleanse the air.
Have a bath or shower, get yourself in the mood, make it a whole self-love experience and cherish the me time.
Read 10 pages in a thought provoking book.
Declutter your space but don’t wait for it to be perfect to start.
Do it in the bathroom or closet if you have to, there’s no shame, start where you’re at.
Suggestions: DoTerra (a highly recommended essential oil company); Amazon Aromatherapy Products; Walmart
ROADBLOCK #8: ONCE YOU’RE DONE MEDITATING, NOW WHAT?
So you come to the end of your meditation, open your eyes and you see the walls in the room you’re in. What do we do then? You’ve just had a great moment of reflection, gratitude and connection to oneself. Maybe you even want to stay there longer and meditate, maybe not, either way having an intention for your meditation is important. So now that you’re done, make sure you use what you’ve discovered.
Journal, write down your revelations, your thoughts and feelings.
Focus on things you’re grateful for, relationships you are happy to have and start with that thought and end with it.
Write out the mantra/saying/quote on a cue card, in your notebook or notes on your phone, send yourself a text you can look at throughout the day, or set an alarm 3-5 times a day ie. 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm where your quote pops up as a reminder.
Resight it outloud, muse on it, smile with it, embrace it as a new thought in your life. Use it to replace other negative thoughts.
Share your insights with a close, encouraging loved one or your accountabilty partner.
When you come to the end of your day, journal about how you applied the mantra or revelations from your morning or weekly meditations to your life. Note the changes or positive affects you’ve received.
If you employ the solutions provided, your meditation roadblocks will be removed and the zen moments that you’re looking for will come flowing to you. Just remember to be patient and give yourself time to learn the new habit of meditation.
Comment below to share the roadblocks you’ve found and your solutions for overcoming them. Feel free to share any other suggestions, resources or successes you’ve found.
We can all improve together. Happy Meditating, Nameste!