Top 4 Excuses to Not Meditate
Although meditation has gained popularity recently, there are people who are reluctant to try it. With so many mental and physical health benefits of practicing meditation regularly, one would wonder why that is so? For me personally, my guess is that they are just plain not interested into it. It’s just like eating healthily and exercising regularly, it has a lot of benefits but a significant number of people struggle to do it on a regular basis. In this article, I look at some of their “reasons” for not practicing meditation.
Excuse #1: “I don’t have time.”
As society get modernized, we are leading busier and more hectic lives. It is very easy to over-commit our time to distractions.
Bur here is the thing: being busy is a choice. Nobody asked you to over-commit to tire yourself out. Even if one were to give the excuse that one has “little to no choice” over the adult responsibilities one has to face, let’s be frank here: surely you must have time to check your emails, or your social media accounts? Even for 5 mins?
If you got 5 mins, that’s all you need for meditating on a regular basis.
And even if you claim to not have time to check your emails, it’s time to make a sacrifice to your lifestyle for the greater good of your mental well being. Someone once commented:”You can have everything…just not all at once.” When you want something badly enough, you will find a way around it; otherwise, you will create an excuse for not achieving it.
Excuse #2: “Meditation is too difficult; I can’t sit still for long!”
Another common “reason” people give for not meditating is they are unable to be still for long. Once they sit down to “relax”, racing thoughts about how their boss badly treated them at work, or a quarrel or fight with their spouse or significant other, etc…start to fill their mind like a drunken person entering a shop full of fragile products. How tough to be still indeed!
The truth is nobody starts out being an expert in their field of study, work or hobby. We all have to start somewhere, whether you are a newbie or veteran. Again, the principle of how badly you want to see benefits of meditation come into your life applies to many things in life, meditation included. You don’t have to beat yourself up for failing the first, second or even many times; in meditation, the process is more important than the destination. What matters is that you tried. The only time when you have failed is when you have given up on meditation.
Excuse #3: “It takes a very long time to reap benefits out of it.”
Some people think of Buddhist monks silently meditating at a quiet retreat when they think of meditation. They take a look at their current lifestyle and decide that its too much of a hassle to reap the benefits out of meditation and give up. “You need decades of meditation practice to see the benefits!” they claim.
Actually, research shows that meditation results in significant physical and mental health benefits after as little as eight weeks of daily practice (Horowitz, 2010).
The good news is that numerous people can begin to experience benefits of better health and more peace as soon as a few weeks of meditation practice!
Also, you don’t need to be a zen master or guru in order to see beneficial results in life, meditation has benefits at every stage of practice – from newbie to master.
Excuse #4: “Meditation is boring!”
Some people find meditation not as “fun” as other forms of entertainment, such as watching reality TV, playing video games, listening to music or earning money.
The reason why people are attracted to such forms of entertainment is due to the dopamine chemical released in the brain when they do it. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical of the brain. However, when people perform pleasure-inducing activities too often, their brains will develop a tolerance for it, resulting in less pleasure over time.
The funny thing about meditation is that the dopamine created by meditation does not cause the brain to develop a tolerance for it over time (Sharp, 2013). That means the more you do it, the better the benefits you receive over time with no law of “diminishing returns”. Also, meditation doesn’t cost you anything and is not hard to do, so why not just do it?
These are some of the top “reasons” people say to not meditate. If you are one of them, I strongly urge you to consider the benefits of regular meditation (See “11 Benefits of Meditation” section).