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Why Meditation May Not Be Working for You

By Sandy Schroeder

If you love the idea of meditating, but just can’t seem to make it work, you are not alone. Only 8 percent of Americans meditate, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We have all been told meditation reduces anxiety, sharpens work skills, and resets the brain to cut stress, but how do we make it actually work?

Here are some typical mistakes that interfere with meditation, according to Fast Company.

We expect it to be easy - We may want it to be as automatic as hitting a switch and getting results, but when we sit down to meditate, we may find our mind running off in a dozen different directions. Be patient and keep bringing your mind back to the meditation. “With practice it gets easier to avoid being hooked into the chatter, and easier and faster to bring the mind back to the focus of the meditation when it happens,” said Sarah Gray, a Harvard medical school instructor.

We meditate when we are tired - Then we may just feel like drifting off to sleep. Instead, meditate when you are alert in the morning or after exercise. Bring your full focus to the session.

We may jump in and out of meditation - Making it a daily practice may give it the power to deliver real results. Commit to a regular practice. Sometimes it will get your full attention, sometimes not, but if it is a daily effort it may gradually become more powerful.

We use it to escape - Meditation may seem like a nifty place to hide out when things become stressful, but it is not really a place to disconnect. Actually, meditation can be a place of real awareness giving you new insights to your family and yourself. One psychologist says, “Meditation helps you better connect to the moments that matter the most. Your focus may become sharper, helping you really hear what others are saying.

We expect an awakening - Many expect meditation to be spiritual, but really it is more like a scientific practice helping us understand the world we live in.

We expect it to be complicated - Actually, it is a very simple, direct process that can unclutter the mind. It won’t solve every problem, but it may make you more aware of what others are thinking, and who you are. You may be able to sort through everything to identify things that really help you at work and at home.

Instead of making meditation a big deal, just treat it like a simple exercise for the mind that could make you stronger, quicker and happier. Then practice it every day and watch what happens.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Maple Grove, Minn.

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