“I can never find myself able to concentrate while meditating.”
“I feel like there’s so many distractions around the house.”
“I think it's too difficult to find a peaceful place where I can practice mindfulness.”
These are some of the most common excerpts you hear when it comes to practicing mindfulness. Given how ubiquitous mindfulness is, it has varying impacts across different spheres of our lives. There is a new research study being published on mindfulness quite frequently.
While it's easy to glorify such an amazing habit in one’s life, it is not quite frequently that you’d come across someone highlighting the obstacles that this habit brings along with it.
Establishing a habit of practicing mindfulness on a daily basis can be a challenge, no doubt at that. It's tedious, it is difficult to grasp and there could be elements you could be doing wrong.
From hindering doubts to feeling restless, the obstacles are often quite physically evident. In this article, we will highlight the top 6 obstacles to mindfulness that are very recurrent while practicing mindfulness.
1. Having Constant Doubts
It is human nature to be doubtful of the outcomes.
Will it work? What if I am doing it wrong? Do I really need to practice mindfulness?
These are plaguing thoughts that give birth to doubts in one’s mind. When you are just starting out with practicing mindfulness, being wary of its “effects” is common.
Rest easy because you aren’t the only person with such intrusive thoughts.
Fostering doubts and questions in mind paves the way for exploration. It allows you to look into your personal experiences and find ways to tide through the rough times.
However, when it comes to hindering your mindfulness practice, we’d recommend treating them trivially. Ingrain in your mind that thoughts are just thoughts. They aren’t facts and they aren’t going to dictate the outcome of what you do.
2. Staying Awake During Meditation Practice
Another common obstacle that most beginner mindfulness practitioners experience is not being able to stay awake throughout the practice.
Would it make you feel better if we said that even Buddhist monks fall asleep while practicing mindfulness meditation? It is fairly common and not a reason for you to step back from practicing it.
The easiest way to overcome this issue is by picking the prime time to meditate. Instead of practicing it right before going to sleep, do it in the middle of the day when you want to slow down after the initial rush in the morning.
Getting proper and sound sleep is crucial to making your mindfulness practice a success. Also, avoid lying on your bed and meditating, if that makes you feel sleepy. Instead, you can try and lie down on the bare floor to keep yourself alert throughout the process.
3. Feeling Restless
Mindfulness can be a hard practice for people who have a hard time staying still in one position. As humans, we have the tendency to do the opposite of what we are training our minds to do.
So, when you subconsciously try to focus on one point during the meditation, you’d often find your mind running at 100 miles an hour, trying to grasp onto every last minute’s thoughts.
Remember the to-do list that you prepared last night? Well, your mind might be trying to recollect all those tasks suddenly in the moment and out of the blue.
What can you do to overcome the issue? Well, recognize the reasons behind your restlessness and boredom that’s plaguing your mind. You don’t have to find the exact cause but recognizing the symptoms is enough to help you tame the feelings better.
Ideally, we’d recommend starting your mindfulness practice for beginners and then accustom yourself to the process before you switch to non-guided meditation.
4. Having External Distractions
When you ask someone why they are so skeptical about mindfulness, the biggest issue is tackling external distractions or being uncomfortable throughout the period of your meditation.
Distractions during mindfulness practice are quite common for a beginner, especially if you are having a hard time finding a place that is quiet and non-intrusive.
Forgoing external distractions takes time, especially after you have built your habit for quite a long bit. Sometimes, the easiest way to overcome the struggles is by opening up your attention to the surroundings.
Doing so enables you to accept the distractions and practice mindfulness through them. Being open to the uncomfortable feeling throughout the mindfulness practice also allows you to accustom yourself to the feeling better.
5. Wandering Mind
We commonly find ourselves hyper-focused on a situation when we aren’t actively practicing mindfulness. But, the moment you close the curtains, prepare the space and sit down to practice mindfulness, you will often find your mind wandering around.
Even when you are trying to focus on the moment and draw all your focus to the present, you will often find your mind drifting to other things.
Restlessness and wandering minds are quite common barriers to mindfulness while practicing mindfulness. However, that doesn’t mean there is no remedy to the complication.
When you notice your mind wandering or drifting away to something else, you can either shift your focus to that fleeting thought or gradually bring your attention back to your mindfulness practice.
6. Difficult Emotions Arising
“What if I experience deep-rooted emotions while practicing mindfulness?”
Since mindfulness explores the deeper emotions during the session, many people are often afraid of having their emotions surfacing to the top. Although dealing with such an influx of emotions might seem like turmoil, emotions are meant to be felt.
If you experience difficult emotions surfacing, it is ideal to ride through the emotions instead of suppressing them. The more you feel the emotions, the easier it becomes to tide them over.
However, we understand that saying these is easier compared to actually experiencing them. But, the more you practice mindfulness with sheer diligence, you will realize that the emotions won’t have that same control over you.
Mindfulness isn’t achieved in a day. It is a work in progress, and it takes time before such a practice turns into a habit. As a beginner, it is always ideal to start with guided meditation scripts to help you trace your path in the right direction.
However, if you want to master Mindfulness as a professional, Matrrix’s Mindfulness Practitioner certification program could be the one for you. From comprehensive explanations to interactive lessons, your learning experience is guided by experienced Mindfulness Practitioner Dr. Paras.