September 4


Why Meditation is Hard (And How to Make it Easier)

By Joshua Turner

September 4, 2023

Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries and has gained popularity in recent years due to its numerous benefits. However, despite its popularity, many people need help with and find it difficult to incorporate it into their daily routines.

Understanding its difficulty is essential to overcoming the challenges that come with it. One of the main reasons it is hard is due to the nature of the practice, which requires a quiet and focused mind. It can be challenging to quiet the mind, especially for beginners not used to sitting still and focusing on their breath.

The role of emotions and beliefs is another factor that can make the practice complex. Negative emotions and limiting beliefs can create mental barriers that prevent individuals from fully immersing themselves in the practice. Physical challenges such as discomfort or pain can also make it challenging to sit still for an extended period, further hindering one’s ability to meditate effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Meditation can be challenging due to the nature of the practice, which requires a quiet and focused mind.
  • Negative emotions and limiting beliefs can create mental barriers that prevent individuals from fully immersing themselves in the practice.
  • Physical challenges such as discomfort or pain can make it difficult to sit still for an extended period, further hindering one’s ability to meditate effectively.

Understanding the Difficulty of Meditation

The Monkey Mind

The monkey mind is the term used to describe the constant chatter and noise in our minds. Our thoughts are constantly racing, jumping from one thing to another, making it difficult to focus on the present moment. This can be frustrating and overwhelming, especially for beginners.

Resistance to Sitting Still

In our fast-paced world, we are constantly on the go and rarely take time to slow down and be still. Sitting still and doing nothing can be uncomfortable and even scary for some. It can also bring up feelings of restlessness, boredom, or anxiety.

Struggling with Focus

Concentrating on the breath or a mantra for an extended period of time without getting distracted can be difficult. Our minds are easily pulled away by external stimuli such as sounds, sensations, or thoughts. This can lead to frustration and self-doubt.

The Role of Emotions and Beliefs

Confronting Fears

Fear is a powerful emotion that can prevent us from taking action and making progress. This fear could be related to past experiences or future uncertainties. When we sit down to meditate, we may be confronted with these fears, which can be overwhelming.

However, by acknowledging and accepting our fears, we can overcome them and move towards a more peaceful state of mind.

Handling Stress and Anxiety

When we are stressed or anxious, our minds are racing, and it can be challenging to quiet them down. However, meditation can be a powerful tool to help us manage these emotions.

Focusing on our breath and bringing our attention to the present moment can reduce stress and anxiety and find a sense of calm. It’s important to remember that it is a practice, and it may take time to see results.


The Power of Beliefs

If we believe that meditation is too complicated or that we can’t do it, we may struggle to get started. On the other hand, if it can help us reduce stress and improve our well-being, we may be more motivated to practice.

It’s essential to examine our beliefs about it and challenge any negative or limiting beliefs that may hold us back. Cultivating a positive mindset and focusing on its benefits can make it a more accessible and enjoyable practice.

Physical Challenges in Meditation

Finding a Comfortable Position

Sitting still for an extended period can be difficult, especially if you are not used to it. If you are new to meditation, you may find that sitting cross-legged on the floor is uncomfortable. In this case, it is best to find a comfortable chair.

Yoga can also help with finding a comfortable position. Practicing yoga can help increase flexibility, making sitting for more extended periods easier. It can also help you become more aware of your body, which can help you find a comfortable position.

Breathing Techniques

One way to make breathing more manageable is to practice deep breathing exercises. This can help you become more aware of your breath and make it easier to focus on it. Additionally, focusing on your breath can help you relax and reduce stress.

Breathing techniques can also have a positive impact on your health. Deep breathing can help reduce blood pressure and improve lung function. This can help improve overall health and well-being.

Physical challenges can make meditation difficult for some people. However, with practice and patience, these challenges can be overcome. Finding a comfortable position and practicing breathing techniques can make it more effortless and enjoyable.

The Importance of Patience and Consistency

Building a Regular Practice

Meditation is a skill that requires consistent practice to develop. It is something that takes time to be achieved. To build a regular practice,  set aside a specific time and place for it. This can be a quiet room in your home or a designated spot in nature. Make this a habit and stick to it, even when you don’t feel like it.

Progress and Patience

Progress is not always immediately visible. Be patient with yourself and trust the process. With consistent practice, you will gradually notice improvements in your ability to focus, relax, and cultivate mindfulness.

Cultivating a Habit

To make it a habit, start with short sessions, such as five or ten minutes daily, and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with the practice. Finding a style that resonates with you can also be helpful, such as guided or mindfulness meditation.

Developing a regular practice requires patience and consistency. Progress may not always be immediately visible, but with time and practice, you will gradually notice improvements in your ability to focus, relax, and cultivate mindfulness. Turning it into a habit can integrate it into your daily routine and experience its many benefits.

Benefits of Overcoming Meditation Difficulties


Achieving Peace and Calm

One of the most significant benefits of overcoming meditation difficulties is achieving peace and calm daily. It helps to quiet the mind and reduce stress and anxiety, leading to a more relaxed and peaceful state of being. Regular practice teaches you to let go of negative thoughts and emotions and cultivate a more positive and calm outlook.

Living in the Present Moment

Another benefit of overcoming these is living in the present moment. When you meditate, you learn to focus on the present moment rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. This can help you feel more grounded and centered and appreciate life’s beauty and richness in the here and now.

Practicing meditation regularly will allow you to experience many benefits, including increased self-awareness, improved concentration and focus, and greater emotional resilience. So if you’re struggling with it, don’t give up! Keep practicing, and you’ll soon begin to experience the many benefits.

Exploring Different Meditation Techniques

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is one of the most popular techniques. It involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.

To start with this technique, find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Whenever your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath. With practice, you’ll be able to observe your thoughts without getting caught up in them.

Meditating in Nature

Meditating in nature is another effective way to reduce stress and anxiety. Find a peaceful spot in the mountains or near a lake or river. Sit comfortably and take deep breaths. Focus on the sounds, smells, and sensations around you.

If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your surroundings. Meditating in nature can help you feel more connected to the world around you and promote a sense of calm and relaxation.

There are many different techniques, and what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with them and find what works best for you. Whether it’s mindfulness meditation or meditating in nature, the key is to be patient and consistent with your practice. With time and practice, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of meditation and enjoy a more peaceful and fulfilling life.


Meditation can be challenging for various reasons, including restlessness, lack of spiritual motivation, lack of curiosity, and lack of experimental mindset. However, it’s essential to remember that it is a practice that requires patience and consistency.

Making it a part of your daily routine can help you gradually overcome the challenges and reap the benefits of this ancient practice. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress, improve focus, or gain a deeper understanding of yourself, it can help you achieve your goals.

Keep trying, and don’t be too hard on yourself. It is a journey, not a destination, and every step counts. With time and practice, you’ll find that it becomes more comfortable and more rewarding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I feel restless during meditation?

Feeling restless is common and natural. Your mind is used to constantly thinking and being active, so it can be challenging to shift to a state of stillness and focus suddenly. Don’t worry if you find yourself fidgeting or feeling antsy. Simply acknowledge the restlessness and gently bring your attention back to your breath or your chosen point of focus.

Can meditation be harmful?

It is generally safe and beneficial for most people. However, approach it with care and seek guidance if you have a history of mental health issues or trauma. Some people may experience uncomfortable emotions or physical sensations, which are usually temporary and can be addressed with proper support and guidance.

What are some common obstacles to meditation?

Some common obstacles include a busy mind, physical discomfort, lack of motivation, and difficulty finding time to practice. Maintaining a consistent practice can also be challenging, especially when you don’t see immediate results. It is a skill that takes time and patience to develop.

How can I overcome resistance to meditation?

One way to overcome resistance is to start small and gradually build up your practice. Set aside just a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath or a mantra. You can also incorporate it into your daily routine, such as practicing before bed or during your lunch break. Be kind and patient with yourself as you develop your practice.

What are some tips for beginners to make meditation easier?

Some tips for beginners include finding a comfortable and quiet space to practice, using guided meditations or apps to help you stay focused, and experimenting with different techniques until you find one that works for you. It can also be helpful to set a regular schedule for your practice and approach it with curiosity and openness.

What are some benefits of meditation that make it worth the effort?

It has been shown to have numerous physical and mental health benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved focus and concentration, better sleep, and increased feelings of well-being. With regular practice, you may also experience greater self-awareness and a more profound connection to yourself and others.

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