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My top tips for when meditation doesn't work

Ever feel really stressed, decide to meditate to make yourself feel calm, and then find it doesn't work? And now you're stressed, angry that the meditation didn't work AND you just wasted 10minutes. Nightmare. I've been there, I know how frustrating this can be. So how do we overcome this It all comes down to expectations. When we expect something to be good, amazing, exciting, funny, we're often disappointed It's often said that happiness is the level of expectation you have minus reality - so if you go in with high expectations, reality has to be pretty damn amazing to make your happiness level out. So first tip - release expectations. Be mindful about your meditation and see what happens. That's my second tip too - be curious. When we're curious, we put a different spin on things. So rather than "I feel crap so I'm going to meditate and then I'll feel better" (high expectations, no curiosity) try "I feel crap so I'm going to meditate and see if that changes how I feel" (no expectations and high curiosity). See the difference? It's small but subtle. Final tip - what if you do that and it's STILL not working? You need to release judgement. If we judge our experience of meditation, especially if we judge it negatively, we're adding something that isn't there. Let's say you still crap, and then you judge the fact you still feel crap. Now you feel really crap. What if instead you went "hmm I tried but it didn't work this time" - complete neutrality, no judgement. How different would they feel? You might find that the self-compassion is enough to release some of the initial pressure too. When some time has passed, it can also be helpful to reflect. Did you release expectations? Were you curious? Did you leave without judgement? If the answer is an honest yes, then would you prefer a different style next time? If the answer is no, would another style of meditation make it easier to achieve those things? Remember meditation doesn't have to be sitting down watching your breath. Experiment. So there you have it. Mindfulness is about watching the present moment without judgement. We can apply that principle to EVERYTHING, even the aspects of mindfulness we're struggling with. So if you're finding your meditation doesn't always work: 1) release expectations before you even start 2) approach with curiosity 3) leave without judgement 4) reflect 5) consider a different style next time


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