There are many reasons why people don’t meditate. Chief among them are that they don’t have the time or that they aren’t going to do it correctly. Unfortunately, while the first reason might be true and might be a matter of reconfiguring priorities and time management, the latter is the result of fear slowly creeping into a person’s beliefs surrounding their value and ability to take care of themselves. Not taking a look a your beliefs surrounding meditation before beginning a practice could be a set up to prevent you from actually doing the practice.
In this Psychology Today post from Ronald Alexander, Ph.D., four common mindfulness meditation myths that typically stand in the way of a person reflecting within are discussed. In addition to someone believing that their schedule is too busy to get quiet, Alexander cites that people believe that meditation could interfere with their religious beliefs, that it could put out their creative fire and ambition, and that meditation could result in a person being paralyzed with fear over what they experience.
Myth 4: “If I practice mindfulness, what I’ll discover will be so upsetting that I’ll become paralyzed with fear.” The fear of what will arise from the subconscious isn’t entirely irrational, but the chances of experiencing intense discomfort while mindfully meditating are slim. Emotions that remain buried have no chance of dissipating, and will remain as an underlying toxin that affects the functioning of the mind and body. If you’ve been avoiding painful feelings and thoughts for a long time, you may not be able to handle more than a five-minute-long session of mindfulness meditation initially, and you may need someone with you to support you in your process of uncovering this pain. A skilled psychologist or mindfulness meditation teacher can be enormously helpful in guiding you through these emotions and modulating their intensity.
Read more from Alexander about his mindfulness meditation myths as well as the truth behind them here.