Everyone runs into a few bumps when they're first learning to meditate. It’s pretty common. Fortunately, just recognizing and acknowledging an obstacle can often help you overcome it.
Here are a few common problems that people tend to run into and some advice on how to move past them.
Am I doing this right?
Doubt inevitably shows up in our meditation practice. It’s natural. The real problem occurs when we buy into that doubt. Don’t forget, no matter what the thoughts are, they’re still just thoughts. And all you need to do is gently return your focus to the breath.
It’s easy to drift off to sleep when you’re starting out. So don’t worry too much if you occasionally doze off during the first few weeks. If it keeps happening though, try a different time of day, sit up a little straighter, or maybe splash a little cold water on your face before you meditate.
Sadness is natural. And it’s not a bad thing. It’s common to shed a few tears while meditating. It can even bring you a sense of relief, having acknowledged something painful and let it go. So if you’re feeling down, that’s okay. Just keep meditating.
Impatience, irritation and rage
These emotions are all pretty similar and, unsurprisingly, we tend to suppress them. But, the more we push them down, the more insistently they spring back up. So, instead of avoiding them, try allowing them to be present (with restraint of course). Give them the space they need to arise, unravel and fall away.