Whether you’ve been meditating for a while or you’re brand new to it, there are often days when you have no motivation to meditate.
In fact, the harder you try to motivate yourself, the more the resistance to meditating goes up.
You might end up feeling like something’s wrong with you because every expert says meditation is good for you. And here you are not motivated to do the thing that’s good for you.
Well, before you beat yourself up even more, here are some tips to consider when you just don’t want to meditate.
HOW TO GET AND STAY MOTIVATED TO MEDITATE
1. Define Your Why
Deciding to meditate is like deciding to start an exercise routine. It’s a new habit that you’re going to carry forward for the rest of your life.
So, it really helps to have a strong why.
For example, I remember being a child and realizing that if I started exercising early, it would keep my heart, joints and bones healthy.
In my mind, I saw myself at age 80, 90 or 100, still able to tie my own shoes and pull up my granny panties (not diapers!) without assistance.
That became my why.
So, I was intentionally exercising – dance, gym, Jane Fonda videos – because I wanted to invest in my future self.
Had I decided to do it simply because I wanted to look skinny like the girls in teeny bopper magazines, I doubt I would have made it this far.
Same goes for meditation. You need a solid, unshakeable reason for why you’re doing it.
If you don’t have that reason, dig deeper to uncover it.
2. Set the Right Expectations
The “marketing” around meditation says that it will help us release all stress, manifest our dreams and bring us tremendous joy.
But no one talks about the fact that meditation can be a very dark, painful and lonely journey.
The infamous dark night of the soul.
No one brings up the fact that when we sit down to meditate, a lot of what comes up isn’t actually rosy.
It’s no wonder then, that we lose motivation. The reality doesn’t match the sales pitch.
But the problem isn’t the meditation. The problem is our expectation about meditation.
So, if you happen to have meditation expectations that are clouding your judgment, then it might be time to let them go.
Instead, look at meditation as drinking water. You do both each day because it’s just part of taking care of yourself.
3. Change It Up
Sometimes lack of motivation comes from boredom with our current meditation routine. If that sounds like you, then look for ways to reignite the spark.
- Try a different type of meditation from your usual. Maybe do a walking meditation instead of your regular seated meditation. Try a silent meditation if you usually do guided ones. Meditate with a group if you’re usually a lone wolf. Try visualization meditation if you usually just focus on your breath.
- Buy a new meditation cushion or invest in meditation-specific outfits.
- Change the time of day during which you meditate.
- Meditate in a different room.
The change doesn’t have to be huge. All you’re doing is giving your brain a new experience.
That might be enough to reinvigorate and inspire you.
4. Avoid Making It A Chore
Most of us have too many to-do’s. And very often, meditation ends up becoming just another to-do.
If this is the case for you, then you want to go back to the first point above – define your why.
When you have a strong reason for meditating, it’s less likely to feel like a chore or obligation.
It shifts from being something you have to do, to something that you get to do.
When that shift happens, the whole concept of motivation just goes away.
5. Remember, It’s Not A Competition
Sometimes we hear about people who manifested something major after just a few days of meditating or visualizing.
Or people who healed their bodies with meditation.
And then we look at our own lives. We notice that nothing has improved as a result of regular meditation.
So we feel defeated. Or like “it’s not working.”
But we all have a unique path. Comparing – particularly when it comes to meditation – will definitely crush your motivation.
6. Make Meditation A Journey Not a Destination
The term meditation practice exists for a reason. It’s something you practice repeatedly so that you can cultivate the habit.
But like all habits that don’t yet feel second nature to us, there will be stumbling blocks from time to time.
So, be patient with yourself and keep practicing.
Eventually, your brain and the cells of your body will start to catch on to this new habit.
And you’ll get to a point where you feel “off” if you don’t meditate.
7. Keep It Simple and Comfy
Finding ways to reduce the amount of physical and mental pressure that goes with your meditation can help you look forward to it.
- If you’re not flexible, don’t insist on doing an hour-long meditation in lotus pose. Instead, do it lying down or sitting in a chair.
- Don’t be afraid to rest your back against a chair or even the back of a sofa. While it’s true that there are benefits to meditating with a straight back, holding your back up can create tension. This means your nervous system won’t be nearly as chilled out as it could be (which kinda defeats the purpose of meditating). So lean back if need be.
- Set small achievable goals. This means don’t take on a challenge of meditating for an hour if your practice is fairly new. Do 10 or 15 minutes. Work your way up.
8. Take A Break When You Need To
Meditation has been a regular part of my life for the past 9 years.
Sometimes I have a crisis of faith and I decide to stop for a few days.
Each time I take a pause though, I notice how much more disconnected I am from myself.
Those pauses give me clarity. Basically, they’re a chance for me to re-evaluate what’s most important to me.
And I always choose meditation. Because for me, there’s no object or person that matches the feeling of being connected to something deeper.
So, take a pause if you need to. Maybe the pause will give you clarity about whether you should go back to meditating or ditch it completely.
Honor the answer that comes up.
Maintaining a meditation practice is not easy. And at the end of the day, only you can decide what can help you stay motivated for your practice.
I hope that the tips I shared help you find your way to the right thing for you.