In my blog post today, I want to break down the key reasons why people don’t meditate. I want to ultimately show they are just excuses and how everyone can enjoy practicing meditation every day.
To help me write this post, I went and asked a number of my friends and family. None of which, actually meditate regularly. To get to the core of why so few of us actually bother.
The 13 Reasons Why People Don’t Meditate
1. They do not have a strong enough reason to start 🤔
In order to do something new we all have to have a reason why. And a solid concrete reason why. Just hearing that meditation is good for you from a handful people you know usually isn’t a solid enough reason to give it a go.
As human beings we are inherently lazy. We’re just not going to put in the effort to build and stick to a new practice if we can’t justify to our own selves why we should be doing it. And ideally, we also want to be able to explain to our friends and family why. Especially if its not mainstream.
So what is a good reason to meditate?
In one word: Science.
[bctt tweet=”Meditation has been scientifically proven to grow the brain. When I found this out about a year ago, it actually propelled me to give it a go.” username=”mindfulchiggs”]
Read this blog post to solidify your reason to meditate.
2. They believe meditation is for Buddhists and spiritual fairies only 🙏
Ok it is true that meditation is deeply rooted in the practice of Buddhism. And yes, Buddhism is a religion. Which means it’s probably not viewed as being cool (see point 3).
But Buddhism is not about God.
Buddhism is all about developing your own awareness, wisdom and kindness. Which means it’s actually really fascinating.
If you’re at all interested in self-development you’ll resonate well with at least a few Buddhist teachings. I myself haven’t delved too deeply into Buddhism. But from the little I have studied, I’ve learnt some really useful thoughts and practices.
The thing is, there are now many people who practice mindfulness meditation who aren’t Buddhist or spiritual at all.
A great piece of evidence, that I have used before comes from Tim Ferris. The author of “The 4 Hour workweek”. He interviewed 140 people at the top of their respective fieldsrecently. And found that 90% of them incorporated a mindfulness or meditation practice into their daily routine. It’s probably safe to assume the majority of these individuals aren’t Buddhist or spiritual at all.
3. Nobody close to them meditates 👥
This applies to so many of us. We typically have 4 or 5 close friends on average. And with less than 15% of people meditating in general, that equates to less than one of our friends being a meditator.
The thing is in order to build a habit and stick to it, being around people doing the same activity helps tremendously. When we were in school, just by being around other students doing the same work, we motivated ourselves to study and do our assignments. And If you were ever part of a sports or hobby group, I’m sure you can point to the benefits that you shared.
[bctt tweet=”Being part of a community gets us to actually do what we really should. And further our skills. As we can leverage the greater willpower, knowledge and experience of others.” username=”mindfulchiggs”]
So how do you get into a community of meditators?
Luckily we live in the age of the internet. So we can easily find communities of people who have interests different to our real life friends. If you’re serious about building the habit of meditating daily come join our Facebook group for meditators. And get that positive reinforcement: normal people, just like you, sharing how they meditate daily.
4. Meditation is not seen as being cool 😎
I think it’s fair to assume meditation has bit of an image problem. It’s not easy to name off the top of your head someone cool that’s associated to meditating.
That’s despite the fact that many celebrities meditate regularly. Some of those include:
- Clint Eastwood
- Kobe Bryant
We’re still a while away from seeing celebrities selling meditation courses. And since we live in a culture driven by celebrities, meditation is still far away from being seen as sexy.
5. Meditation does not have obvious outward appearance benefits 💪
This is one of the obvious reasons why people don’t meditate. Meditating unlike physical exercise does not have easy to see results. If somebody starts going to the gym and follows any real routine, the benefits are going to become apparent pretty quickly. In just a few weeks, you can start to look better and draw more attention and compliments from those around you.
With meditation though, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll get the same recognition. Except from those people around you the most.
Your work colleagues will likely notice that you’re dealing better with stress and the demands of your job.
Your partner will notice that you’re upset less and engaging less in arguments.
The main thing is you’ll become a more self-aware grounded person.
[bctt tweet=”We’re still a while away from seeing celebrities selling meditation courses. And since we live in a culture driven by celebrities, meditation is still far away from being seen as sexy.” username=”mindfulchiggs”]
6. They believe meditation is too difficult 😵
If you haven’t tried meditating, the thought of being still and not doing anything probably scares you a bit. And if you have, you’ve probably struggled with it. And that’s perfectly normal.
To start meditating you are typically told to just sit somewhere and either close your eyes or stare at a wall for a few minutes. Now I’ve tried this. And I know lots of you have tried this too.
Because you’ll want to check your phone or you’ll want to do something. Anything.
The thing is, whether we like to admit it or not, we are all heavily dependent on stimuli. Which is why at losingstress, we recommend you start with guided meditations to ease you into the practice. Listening to a pleasant voice giving you instructions is far easier than relying on your current self to be still for a few minutes.
7. They believe they are doing it wrong 😔
This is probably the main reason you haven’t stuck to meditating if you have tried it before.
A close friend of mine, recently told me he thought he was doing it wrong. But…
[bctt tweet=”There is no right way to meditate. ” username=”mindfulchiggs”]
I often liken meditation to physical exercisebut here’s where the comparison falls down. You don’t have to focus on the form of your exercise like squatting, for example.
There is no right or wrong technique for meditation. And I’ve heard this first-hand, from very experienced meditators.
Whilst there might be superior meditation exercises you can do, the way you actually do them should not be something that bothers you.
All that matters is spending the time to actually do it…
8. They don’t have the time ⏱️
Out of all the reasons why people don’t meditate, this is the one most people jump to.
With work/school, relationships, life duties, social commitments, exercise etc. many of us feel like there’s not enough time in our days to make the time to meditate.
However, meditation in fact buys back time. It’s been shown to reduce the need for more sleep.And because it helps reduce stress and develop emotional control, you’ll spend less time in a negative mood. Giving you more time when you’re happy.
The thing is you can use what ever spare time you have in the day to practice meditation. You can do a mini-meditation whenever you do one of your regular day tasks. When you brush your teeth, have a shower, walk somewhere etc. At losingstress, an article about mini-meditations is in the works. To show everybody exactly how I use any spare time I have by myself to develop mindfulness.
9. They don’t have the space 🏠
This is one of the reasons why people don’t meditate and stick to it regularly. From my experience and the advice of others, the easiest way to pick up the habit of meditation is having a routine practice in the morning.
Many of us though live in busy homes. Where we might not be able to find a quiet spot to meditate. This is particularly common if you live with your partner and/or children and there’s a hectic morning schedule with everyone rushing to get ready and out the door.
If you do live in that kind of an environment there are things you can do.
The best thing, rather obviously, would be to wake up slightly earlier to make the time to meditate. But I appreciate sleep is important and we often don’t get enough.
If your home has the space, setup a quiet meditation spot. Pick a room like your study or dining room where you won’t be disturbed. All you need is a cushion, a chair or a place to lie down.
10. They don’t possess a strong enough willpower to form a new habit 🧠
As mentioned earlier, as human beings we’re all lazy by nature and creatures of habit.
And forming new habits is rather difficult. It’s in fact, been shown to take 66 days on average. That’s why at losingstress, we have a fantastic beginner’s guide to meditation. So anyone can get started and stick to the practice of meditating daily.
11. They believe by meditating they’ll lose their personality and become too zen 💤
Now this is one of the interesting reasons why people don’t meditate. As it’s a little bit contradictory. A lot of people view meditators as mellow individuals with rather dull personalities. And they think that by getting into meditation they’ll lose their fun, edgy, social self.
This is actually a misconception. There are loving kindness meditations, which encourage us to feel compassion for ourselves and everyone around us. Or in other words, it helps you melt the hate. So if you practice these regularly you’ll actually be more social. As you’ll want to interact with people around you. There are many loving kindness meditations on Insight Timer. Here’s the one I like:
Also by practicing mindfulness, you’ll become more acutely aware of your own moods. So when things frustrate and annoy you, you’ll be able to identify what you are feeling exactly. Which almost by itself, will help crumble away your negative emotions. Meaning you’ll be in a bad mood less and so actually be more fun in general.
12. They believe it will take too long to see the benefits 👴
This is certainly a myth. And shouldn’t really be one of the reasons why people don’t meditate. If you pick a guided meditation that you resonate with, you will begin to notice benefits immediately. When you get Insight Timer, you can begin to explore all the guided meditations on the ‘Meditation’ tab. Although there are nearly 10,000 meditations on the app so if you’re a beginner it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
If you wish to know about the meditation I like the most and have been using every day for the past few months, go check out our beginner’s guide.
And if you want to develop the skill of mindfulness, you can reap the benefits within a short time frame. Many studies, have shown that mindfulness meditation increases attention and focus and has a dramatic decrease in stress levels in a just a few weeks, .
13. Ultimately they don’t prioritise meditating enough ☝️
Of all the reasons why people don’t meditate, this hits the nail on the head.
Here’s actually a really useful thing to do. For the rest of today or tomorrow, quickly journal what you do every 15 minutes. This might seem like a tedious task to do. But give it a go. It’s only for one day. And you’re going to notice something very important.
We all waste so much of each day doing useless things. Some examples include:
- Checking our emails
- Checking social media
- Surfing our favourite website
- Watching TV, Netflix or YouTube
- Clothes shopping
These are some of the real reasons why people don’t meditate. Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t have down/chill time in the day. But I think we’d all agree that we spend too much of our day doing at least one of the above. We’re all a slave to our automatic habits.
If you’re not currently meditating you are valuing these useless tasks above exercising, soothing and growing your brain.
This probably sounds a bit harsh. But ultimately it’s true.
You might see doing the above things as a useful way to destress and chill during your down time.
[bctt tweet=”The thing is meditation isn’t work. It’s a great way to reduce stress. And it’s actually very pleasurable when done in a way that suits you. All you have to do is go on Insight Timer and find a meditation you like.” username=”mindfulchiggs”]
There you have it. 13 Reasons why people don’t meditate. Or should I say excuses…
I hope this article, dispels some if not all of the reasons why you are not currently meditating. And helps you to get started.