Common Mindfulness Challenges
FAQ on most common challenges arising in mindfulness practice.
I don’t have time.
Mindfulness is something you practice throughout your day, as part of your day. It is not a question of ‘making time’ for it, but rather living the time your are in in a mindful way, In other words, as you sip your coffee you are aware that you are sipping your coffee, savouring the smell, the warmth of it and so on, rather than drinking your coffee without even realizing it because you are rehashing a thought of something that happened yesterday. Yes, you can also augment the value of your practice with formal meditation sessions, but that is something you can decide on later if it seems overwhelming at this stage.
If you’re interested in finding ways for your mindfulness practice to become part of your routine you can obtain your free workbook. It also includes strategies on setting yourself up for success. BACK TO TOP
I can’t stop my mind from wandering.
Well, if it makes you feel any better, that is completely normal. But, each time your become aware that your mind has wandered you really should congratulate yourself. Why? Because you became aware in that moment that your mind had wandered. Hurrah! You are developing your mental muscle to be present. Becoming aware each time your mind wanders and gently bringing yourself back to the present is huge. Over time, as you practice regularly you will find your mind wanders less and less but it will still happen. You will also learn how to and when to engage with those thoughts in a way that leaves you in control of you rather than your thoughts being in charge. BACK TO TOP
This takes more work than I realized!
Yes, mindfulness takes a lot of work. You should know, though, that the longer you practice the becomes easier. As you experience more and more benefits in your life the practice seems like less and less work. BACK TO TOP
I’m not doing as well as I think I should.
You are not alone. We have ‘aha!’ moments and moments where a situation is so challenging we forget everything we’ve practiced and we jump right into automatic responses. If you can be kind to yourself and be grateful for the progress you have made then you just dust yourself off and keep putting one foot in front of the other, to put it in mindfulness terms—one breath after the other. Progress is not a straight line and so credit yourself for your good efforts and hug yourself for when you are challenged. Being down on yourself will slow your progress; being kind to yourself opens your mind to progress. BACK TO TOP
I forget to practice.
That’s okay. New habits take awhile to instill. You will be most successful is you can make your practice part of your daily routine. Every time you change tasks you can take a couple of breaths before you move on. Every time you drink a glass of water you can associate that with following your breath, dropping in to see how you’re doing. One of the reasons I created my mindful art is because you have an ongoing visual reminder to pause and breathe. Every reminder helps! If you want tips and strategies to help you find your mindful moments over the day, you can get your free e-workbook. BACK TO TOP
I want to give up.
Well, if it is any consolation, you’re very normal. Most of us have that thought when faced with challenging events or situations. Recognizing that it is normal may help you. At the end of the day, try to remember that you are not trying to become something you are not. Your ability to be mindful is inherent. Mindfulness practice uncovers what already exists in us. As soon as you start practicing you’ve created an awareness that can’t be undone. Everything moves forward from there, maybe not in a straight line, but very few things do in life.
You might also remind yourself that mindfulness is not a destination. You are mindful when you are mindful. You are already where you need to be.
If you are at the stage of wanting to give up, it may be that you are at a stage where you need mindfulness most. Don’t despair and don’t try to shove the feelings aside. A critical element of mindfulness is learning to be with your feelings in a kind and non-judgmental way. BACK TO TOP