Meditating Doesn't Work For Me ...

In this fast-paced world we live in, it is not always easy to slow things down and catch our breath.  Being resistant to trying meditation is not uncommon. Here are some common reasons that prevent people from meditating, with suggestions!

"I just can't stay focused on my breath."

It's okay; a lot of people can't focus on the breath at first. Are you willing to give it a try again? Whenever you notice your mind start to wander, just notice that it is wandering and bring your attention back to your breath. Even if you have to do this 10 times every minute, just practice bringing your attention back to your breath. Mindfulness is practice, and this is part of what practice means.

"Breathing just doesn't work for me."

There is likely a chance that you have tried breathing before, you gave it up if an effect was not noticed immediately. Challenge yourself to breathe deeply for just three-minute. You can also try progressive muscle relaxation, which occurs by clenching parts of your body for 30 seconds and then slowly releasing them. As you do this, notice what happens to your breath.

"I just can't relax when I breathe. It makes me more tense because I worry if I'm doing it right."

Try starting with the exhale. This can create negative pressure on the lungs, making the subsequent inhale automatically relaxing. "If you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you," Jon Kabat-Zinn.

"Getting that relaxed makes me nervous. I don't feel comfortable letting my guard down."

You do not have to close your eyes in order to do breath work. Closed eyes during breath work can increase claustrophobic responses. Take the breath work very slowly and gradually. Start with just one or two breaths, and then look around the room, perhaps repeating an affirmation (e.g., "I'm here now. I'm safe."). When you feel ready, you can try deeper breathing.