Why Is Meditation So Hard?

Meditation is an ancient practice that offers numerous health benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving overall well-being. However, despite its many advantages, meditation can be a challenging practice for many individuals. There are …

Why Is Meditation So Hard?

Why Is Meditation So Hard?

Meditation is an ancient practice that offers numerous health benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving overall well-being. However, despite its many advantages, meditation can be a challenging practice for many individuals.

There are many reasons why meditation can be difficult, including a busy and cluttered mind, physical discomfort, and restlessness.

Key Takeaways:

Understanding the Nature of the Mind

When it comes to meditation, one of the biggest obstacles people face is the mind itself. Our minds are constantly busy, jumping from one thought to the next, making it challenging to quiet the mental chatter and find inner stillness.

To overcome this struggle, it’s essential to understand the nature of the mind. Our thoughts are not necessarily a reflection of reality, but rather, a product of our perceptions, beliefs and experiences. When we identify with our thoughts and allow them to dominate our attention, we lose touch with the present moment and become distracted from our meditation practice.

An effective way to shift our mindset during meditation is by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness involves paying attention to our thoughts and emotions without judgment, and recognizing that we are not defined by them. By observing our mental activity with a sense of detachment, we can better control our thoughts and cultivate a sense of inner peace.

Common Struggles and Roadblocks

It’s common to experience restlessness, impatience or boredom during meditation. When we first begin our practice, we may struggle to sit still for prolonged periods or feel frustrated by our inability to quiet the mind. However, it’s important to remember that these challenges are part of the process and should be approached with patience and acceptance.

Another common obstacle is the influence of external distractions. Whether it’s a noisy neighbor or a buzzing phone, external stimuli can disrupt our concentration and pull us out of the present moment. One way to address this is by creating a designated meditation space that is quiet, calming and free from distractions.

Ultimately, the key to overcoming these struggles is to maintain a consistent and dedicated practice. By committing to a regular routine, we can gradually learn to control our thoughts and emotions, and cultivate a sense of inner peace and stillness.

Overcoming Distractions and Restlessness

Meditation is a practice that demands our full attention, but distractions can pull us away from our focus. It’s not uncommon to find your mind wandering during meditation or to have intrusive thoughts that disrupt your practice. Fortunately, there are techniques you can use to overcome these challenges and find inner stillness.

1. Acknowledge the distraction

When you become aware of a distraction, don’t ignore it or push it away. Instead, acknowledge it and bring your focus back to your breath. In this way, you can train your mind to let distractions come and go without disrupting your practice.

2. Label your thoughts

When you notice your mind wandering, try labeling the thought or emotion that is taking you away from your breath. For example, if you find yourself thinking about work, say to yourself, “thinking” and return your focus to your breath.

3. Use guided meditations

Guided meditations provide a structured approach to meditation that can be helpful for beginners and those struggling with distractions. By following a meditation guide, you can stay on track and avoid getting caught up in your thoughts.

4. Experiment with different meditation techniques

If you find that one technique isn’t working for you, try another. There are many different types of meditation, so experiment with different techniques until you find one that resonates with you.

5. Practice regularly

Like any skill, meditation requires practice to improve. Try to meditate every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Over time, your mind will become more adept at focusing, and you’ll find it easier to stay present during meditation.

Cultivating Patience and Persistence

Meditation requires patience and persistence. It is not a quick fix, but rather a practice that requires dedication and commitment. Therefore, it is essential to cultivate these qualities as part of your meditation journey.

Patience requires accepting that progress may be slow and that setbacks are a natural part of the process. When you accept this and remain committed, you will see positive changes over time. Persistence requires showing up and making meditation a priority, even when it feels difficult.

One way to cultivate patience and persistence is by setting achievable goals. Start with small goals and gradually increase the duration and frequency of your practice. Celebrate your progress along the way, no matter how small it may seem.

It is also essential to remain open-minded and non-judgmental towards yourself. Avoid setting unrealistic expectations and recognize that meditation is a personal journey. It is not a competition or a race. With time and practice, you will develop a deeper sense of self-awareness and self-compassion.

Creating a Supportive Environment

The environment in which we meditate can greatly impact the quality of our practice. It’s important to set up a supportive space that promotes relaxation and focus. Here are some tips on how to create a conducive environment for meditation:

  • Choose a quiet, uncluttered space: Find a peaceful corner or a separate room where you can meditate without interruptions. Declutter the space and remove any distractions or items that may draw your attention away from the practice.
  • Add comfortable seating: Choose a comfortable cushion or chair that supports your spine and allows you to relax. Sitting upright is important for maintaining alertness and focus.
  • Adjust the lighting: Dim the lights or use candles to create a calming ambiance. Avoid bright or harsh lighting that can be distracting.
  • Set the mood with calming scents: Burning candles or incense can help set the mood for relaxation and concentration. Choose scents that you find soothing and calming.
  • Eliminate distractions: Turn off your phone and other electronic devices to eliminate distractions. You can also hang a “do not disturb” sign on the door to prevent interruptions.
  • Consider adding nature elements: Adding potted plants or natural elements like rocks or shells can help create a sense of serenity and tranquility.

By creating a supportive environment, you can make your meditation practice more enjoyable and effective. Take some time to make these adjustments to your space, and you’ll find yourself looking forward to your meditation sessions.

Exploring Different Meditation Techniques

There are various meditation techniques that one can practice to improve their mental and physical well-being. Here are some of the most popular meditation techniques:

  1. Mindfulness meditation: This technique involves focusing on the present moment and cultivating awareness of one’s thoughts and feelings without judgment.
  2. Transcendental meditation: This technique involves the use of a mantra or sound to achieve a deep state of relaxation and inner peace.
  3. Loving-kindness meditation: This technique involves cultivating feelings of love, kindness, and compassion towards oneself and others.
  4. Body scan meditation: This technique involves focusing on different parts of the body and releasing any tension or discomfort.
  5. Breathing meditation: This technique involves focusing on the breath, observing its rhythm, and letting go of distracting thoughts.

It’s important to note that different techniques work for different individuals, so it’s worth experimenting to find what works best for you. You may also find that a combination of techniques is beneficial.

What’s important is that you approach meditation with an open mind, free of expectations or judgments. With regular practice, you can cultivate a sense of inner peace and calmness that will carry over into your daily life.


While meditation can be challenging, it is a powerful tool for achieving inner peace and tranquility. By understanding the nature of the mind, overcoming distractions and restlessness, cultivating patience and persistence, creating a supportive environment, and exploring different meditation techniques, anyone can master this practice.

Remember, meditation is a journey, not a destination, and progress takes time. It requires patience, commitment, and a willingness to embrace the challenges that arise. But with perseverance and dedication, the benefits of meditation can be truly transformative.


Q: Why is meditation so hard?

A: Meditation can be challenging due to various factors, including distractions, restlessness, and difficulties in quieting the mind. It requires practice and patience to overcome these obstacles.

Q: How can I understand the nature of the mind during meditation?

A: Understanding the nature of the mind is essential for navigating meditation struggles. By recognizing that thoughts will arise and learning to observe them without judgment, we can shift our mindset and create a more fruitful meditation practice.

Q: What are some tips for overcoming distractions and restlessness in meditation?

A: To overcome distractions and restlessness, it’s helpful to incorporate techniques such as focused breathing, guided imagery, or body scans. Creating a calm and quiet environment and employing mindfulness techniques can also aid in managing distractions.

Q: How can I cultivate patience and persistence in meditation?

A: Cultivating patience and persistence requires a commitment to the practice and an understanding that progress takes time. Setting realistic expectations and reminding oneself of the long-term benefits of meditation can help maintain motivation and overcome challenges.

Q: How can I create a supportive environment for meditation?

A: Creating a supportive environment involves finding a quiet and clutter-free space for meditation, minimizing external distractions, and using tools such as cushions or chairs for added comfort. Establishing a consistent routine and setting clear intentions can also contribute to a conducive meditation environment.

Q: What are some different meditation techniques I can explore?

A: There are various meditation techniques to explore, including focused attention, loving-kindness meditation, body scan meditation, and mindfulness meditation. Each technique offers different benefits and can be tailored to individual preferences and goals.

Larry Carter