When performed properly, mindfulness meditation enables you to become an individual who identifies and experiences each thought in an objective, emotion-free and judgment-free manner, which in turn allows you to live a more enlightened, enriched and authentic life.
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The idea of mastering mindfulness is a highly appealing one for many; however, the process can be complicated by a number of roadblocks that pull your focus away from where it is needed during meditation.
Learning to recognize these pitfalls, nine of which are described below, is vital so that you can steer yourself toward a better course should they arise during your journey.
1. Being Interrupted By Conversation
In order to flourish during your meditation sessions so that you can reach a state of mindfulness, you need to perform this practice without interruption from people whom you live with, talk to on the phone or communicate with online.
Training your ears or eyes toward others while attempting to practice mindfulness will lead to frustration, so endeavor to meditate alone at a time when no one can command your attention.
2. Giving In To Distracting Vices
Everyone has a vice or two, whether it is indulging in a certain food or drink, surfing the Internet, watching television for long periods or taking frequent smoke breaks.
Problems may arise when devotion to these vices impair your ability to focus on or practice mindfulness meditation. Consider the time and energy spent on these distractions if you are having difficulty on your mindfulness journey; you may need to reevaluate your priorities.
3. Failing To Make Time For Practice
The expression “practice makes perfect” applies to many disciplines, and mindfulness meditation is no exception.
If you are truly invested in mindfulness, then you must not falter in setting aside time to meditate in a peaceful, quiet atmosphere on a regular basis. A state of mindfulness cannot be reached when approached casually or sporadically.
4. Letting Emotions Overpower Thoughts
When committing yourself to achieving mindfulness through meditation, you must let thoughts enter your mind without attaching emotions to these thoughts. This is vital so that you can look at your thoughts from an objective, non-judgmental frame of mind.
Though it can be difficult, keeping emotions out of the equation propels you toward accepting your thoughts authentically.
5. Allowing Mental Focus To Stray
Because mindfulness requires focus and concentration, attempting to multi-task or letting your attentions drift elsewhere results in the opposite of what your meditations are meant to achieve.
Ensure that meditation is your only endeavor at a given time. You can accomplish this by completing any pressing tasks beforehand so that your mental energies do not fall prone to distraction.
6. Getting Ahead Of Yourself
We all have future events on our calendar, and directing mental energies toward the details of these events is a common distraction on the road to true mindfulness.
No matter how tempting it may be to think of upcoming items on your agenda, worrying about the unknowns of the future prevents you from objectively viewing your thoughts in the present time.
7. Focusing On Past Events
Mindfulness is being in the present moment, so if you allow your thoughts to drift toward memories, regrets or past fears during your meditation sessions, you will hit roadblocks in your enlightenment path.
Leave the past in the past when engaging in mindfulness; dwelling on things that you cannot change is not worthwhile.
8. Worrying About End Goals
Though it is admirable to have eventual goals and accomplishments in mind when embarking on mindfulness meditation, do not fall into the trap of being so concerned with your progress that you cannot stay in the moment and accept your present thoughts.
Keeping your mind firmly on the here and now can only help you to achieve your desires more efficiently.
9. Ignoring Mental And Physical Cues
If you are experiencing signs of mental or physical fatigue, then these issues need to be addressed before you can effectively engage in mindfulness meditation.
Exhaustion, headaches, tension and similar conditions will not permit you to focus on the mindfulness process, so be certain to relax and take time to get well when these cues make themselves known to you.