6 Responses to Hitting a Wall in Your Meditation Practice
The following is adapted from Meditation Not Medicine.
After practicing meditation for a while, you might feel like you’ve hit the proverbial wall. This happened to me after I started meditating for approximately six months. In the beginning, I was so happy to have found a way to deal with my stress that my enthusiasm carried me for a while.
As my practice developed, however, I hit that point where it wasn’t as fresh and new anymore. Suddenly, the thing that I made a priority in my life was losing its luster. Thankfully, that’s behind me now, but it took some changes.
Maybe it’s been shorter or longer for you, but hitting the wall can be deflating regardless of how long you’ve been practicing.
If your practice feels stuck, like it can’t provide any more benefit, you’re not alone. We have all been there, feeling and thinking we couldn’t go any further, like we had maxed out our mind’s ability to be still. When in reality, the mind being still is its very nature. This wall is just an aspect of our discomfort coming through. After all, most of us have lived for many years in a constant process of getting lost in thoughts about the past and future.
Getting Over the Wall
Hitting a wall is actually a completely normal phase in the meditation process. All you have to do is figure out a way to move past whatever it is that’s built that wall in your psyche.
I’m going to help you do just that. Here are six responses to hitting that wall that will take your practice to an even deeper level of peace and calmness.
- Meditate for a longer or shorter period. Most people should start a meditation practice with just a few minutes per day. If a few minutes is no longer working, or you feel like a longer time will provide more benefit, why not increase the time to ten, fifteen, twenty minutes or longer? Similarly, if you’re meditating for 20 minutes per day and think it’s too long or you felt like you got more out of your practice when it was only 15 minutes, go back to that. There are no fixed rules to how long you can meditate at a time or the number of times a day you do.
- Focus on the quality of your meditation habit, not the quantity.
- Maybe you can change the place where you meditate. Find a different room or spot inside or outside of your current location. Some people do well in parks; others in a quiet place in their home. Any place is fine as long as it enables you to sit still, breathe, and obtain a calmness.
- Try to change your breathing pattern.
- You might want to include some soft background music.
- Meditate with a group instead of alone. The experience of meditating in a group is quite different than practicing on your own and is a great source of inspiration and support.
In addition to the previous six responses for hitting the wall in your meditation routine, you can also try different forms of meditation. There are guided practices, mindfulness, transcendental, and many others to try. Feel free to explore the one that works best for you. It’s possible that all of them work well for different phases of your life.
Don’t Give Up
Now you should have plenty of knowledge to get over that wall. Don’t give up. Try each one until something works for you. Remain confident that you will get past this. Sometimes, all it takes is time. The important thing is to continue practicing, even if you stare down that wall every time.
Keep up your routine and you will get over that wall. Remember, we’ve all been there. In my case, I was there about ten years ago, and that wall is way behind me now.
You can do the same. Namaste.
For more advice on the ways stress impacts your mental and physical health, you can find Meditation Not Medicine on Amazon.
Adam J. Weber is the “no BS, common-sense” speaker, author, product creation specialist, and owner of the highly successful companies Weber Real Estate Advisors and Weber Advisory Group. He helps people reduce stress through his highly celebrated meditation technique: “Easy to Meditate.” When he first tried meditating, Adam was frustrated with the “flowery woo-woo fluff” of meditation books. He wrote Meditation Not Medicine to share his simple, practical approach to meditating, helping others reduce their stress without medication. He lives in New York with his wife, Haley; his two sons, Andrew and Daniel; and his best bud, Churchill, a Golden-Retriever-English-Setter mix.