Meditation for People Who Can’t Meditate: an audio guide

“Meditation suffers from a towering PR problem.”

-Dan Harris, 10% Happierscreen-shot-2016-09-21-at-8-51-33-am.png

People tell me all the time that they can’t meditate — they tried it and their minds are spinning wildly and they can’t stop their thoughts.

I’m sorry to break this to you because I’m sure you are an absolutely delightful person: but your brain is not special. It’s not.

That is what everyone’s brain does. It’s your brain’s job to always look for problems. That’s how it has kept you alive.

Saying you can’t meditate because you can’t stop your thoughts is like saying you can’t play basketball because you aren’t a unicorn. Of course you are not a unicorn and of course you can’t stop your thoughts.

Luckily, we’re not trying to stop our thoughts when we meditate. We’re just trying to shift our relationship with them and realize those manic thoughts don’t have to run our whole damn lives.

Meditation was an absolute game-changer for me – it helped me get a handle on my anxiety and depression, and I believe it can help everyone.  It’s not woo-woo hippie stuff. It’s science.

For me, meditation is like brushing my teeth. It might not be a thrilling activity, but it’s vital to my health. And it makes me much more pleasant to be around. Trust me. 

I made a little guided meditation audio for you, dear person who thinks they can’t meditate. The mediation part is just five minutes – you can totally handle that. Five minutes. Once a day. Not a BFD.

Happy breathing, everyone.

(And if you’re interested in learning more, I write extensively on meditation in my new book Not Just Me: anxiety, depression, and learning to embrace your weird.)

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25 Replies to “Meditation for People Who Can’t Meditate: an audio guide”

  1. I know it’s gonna sound like I’m plugging my music (because I am) but one reason I composed it is for use in relaxation and meditation. I’m curious to know if I pulled it off. The album is called This New Wilderness and it’s on iTunes.

  2. There are so many people I want to send this to…including me, lately. And just for the record, every once in a while I DANCE like I’m a unicorn. But you’re right: I’m not a unicorn.

  3. Thank you, Lisa! I am one of those people who always thinks about meditating and then gets distracted before she even sits down. I tried it today and made it through the five minutes, and I plan to try again tomorrow!

    1. Yep, like I said in the post, that is everyone’s experience! It’s all about being okay with the stir crazy. It’s possible to get past that, and accept the brain for what it does. It just takes patience to train yourself to shift the focus.

  4. I think my biggest problem is that I’ve accidently trained myself to use meditation audio as a sleeping tool. I found this blank disc outside of a library and for some reason not only decided to take it, but decided to insert it into my laptop. Luckily it wasn’t a virus, it was a lone meditation track, 30 minutes long. And I started listening to it as a relaxation tool – which I think is definitely a large part of meditation – in bed – which I’m not sure is a very good use of meditation. But I look forward to trying your audio track out and hopefully it’s what I’ve needed for a long time. Thank you!

    1. Hey, sleep is incredibly important! If it helps you quiet your chattering monkey mind – I’d say it’s working perfectly. But hope you get to try an awake version, too!

      1. It’s really nice to know that I hadn’t done/haven’t been doing anything wrong by using it in this way. I do intend on trying it awake as well, but being a college student with a roommate doesn’t leave a lot of time for that unfortunately.

  5. I actually just did my first guided meditation today as part of a course at work and then stumbled across yours when I was catching up on the site tonight. I’m def going to make it a goal to devote a little time each day to meditating and see how it goes!

  6. That’s 2 days in a row that I’ve meditated. Just 5 minutes before I start my day. Trying to make it a habit. Thanks for the audio tape. It helped! You are too cool for school!

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Lately, I have been able to keep my anxiety under control and my husband has been trying to get me to mediate. I had found it so frustrating to do, until now! This is perfect!

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