Three Meditation Misconceptions Dispelled

Tanya Taupier is Aetna’s executive director of human resources. With a passion for staying active, Tanya Taupier also practices meditation. For those who have never meditated, myths and misconceptions regarding the practice may cloud your judgment of it, holding you back from something that could add to your well-being. Here are three such misconceptions.

1. Meditation is Time-Consuming: Busy people like Oprah Winfrey and Rupert Murdoch have enough time to meditate regularly. If you find it hard to make meditation a priority, start small. Some programs, practices, and methods require as little as five minutes.

2. Meditation Requires Religion or Spirituality: Many forms of meditation are strongly rooted in Eastern religion, but many modern forms of meditation leave religion and spirituality behind, in favor of more practical earthly benefits, like clearer thought, stress reduction, and improved happiness.

3. Meditation Requires Mental Silence: While there are many different approaches and meditative practices, people often associate meditation with shutting your brain off and blocking out your thoughts, but that is not how it usually works. Meditation is more about tuning in than tuning out, and you are free to let your mind wander where it will. Even when the meditation does require focus, concentration or guided thought, your mind going off-track is OK and easy enough to correct when you are consciously aware of it.

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