By Locke Hughes
Like playing golf or making the perfect boiled egg, meditation sounds a lot easier than it actually is. After all, you just sit there with your eyes closed—until, inevitably, you can’t stop thinking about your endless to-do list, or your leg starts to cramp, or you have to use the bathroom.
Sure, there’s a whole lot more to meditation than simply sitting still, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. “At the most basic level, meditation is simply about thinking thoughts, then letting go of them,” says Suze Yalof Schwartz, founder of Unplug Meditation. “It’s about learning to distinguish between thoughts that serve us and thoughts that don’t.” Yet all of us—even the pros—experience some growing pains when we begin.
If you want to take advantage of the science-backed benefits of meditation—better sleep, stronger relationships, less stress, and a healthier heart, to name a few—check out what meditation and mindfulness experts struggled with at first. Then use their practical advice to overcome obstacles of your own.