The #1 Reason Why People Say “I Can’t Meditate!”

By Robin Byrne, Guest Contributor

Here’s why many people say “I can’t meditate!” and a few thoughts on how do deal with this common meditation struggle:

“I can’t meditate because my mind won’t stop thinking…”

As a meditation mentor this is one statement I hear over and over. It’s where most students will decide that meditation cannot work for them. This is a statement created by the mind to trick you into not learning how to tame it! It is not based on any reality or experience.

Just because you think something doesn’t make it true! Our brains give us a lot of bad information. Our issue is, of course, that we tend to believe everything we think. BIG MISTAKE!!  Don’t fall for this trap. Learning to meditate is a skill everyone can learn. It’s not rocket science, but it does take practice. You can do this.

So please before you dismiss this wonderful practice read on and see if I can’t convince you to give meditation a second chance.

Let’s take a look.

My mind won’t stop thinking… TRUE!! Our minds are designed to think. This is their job and they do it incredibly well. Most of us think about 40,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. That’s a thought every 2 seconds.  Most of our thinking is fairly mundane (should I have a bagel? Cheerios?  Too many carbs? How about a banana and some tea… what do I want?) and repetitious (where are my keys… my wallet…?) and sometimes even completely goofy (Can a goldfish wink? Or Burp?)

Our brains are always thinking and we get exhausted. Those 60,000 thoughts we get bombarded with every day can’t all be based on fact. You have been seriously mislead if you think you have to stop thinking to meditate. You do not have to turn off your thoughts in order to meditate…it is neither possible nor expected.

What you must do to meditate is decide to learn and stick with it. Meditation is a simple brain exercise that will, with practice, train your brain to focus on one thing at a time.

Meditation will slow down your thoughts enough so that you will be able to notice a break between thoughts.  Instead of the rapid fire thoughts coming every 2 seconds you begin to develop a gentler, kinder thought habit. This is where meditations benefits are seen.

With practice and the slowing down of thoughts you become aware that your brain is learning to pay attention to only one thing at a time. For your busy, overactive brain this is a luxurious moment. It is an indication that you are strengthening this muscle. In these small breaks, or gaps, you notice the silence under your thinking that is always present.  This is the place of peace and calm that you can easily access once you take control of your thoughts instead of letting them control you!

This brain exercise does take training and time to develop. But the benefits can be felt  right away.  Just like anything you have ever learned since the day you were born practice is needed to learn this new task. With repetition, your training becomes a habit and a mighty useful one at that! You become calmer, more thoughtful and more resilient.

So where do you start?  Good coaching can make all the difference in the world to a successful outcome. You can read a book, take a class, meet with a mentor or follow some guided meditations from You Tube. The resources are vast.

The greatest obstacle is your own thinking and the resistance your brain has been giving you. You wouldn’t let your unruly puppy dictate its own training right? The same is true with training your brain. You must take charge, override the commentary, doubts and griping and set a clear intention.   Your brain will thank you.

You can do this. I can help with mentoring!  Please leave any questions here or on my FB page.



The Meditation Addict

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About the Author:  Robin Byrne is a licensed therapist and knowledgeable meditation specialist from Scottsdale, Arizona. Check her out over at

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  • NV
    Posted January 11, 2017 3:47 pm 0Likes

    my #1 reason for not meditating is that i cannot keep my eyes closed for longer time coz they start hurting or get heavy unless i naturally fall asleep.
    i do nature activities and excercise coz at that time only my mind is not thinking

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted January 12, 2017 9:30 am 0Likes

    NV- I feel that a nature activity or exercise can be a form of meditation as well, and if they feel better I would go with them. If you haven’t tried guided meditations that might be a good way to distract yourself from this phenomenon as well.

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