How long you meditate can influence to a large degree whether you find the practice enjoyable or not. However, many don’t feel like they have the time or patience to sit through a solid hour of meditation.
Meditation can be intimidating at first, and the fact that it can be intimidated can make some not enjoy the practice at all. More often, it’s due to the type of meditation you are doing.
The more you do a meditation that aligns with your values, the more likely you are to view it as leisure.
Even if meditation and leisure tend to be different, there are some similarities, and it doesn’t mean meditation can’t become a form of leisure. In fact, the more it’s seen as one, the easier the practice will be.
It takes time to rewire your brain to view meditation as something enjoyable, but the same can be said for anything that’s enjoyable for that matter.
If you currently have habits you want to get rid of, you don’t necessarily have to go cold turkey, it can be enough to gradually make the change, especially considering most of us aren’t accustomed to 180-degree changes from one day to another. If you were to try, you’ll likely find some pushback from the subconscious.
Therefore, it’s generally recommended that you give meditation 3 to 4 months before you’re able to determine its effectiveness, and in addition, figure out if you’re able to replace it with a habit you don’t want.
It’s not exactly wrong to call meditation a sport. I mean, it shares many of the same characteristics as one, in the sense that it allows you to channel your attention to that, thus enjoying the activity you’re doing more.
Meditation does release dopamine, but you also get a dopamine release from habits that aren’t that good for you but you still engage in them. The idea would be to train your mind to see something more enjoyable than the other habit you want to replace.
Your environment can play a role in that. Willpower alone can’t make you enjoy meditation more.
But changing your environment of meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. You can use a room specifically for meditation, just like if you were practicing some sort of sport, you go to that certain place to practice the sport.
This can even be less complex, like just changing your position, putting a certain light on, or meditating to a certain melody. It’s not hard to tell whether the meditation is working correctly based on how it makes you feel.
Meditation Can Make You Enjoy Hobbies More
One characteristic of meditation is that it can make it more enjoyable to partake in the hobbies you already enjoy.
It may seem obvious that more focus equals more enjoyment, but there’s a special thrill that comes with meditation that’s hardly replicable through anything else.
It goes perfectly hand in hand with exercising, as it can improve your output. But it’s not just limited to exercising.
Your quality of life improves as a result of prolonged meditation, which, as a result, trains your mind to be able to do it for longer, which, in turn, makes you want more.
Exercising also makes you feel good, and thus, it complements the meditation practice. Exercising may not be something you enjoy doing, but I mention it because of the similar characteristics it has to meditation.
But in general, you can benefit from meditation in the sense that whichever hobby you’ve had, you’ll be able to keep your mind on the act of that hobby, making it more mindful, which is a form of meditation.
Often, meditation that’s done in conjunction with a movement is denominated as movement meditation, and in the grand scheme of things, anything can be meditation.
Does Meditation Have To Be Recreational?
By definition, meditation is not a recreational activity. But it shares characteristics of recreational activity, in the sense that it can bring you to the present.
There are individuals that have meditated for years but that don’t necessarily find meditation recreational.
But the enjoyment of meditation is often a strong incentive to push individuals to pursue the practice, especially with the post benefits of meditation.
At first, you may not feel anything, but over time, if you’ve picked the right meditation for you, you should see notable changes in your day-to-day life.
A major part of these changes is your interpretations of situations, meaning something that would previously bring you down or affect you in a negative way, no longer has that same effect.
However, it’s worth noting that meditation takes practice, discipline, and concentration. So if you come in at meditation, expecting it to be enjoyable and pure leisure, you’ll be disappointed. Especially taking into account how different we are.
But there is enjoyment in peace, meditation is finding that sweet spot that lets your body be synchronized with your mind. I’ve personally found myself enjoying the meditation more when reaching this point and not wanting it to end.
Setting Reasonable Expectations
You’ve likely been inspired to start meditating because of all the benefits meditation can have. But it’s worth noting that seeing those benefits can in some cases take years for people.
This is because some need to find themselves, and thus, find what meditation serves them best. While meditation can be enjoyable even as a beginner, it’s not a walk in the park. And giving up too soon and unreasonable expectations are major contributors that cause people to quit the practice.
Becoming a skilled mediator can take trial and error, some even devote their lives to meditation. And while you probably don’t have to devote your life to meditation to see the often proclaimed results, it does help to have a mindset of wanting to stick with it and make it work.
Can Meditation Replace Other Recreational Activities?
Some would confuse meditation with a replacement for other recreational activities, but meditation doesn’t have to replace other recreational activities, it can perfectly go hand in hand, in fact, it’s what it’s supposed to be.
Unless the recreational activity in question brings no value to you, there’s no point in replacing it with meditation or seeing it as a mutually exclusive thing. In fact, meditation can help you.
For instance, perhaps you want to do said activity in question but simply don’t have the energy to do it, because you’re overwhelmed by stress or anxiety is antagonizing you. In that case, you can use meditation to restore that energy and do what you enjoy doing, without the burden of stress.
Stress and worry are what often stands in the way for us to enjoy what we want to do, and the stress is a greater feeling than the leisure activity in question, thus, it stops becoming enjoyable. The good news is that meditation can help you clear that as time goes by.