Being Bad at Meditation
1) Why do people often complain they are "doing meditation wrong"?
People imagine a wave of serenity will flow over them when they first close their eyes. Instead you usually feel agitation and irritability as you try to settle in. Instead of seeing this as normal, people think they must be bad at meditating.
To overcome this, think of running. When you go for a run, the first seconds and minutes of running feel difficult. But when you continue, you start to get into the rhythm. Eventually, you might take a break for a stretch or water and then you head back to running. It is the same for meditation. You should expect thoughts and discomfort to turn up in the meditation. Thoughts are not a problem, you just concentrate back on your meditation. Think of a thought as a runner having a little stop on the run. It is just part of the process and doesn't make you a bad runner or a bad meditator. And who cares if you are a bad meditator anyway? Meditation is something you do for yourself and helps you get to know the real you.
2) Is it normal to become more stressed while you meditate?
When you hop into bed, often you realise how tired you are. Same for meditation. It is not because of meditation that you are stressing, it is that you are noticing the stress. Blaming your bed for making you tired is like blaming meditation for making you stressed. To manage your stress while meditating, make sure the style of meditation suits your lifestyle and helps reduce your stress. For example, if you are stressed on a problem, you might find insight meditation will allow you to explore the problem.
Meditation can really help pinpoint your thought processes as you start to become aware of how your stress escalates through your thoughts. In many ways, meditation is the canary in the mine, it starts to reveal what is troubling you and by knowing, you can try to fix the problem. For me, knowing is better than not knowing.