Myth 5: “If I meditate I will feel refreshed and relaxed afterwards. It's a vacation without going on vacation!”
We often do feel more relaxed following a time of meditation. When people are first meditating, it is actually helpful if they do experience some sense of relaxation and peace as they meditate or just after meditating. This is because we are much more likely to do something again if it gave us immediate pleasure or immediately reduced difficult feelings.
However, a meditation practice is more complicated than a quick feel-good exercise. In fact, it is almost better to think of a meditation session like taking a vitamin. You probably won't feel very different right after taking your vitamin, but when you take your vitamins every day, you will begin to notice yourself feeling stronger, healthier, and less apt to catch a cold or illness. So it is with meditating. It may not feel different for you just as you meditate, or right after you meditate, but over a period of time you will begin to notice you are more resilient to life's difficulties, your mind chatter is reduced, and there is some open space inside of you.
If a mind vacation is what you are after, you can try a guided imagery session. In these sessions, someone encourages you to relax your body and mind, and suggests to you scenes that most people find pleasing. Since the majority (although not everyone!) can make mental images, guided imagery helps them imagine going to vacation places.