If you've wanted to get started with meditation for a while but haven't quite managed it, don't feel bad. A lot of people have problems getting a meditation practice up and running.

Why? One reason is that there really is something inherently hard in spending time alone with the clutter in our heads. It's hard to avoid your internal contradictions, long-repressed fears, and incessant need for validation when you're doing nothing but sitting still observing your breath. (Which is, of course, the whole point, but that doesn't make it easy.)

But often, as Pedram Shojai, author of The Art of Stopping Time, notes in the video above, we also make meditation harder than it has to be. A lot of science and fellow meditation experts back him up, pointing out several needless hurdles to getting started.

1. You chose the wrong type of meditation.

While Shojai focuses on the mistaken belief that we need special clothes, long unbroken periods of time, or dedicated spaces for meditation (hint: you don't), others note that people also make starting meditation more difficult by choosing the wrong practice.

While all mindfulness shares certain essential similarities, there are actually a variety of ways to take your first steps on your meditation journey. Knowing that fact, as well as your own preferences, can help you choose the type of meditation that's going to present the lowest bar to entry.

"The type of meditation matters," researchers Bethany Kok and Tania Singer, who tried out various forms of meditation, concluded. Here's more on their work if you're wondering which type of mindfulness might be best for you.

2. You're trying to meditate for way too long.

"Even if it's five breathes, it's better than not doing it," Shojai says in the video. Science is on his side. Studies have shown that meditation starts to rewire your brain for the better after as little as 20 minutes a day.

If even that seems out of reach for you at the moment, don't despair. A host of meditation teachers agree with Shojai that even just a few minutes a day is enough to get started with mindfulness. "Just do it," advises meditation site Wildmind. "If you can only manage 20 minutes a day, do 20 minutes. If you can only manage 10, do that. If three minutes is all you have, then spending three minutes is much, much better than not doing so."

3. You think you need to leave the world behind.

Not true, insists meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg. "You don't have to leave the world behind," she says. "It doesn't belong in the realm of woo-woo weird things. It's mental training. It's so accessible." In fact, Salzberg offers examples of "stealth meditations" you can do basically anytime, anywhere, such as single-mindedly savoring a cup of tea or pausing to ground yourself before picking up a ringing phone.

"You can get the benefits of a formal meditation practice by weaving mini meditations into your daily life," concurs psychologist Mike Brooks. He recommends similar mini meditations that literally everyone has time for, including ones you can do while waiting in line at Starbucks or driving to work.