By now it’s widely accepted that meditation is one of the best rituals we can do for ourselves. Keeping a regular meditation practice has been shown to lower stress, increase focus, and decrease feelings of anxiety. Spiritually, endless practitioners have talked about how meditation helps them find an inner stillness and balance, to be at peace with themselves.

But for all the benefits is has to offer, meditation has an elusive and esoteric nature. It’s hard to explain to novices or naysayers what makes it so different from any other activity they might try. Yet that’s precisely what makes it so powerful.

Here are three ways that meditation is totally unique, even paradoxical, and yet so totally worthwhile as a regular practice.

Meditation Is An Investment, But Costs No Money  

Meditation is essentially free: it costs zero dollars to sit down for a few minutes and be still. Of course, there’s always the option to enhance your practice by buying guidebooks, attending meditation classes, or enjoying a meditation retreat. But these aren’t necessary to the act of meditation itself. There’s no price to pay for just being. And yet, meditation is a huge investment in your state of mind and overall health. What you are investing is not dollars, but time, just a few minutes every day. And it’s always worth it.

Meditation Isn’t Easy For Anyone, Yet It’s Available To Everyone   

Meditation is challenging for everyone in the beginning because it’s not like anything else we do. There’s the sitting still, the awkward silence, those bizarre moments when you’re thinking about how whether or not you should be thinking. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who says it that comes naturally to them. And yet everyone is capable of meditating. You don’t need to be a certain age or race or education level to start: all you need is a little bit of time and patience, and the willingness to sit through the strangeness of it all. In other words, meditation doesn’t require you to change anything about yourself in order to be a practitioner. But meditation will certainly change you, and for the better.

You Don’t Have to Be “Good” At Meditation, But It Is Still Good For You  

There are days when meditation just won’t go well: you’ll feel anxious in your seat or your mind will wander more than usual. In the beginning, these sorts of blah days might make you say, “I’m no good at this, so what’s the point?”. But meditation isn’t about mastery, and it’s not about being the best or even being good; it’s about just sitting down and sitting through it all. That’s the only way you’ll see the results over time. Just like you don’t have to be an amazing athlete to benefit from a little exercise, you don’t have to be a guru to benefit from meditation.

Meditation is not a miracle worker and it certainly isn’t easy: and yet it is one of the most accessible and powerful health and wellness tools we have at our disposal. If you know any skeptics or naysayers (heck, if you’re one of them), tell them that meditation’s unusual nature is precisely what makes it so good for us.