The Surprising Truth about Unpleasant Experiences During Meditation

The Surprising Truth about Unpleasant Experiences During Meditation

The Surprising Truth

about unpleasant experiences during meditation.

Meditation can be calming, but it can also be disturbing. A recent study confirmed what many practitioners already knew.

Common Mindfulness Questions Answered

Mindfulness A hot topic right now. And for good reason. Mindfulness has a range of benefits. Whether you want to practice mindfulness to help you deal better with stress or to help you live a more positive life, you’re likely to have lots of questions. This article...

“Remember the blue sky. It may at times be obscured by clouds, but it is always there.”

– Andy Puddicombe

Mindfulness creates a wide range of experiences.

More than 25% of adults who meditate regularly reported having an unpleasant experience related to their practice, according to research led by the University College London. Fearfulness and distorted emotions and thoughts were more common among men and participants who used a deconstructive approach.

Before you give up your cushion, it may help to compare meditation to therapy. You often feel worse before you make a breakthrough, but the process is still worthwhile.

To put it another way, you have to tear apart your kitchen to renovate it. In the same way, your mind might seem messier temporarily, but you’re still making progress.

Be prepared for the challenges on the path to mindfulness. Take a look at these common mental and physical obstacles to meditation and what to do about them.

Mental Obstacles to Meditation:

  1. Adjust your expectations. You may feel disappointed if you heard that meditation makes you blissful, but you’re more agitated than when you started. Remember that mindfulness will shine more light on anything that’s going on in your life.
  2. Pace yourself. Many beginners are uncomfortable meditating for more than a few minutes at a time. Brief sessions can be productive, and you’ll probably be more successful if you increase your time gradually.
  3. Sample different styles. If contemplating emptiness makes you uneasy, try another method. Focus on your breath or think about loving kindness.
  4. Suspend judgements. Some participants in the London study were also troubled by negative repetitive thoughts. Practice looking at your thoughts without assigning blame. Try to reframe situations from a more positive perspective.
  5. Examine your values. If meditation is part of your religion, your faith may help you deal with unpleasant experiences. Whatever your beliefs, turn to your personal sources of strength and support.
  6. Empathize with yourself. Be gentle with yourself while you’re struggling. Accept your feelings and remember that you deserve to be happy.

Physical Obstacles to Meditation:

  1. Sit up straight. Meditation is easier if you practice good posture. Distribute your weight evenly over your sit bones and elongate your spine. Draw your shoulders down and back.

  2. Strengthen your core. A firm core will keep you comfortable during meditation and other daily activities. Do exercises like planks and leg raises to tone each muscle. Use your breath to expand and soften your abdomen on each inhalation and contract slightly on each exhalation.

  3. Stretch regularly. Training for flexibility will make you more limber. Focus on movements that open up your hips.

  4. Move around. Walking meditation is a constructive alternative for anyone who has trouble sitting for too long. Pick a quiet and safe place where you can pace slowly in a circle. If you like walking in a group, invite a friend or check the schedule at a local yoga or meditation studio.

  5. Dress in layers. You may feel too hot or cold as your body temperature fluctuates during meditation. Wear a sweater or shawl over a t-shirt or any outfit that will let you make quick adjustments as needed.

  6. Eat light. Digesting a heavy meal or listening to your stomach rumble can be distracting. You may want to stop eating a few hours before each meditation session or have a light snack like tea and yogurt.

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England, UK

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Common Mindfulness Questions Answered

Common Mindfulness Questions Answered

Mindfulness

A hot topic right now. And for good reason.

Mindfulness has a range of benefits. Whether you want to practice mindfulness to help you deal better with stress or to help you live a more positive life, you’re likely to have lots of questions. This article will answer 8 of the most common ones.

The Surprising Truth about Unpleasant Experiences During Meditation

The Surprising Truth about unpleasant experiences during meditation. Meditation can be calming, but it can also be disturbing. A recent study confirmed what many practitioners already knew.“Remember the blue sky. It may at times be obscured by clouds, but it is always...

Common Mindfulness Questions Answered

Mindfulness A hot topic right now. And for good reason. Mindfulness has a range of benefits. Whether you want to practice mindfulness to help you deal better with stress or to help you live a more positive life, you’re likely to have lots of questions. This article...

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“Your goal is not to battle with the mind, but to witness the mind” 

– Swami Muktananda

1. How do I do it?

The short answer is that you can practice mindfulness and meditation in the way that suits you best. Some people enjoy traditional meditation, sitting in silence on a cushion. Other people use guided meditations on their smartphones or computers. It’s important to integrate mindfulness into your everyday activities, taking the time be genuinely aware of the present moment. You can even practice mindful walking. The best way to
practice mindfulness is the way that feels right to you

2. How do I breathe properly?

You may feel like you should force your breath into some pattern or control it in some way, such as trying to slow it down. But that’s not necessary. It’s best just to feel and experience your breath. As you begin to relax, your breathing will naturally slow down and regulate on its own. Try not to judge yourself for not doing it ‘right.’ Don’t try to control or channel your breath, just keep observing and allowing. Simply let the breath breathe you.

3. How do I stop my mind wandering?

If you find a way, let me know! It’s natural for your mind to wander or be distracted. Our mind thinks. That’s just what it does. Even highly-experienced mindfulness practitioners have wandering minds! Everyone does!

Most of us spend our days worrying about the future or brooding over the past. We don’t often stay in the present, but it is the way to inner peace and calm. Be kind to yourself and don’t judge your mind for falling back into familiar patterns of thinking. Bring your attention back to the present and use your breath to keep bringing your attention back to focus on the here and now.

4. How do I find the time for mindfulness?

This one’s easy! You don’t have to set aside special time to bring mindfulness into your life. In fact, you can enhance your formal meditation time by integrating mindfulness practice wherever you are. You can use these prompts throughout the day to return your attention to the present moment and take some deep conscious breaths:

  • In the shower
  • During your daily commute
  • Waiting in line, or for an elevator, or for a meeting to start
  • Before you start your car
  • While you’re booting up your computer or opening your inbox
  • While you’re waiting for your coffee
  • Before answering the phone
  • Take advantage of all these ‘lost moments’ in your day to turn them into mindful moments!

My Practice

Location

Tamworth, Staffs
England, UK

Make an Appointment

Let’s break the ice over a cuppa

Open Hours

Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday: 3pm – 6pm