Meditation is generally seen as something healthy for us, for some it as important as getting enough rest, eating well, and getting daily exercise. But could it be dangerous in some ways?
Meditation doesn’t present a physical danger, such as climbing a mountain without the proper equipment or operating a power tool without proper training does. But it does have things about it you need to be aware of in terms of the mind.
Let’s explore it together and discuss what to do so you can enjoy safe and productive meditation.
You Might Feel Doubts
Many newcomers to meditation often feel doubtful of their ability to perform the action. They might wonder, “Is this meditation stuff doing me any good? Should I be partaking in another activity such as working out, preparing a healthy meal, praying or reading scripture, or being in nature?”
You certainly COULD do any of those activities if you like, but you should start by being kind to yourself, and having confidence in yourself.
One workout isn’t going to make you an Olympic athlete. One healthy meal won’t undo unhealthy eating habits. But as you do these things time and time again, you become stronger, and you become more set in your newfound, healthy habits.
The same goes for meditation. The more we do it, the more the stress in our bodies gets lowered. We add gray matter to the prefrontal cortex of the brain, where our emotions are regulated, thus helping us become more even-keeled when things get stressful.
And the more you do it, the more you will feel yourself getting better. So just take it slow, one session at a time, and feel yourself grow.
You Might Have “Monkey Mind”
No, that’s not a term we made up- that’s a real term used by Buddhists to describe the racing nature of our brains. In our society, our minds are told to go a mile a minute. Devices ding and vibrate. Supervisors call for us to complete tasks. Children ask for things. You worry about your home.
This is not your fault, it is the way the human mind is wired to work. Our job is to train our brains to slow down and take it easy.
One meditation session is not going to stop your “monkey mind.” Once more, you need to be kind to yourself and practice meditation daily if you can. Don’t get angry with yourself; instead, be glad you notice your mind racing and refocus on your meditative state.
Practice makes perfect, especially in meditation.
When you are left to your own devices to let your mind wander, sometimes your head goes to a dark place. Rest assured that this is normal. You might even feel upset about having to meditate. Some folks think of it as a waste of time at first, for example.
You might even feel pain in the knees if you have chosen to sit on the floor, or perhaps the chair you’re using isn’t the best for meditation. Shifting your position is OK if you feel discomfort, and you can use a chair that works for you- there’s no need to force yourself on the floor if you feel discomfort or cannot bend your knees.
Figure out what you need to be comfortable with and go for it. Then, when it comes to the negative thoughts, use your meditation time to figure out the root of the problem. Once you have figured out what’s causing you to feel this way, you can take steps to mitigate it.
You Might Desire Sensory Stimuli
During meditation, you are to remain still and quiet. When left to your own devices, this can leave you feeling like you need something- anything- to do. After all, our days are filled from the moment we get up till the moment we fall asleep, so the act of thinking and meditating feels almost hollow like something is missing.
You might feel like you want something to eat. You might wish you could watch a video or look out the window- anything that brings you happiness or joy via your senses.
If you are learning to be mindful, observe these feelings with care. Let it come to you, but then let it float away, like a balloon filled with helium you let go of. Not indulging in every little craving you ever feel is a wonderful way to make yourself mentally stronger!
Meditating is a way to relax and let the mind flow freely. But this can lead you to become tired since you are sitting in one place in a comfortable position. This is normal, and you shouldn’t feel bad if you begin to feel so relaxed that you feel sluggish after the practice.
If you feel yourself becoming this way, it’s OK to take a step or two. Walking meditation is also a thing, and if you feel that’s more your style, feel free to look into it.
Mindful breathing is also important. You can focus on your breath cycles- inhale, exhale, one, inhale, exhale, two, and so on. You can close off one nostril and breathe, or you can stand and meditate.
Meditation is not a one-method practice and there are plenty of ways to go about it. Try to find a way that works for you!
Still Have Concerns? Try A Guided Program
Guided meditation programs exist. You can find them in the form of books, such as The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness, or you can choose from guided programs online that are sold in the form of eBooks and audio files.
One that we like is called 15 Minute Manifestation. This guided program helps you in just 15 minutes every day.
The program consists of three audio tracks that give off theta brainwaves. These brainwaves work to reprogram our minds and turn our thoughts into positive, productive ones. Neuro-feedback is used to provide a positive impression on your behaviors, emotions, and ability to make good decisions.
What Are the Three Tracks?
Track one is “The Natural State.” This is used to help us realize the potential we have and overcome mental barriers that hold us back from understanding this potential. For example, if you wanted to own your own business but the fear of failure held you back, this would help you see that you CAN do it.
Track two is “Your New Story.” Now that you are free from the mental burdens that held you down in the first place, you can begin creating the framework of the goals and dreams you’d like to achieve and make them happen, with a newfound mindset.
Track three is “Moving To Abundance.” Your new way of thinking is great, but others are going to try and bring you down. This track is designed to help you break the cycle of negativity that is ever-present in our world, and steer you toward achieving your goals without paying any mind to the nay-sayers.
Meditation is an incredible tool for your well-being. Learn how to do it, and don’t be afraid if you stumble at first. With practice and patience, you will become an old pro in no time.