I think it’s generally recognized that meditation has some wonderful health benefits and there is nothing inherently harmful about meditation.
But like anything that leaves you feeling really good it is open to abuse.
During meditation a lot of people feel an overwhelming sense of joy rising and permeating their whole body. It feels like they’re floating and like every single cell is tingling with electricity.
This is a very uplifting and restorative feeling.
So when you’ve had a bad day at work and you go home, meditate, and all of your troubles just seem to float away and you’re left feeling at peace with the world and happy, there is a danger that you will start to use meditation as an escape from your life.
This of course becomes an addictive behavior as you prefer to spend longer and longer periods meditating instead of facing the issues you are experiencing that make you want to meditate in the first place.
And with any addiction, this can have disastrous consequences as you start to crave meditation more and more without realizing that you are basically turning your back on the world.
Meditation, if done correctly and with the right intention, gives you the ability to observe your problems taking place and tackle them head-on but without being entangled in them.
It’s like you remove yourself from the situation and you’re watching somebody else have problems and not you. And we all know how easy it is to solve someone else’s problems right.
If you do find yourself being pulled in to a meditation addiction, you would be wise to seek professional counseling to understand what you are trying to avoid in life and help put that back into perspective. All addictions seem to be an escape from something else. But usually, the escape can just delay the original problem and often compound it so that when you do eventually have to face the problem, it’s become much greater and even more difficult to solve.
Definitely seek professional help.
Meditation Just Doesn’t Work for You
There’s nothing worse than signing up for something that is supposed to transform your life only to find that it simply doesn’t work for you.
Meditation can reduce stress, bring joy, provide peace, bring awareness, improve health and relationships. But meditation isn’t for everyone. Some people find meditation very frustrating and that can leave them feeling more stressed and anxious .
If you find yourself in that situation, you can try a different form of meditation. Maybe the one you tried just didn’t allow your mind to relax and release its grip.
See my post – What is the Right Meditation for Me?
If you’ve tried a few varieties, then maybe meditation just isn’t for you right now. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be at some point in your future. But rather than struggle with an uphill path that just adds to your unhappiness, then just give it a break for now. It’s just not the right time.
You’re not bad. You’re not a loser. You’re not inferior. Your mind will try to tell you those things, but simply, it’s just not the right time for you right now.
If you are struggling with meditation, check out my self paced Meditation Boot Camp. It’s completely free.
Your Friends Think You’re Weird
OK, so that’s not really a danger, but it is a funny side effect of meditating.
When you experience your first “interesting” meditation phenomena, you will naturally want to share your excitement with your friends. But almost as soon as you open your mouth, you hear the words and you see your friends expressions change from curiosity, to bewilderment, to concern. They simply cannot relate to your new hobby unless they’ve experienced anything even remotely close.
However, meditation is becoming much more mainstream and accepted. So this is less likely to happen. After all, every yoga class you do ends in a quiet relaxation period.
You Grow a Doofy Beard
This has happened to the best of us. This is not dangerous but it has the ability to scare people 🙂
So whilst meditation is not inherently dangerous, there are a few areas where meditators can come unstuck and meditation starts to have a negative impact on their life.
If you feel like you’re becoming addicted to meditation and are using it to avoid uncomfortable or stressful situations, you should definitely seek professional help and start analyzing the root cause of the need for escape.
If meditation causes more stress and frustration because it doesn’t seem to be working for you, then try a different style of meditation or just give it a break. Now is probably not the right time.
There are a few more problematic scenarios if you take the next steps towards enlightenment, but those I can cover in another video or blog post.
Thanks everyone and be safe. Please meditate responsibly.