When you start your meditation journey, you will have a wide range of different signs telling you you’re on the right path.
However, other things you may feel while meditating that affect you on a psychological level is an indication you should reevaluate the meditation you’re doing, as there’s a dark side, and while meditation is open for everyone and most should give it a try, meditation isn’t for everyone.
For the average individual meditating, what they feel is completely harmless, as in the case of goosebumps that some feel when meditating. It’s actually a good indication you’re on the right path and you’re merely integrating the discipline into your life.
Others experience vibrations, something that’s also both normal and innocent in the meditation practice.
However, the line of when meditation is affecting someone psychologically or if someone is growing as a part of the meditation and experiences some discomfort is blurred.
So while meditation is generally a safe and a must-do habit, it doesn’t hurt to get insights from a primary care physician, so long as such physician doesn’t have a negative bias against meditation. In fact, many recommend meditation to their clients.
If you’re meditating and experiencing some discomfort, as in the case of goosebumps, you’re unlikely to experience anything that would have an adverse effect on your daily life. Meditation can be compared a bit to running every day.
Both have a positive impact on your day to day but with running, you always run the risk of falling, but that doesn’t mean you should stop running.
With meditation, we can apply the same principle, as meditation is one of the safest disciplines you can do, and so long as you manage to sit through the discomfort you’re exposed to, as a result of thoughts you may not agree with, over the long haul, it would result in your personal growth.
But going deeper into goosebumps, we’ll dive into what these goosebumps could mean when you’re meditating.
When you’re no longer subject to the control the mind puts you through, (often unknowingly, which can be reflected in your day to day habits and subconscious reactions) you allow yourself to take a step back and become liberated from what you thought defined your identity, giving you the freedom to find yourself.
Our mind is often cluttered by worry and stress that emanates from things that are out of our control, and we would feel helpless and powerless, and this affects our concentration.
The less we can concentrate on something, the less we’re able to learn from said things we’re doing or learning. It’s only through deliberate, also known as mindful practice, we can learn the ins and outs of something and progress.
By default, these days it’s hard to keep our concentration, especially with the social media apps we have today and every distraction available at our fingertip that we deliberately engage in like mindless zombies.
When you experience goosebumps, however, it could either mean two things, in my experience.
One is that your mind isn’t ready for the meditation, and tries to stop it by any means possible. Either by making you uncomfortable or flashing unpleasant imagery in front of you, in hopes that you will get in and stop doing what you’re doing.
With many of the sensations we feel during meditation, our attention tends to wander there to break us out of the flow state.
If you let this happen, you’re surrendering the control of your attention to the mind. If you bring your attention back to your breath, you’re training yourself to keep your attention still at all times, no matter the circumstance, something that’s reflected in your daily life.
The mind seeks thrills and dopamine many times. The problem is that the source of dopamine doesn’t tend to hold on for long since the mind has reached a stage where it needs to meet a strict threshold for the release of dopamine, which makes it harder to get the enjoyment out of things.
Fortunately, meditation can restore this and make us enjoy everything we do, aside from bringing our awareness to said things.
With meditation, for the mind, it can be like getting into unknown territory, which, over the long haul, can make meditation enjoyable for the mind. That is when we’ve normalized the feelings of deep focus and entered a state of peace.
There usually are two ends of the spectrum when it comes to mediation. We either see it as boring, more commonly seen in beginners or we enjoy the practice and not just the end result, more commonly seen in those that have meditated for a while.
But it’s not exclusive to just advanced meditators, as novices applying the same principles can get the thrill of meditation relatively quickly, so long as their meditation is devoid of expectations, something that’s hard, to begin with.
With the thrill we feel from meditation, we’re more likely to feel these goosebumps, but can also be a response from our nervous system. After all, meditation makes us feel a wide range of emotions that can range from light to extreme, with the extreme often being the shadow.
At its core principles, meditation is allowing any thought or emotion that comes up, and rather than tackling such thought or emotion, allowing it to be as we focus on our breath and remain present.
While goosebumps are common in many meditators, just because you don’t experience goosebumps doesn’t mean you’re not meditating properly, as concentration and entering a flow state can look different from person to person.
Even novices can experience goosebumps as meditation is something that is adopted successfully, is a discipline that needs to be integrated without trying to force anything.
No matter how frantic an emotion feels during meditation, the more we observe it and detach ourselves from it the less of an effect it would have.
This is easier said than done, of course, but meditation is one of those things where you’d have to try it for yourself to experience anything of what we’re talking about here.
Should You Be Worried About Goosebumps?
For the most part, you should just let goosebumps happen and treat it as a natural byproduct of the meditation you’re doing.
There are of course exceptions. If the goosebumps make you feel anxious or any emotion that has a lasting effect on you, post-meditation, you’ll want to get the perspective of a professional or even reconsider your entire meditation practice.
Alternatively, find a meditation that suits you that doesn’t revolve around being alone with your thoughts. For many, this is the hardest thing they can do, as winning in meditation for many is conquering ourselves.
The more we conquer ourselves the more we can “conquer” our environment based on our specific goals and needs.
Goosebumps, so long as they’re absent from any psychological effect, is just a part of the meditation and something that, if you were to get, use as a sign to continue whichever meditation you’re on.