If you’re reading this, you already know that there are a lot of benefits to meditation, but have you ever wondered what would happen if you were to meditate too much? and is that even possible? In this article, we’ll explore the impact of long periods of meditation and if you should do it.
Getting started with meditation is easy, even if some may have you believe otherwise, but when you meditate too much, you could in theory reach a point where that’s all you want to do.
That’s because meditation gives you a feel-good sensation, but the best part is that it’s natural, and you don’t depend on anything external for that to happen. In my experience, there’s no such a thing as meditating too much, but there is what I call meditation fatigue.
Meditation fatigue is when someone sets a high minute count for meditation, more commonly, beginners, but fails to meet their own expectations of forecasted meditation time, and therefore, gives up on the practice altogether.
You’ve heard about the benefits of 40 to 60-minute meditations and you want to experience that as well, despite being new to the space. Meditating for that long definitely has its benefits, but not optimal for everyone. And may not be optimal for those starting out, this is because it may be too much at once.
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Your Body and Mind Aren’t Always Prepared
If you’re new to meditation and you set the goal to meditate for a very long period, it will make you feel good, but because it’s a completely new routine, your body and mind can push back against it. We aren’t used to observing thoughts without judgment or focusing on our breath for long.
So those who are new, to you may benefit more from doing the change gradually, starting off at twenty minutes and as they get more acquainted with meditation and incorporate it as a routine, it becomes easier to extend the time.
At least, that’s what I have observed with myself, and based on an educated guess, not everyone is gonna be prepared for hour-long meditations when they first start out.
That’s not to say that it can’t be done, since we’re all different. The practice can be seen as a bit like working out, it isn’t optimal to start with the heaviest weights and push the hardest, then give up. Motivation comes and goes, but discipline is what forms the routine, and meditation it’s no exception.
Can You Meditate Too Little?
It’s always best to set a reasonable balance of what your body and mind can handle when it comes to meditation. But there is actually a thing such as meditating too little. Or at least, meditating too little to notice any changes.
While meditating for less than 10 minutes is better than not doing it whatsoever, you’re unlikely to see any changes, at least, at first. In reality, there’s no right and wrong way to meditate, so long as the attention is kept on the present moment.
Some people do manage to get a full-body relaxation in ten minutes, but that hasn’t been my experience, and I can’t vouch for that. In my experience, a beginner should meditate at least 20 minutes a day, at the bare minimum 10 to notice any changes.
What Changes Occur With Meditation?
Meditation has been shown to change the brain, by increasing individuals’ awareness and concentration, as well as their ability to make decisions. And while this actually can be done meditating a few minutes a day, I’ve noticed these changes becoming more evident while doing it longer, you may find it different.
Aside from the benefits mentioned, some of the additional benefits include improved sleep and mood. My suggestion is to combine meditation with sleep, many end up falling asleep anyways, at worst, you’d just have completed a meditation session.
Realizing that meditation doesn’t have to be as complicated as many point it to be, virtually, everyone has the time to meditate. Improved focus aids the practice of meditation, something meditation on its own gives you.
If you’ve found it challenging to keep your attention on something, you’d be surprised by how a natural practice like meditation can restructure your brain, all by committing just a few minutes of your day.
Why Does Meditation Help You Think Better?
You may think your mind is at rest when you’re sleeping, but it’s not. Thoughts are constantly flowing, and one of the major benefits of meditation is that it lets those thoughts rest. It’s almost comparable to exercise, without rest, muscles won’t grow.
I’m no expert but it’s pretty clear that if the mind is constantly thinking and not given time to rest, it’s harder to see any of the changes otherwise obtained through meditation, not impossible though since meditation is one of the avenues through self-upgrade.
Meditation is one of those things your mind needs but doesn’t know they need until you start experiencing it. Now, in no way am I saying that meditation is a substitute for sleep, they would go perfectly hand in hand.
Are There Any Cons to Meditation?
While there’s no such thing as meditating too much, there is such a thing as using meditation as a way to escape reality, given its relaxing nature. This can lead someone to think it’s the solution to all their problems when it’s not.
Meditation is kind of like a tool, and one of its uses is to help us manage the day-to-day challenges we face, without being a complete solution to them. It’s great to incorporate meditation in the day-to-day, but it’s within us to tackle any challenges we face and not have an escapist mindset with meditation.
A major plus of meditation is finding comfort and peace in the present moment, even if the situation we’re currently facing isn’t the top of the top.
One of the things the practices teaches you, is to be okay with yourself and with what you’re facing, ultimately giving you the opportunity to turn an unfavorable present into a favorable one, when we otherwise would find a favorable situation in the future or past, places where we aren’t yet but can bring to the now through meditation.