Meditating is in a way, conquering your mind instead of your mind conquering you. And I’ll explain the reasons why in this post, as it goes hand in hand with knowing if you are meditating properly.
If you’re starting out with meditation, you’ve probably heard countless pieces of advice about how meditation needs to be done, and that you need to sit in a certain way.
Feel free to cut down all that noise and buzz, trying to sell you on their version of meditation. Nearly any meditation is good, as long as it gives you a deep sense of peace, tranquility, and the ability to remain present.
That said, I’ll go more into detail as to what some obvious signs are that you are meditating properly when you’re in the process of meditating, and you’ll also learn how you feel after the meditation which also indicates that your meditation was successful.
When starting out with meditation, it’s not always the easiest to know whether you’re on the right track.
Many, especially those who are doing meditation on their own, get sort of like an imposter syndrome because they feel like only a qualified teacher or guru is capable of making them meditate.
In reality, everyone has the capacity to meditate on their own, but not everyone wants to. I’ll divide the sign into external and internal signs that the meditation is working for you.
Table of Contents
Inner Sense of Peace
The tranquility you achieve with meditation is hard to put in words, but you feel like your worries start to fade away. It’s a genuine pause of the mind. In this case, I’m referring to mindful meditation when you let any thoughts flow freely in your mind without judgment.
When you are capable of feeling an inner sense of peace, you’re bypassing the blockage set by the mind to prevent you from enjoying meditation, to begin with.
If something is new for the mind, the mind will often jeopardize it because it prefers to remain within a comfortable territory. Even if a said practice is tedious.
Believe me, the mind is very good at convincing you to do things you don’t want to do, and you’ll often give in to that.
But by feeling an inner sense of peace, it’s a clear sign that you’ve bypassed your mind and you’re able to enjoy the meditation. This is an internal sign that the meditation is working properly.
At this point, you’ve pushed through the antagonizing thoughts often brought up by the mind to dissuade you from pursuing the practice.
You See Solutions Where Others See Problems
This would be an external sign that meditation is working for you. Many of us will automatically gravitate to what’s negative, it can take some effort to start seeing solutions and opportunities where others see problems.
Meditation allows you to do that. Keep in mind that meditation many times removes the clutter that’s on your mind and illuminates the path for you.
It does this by retaining your attention for prolonged periods of time on something or giving you a purpose. Many people use meditation for this very reason, they’re in the need to find themselves.
And what’s so great about meditation is that it can be a journey into yourself, as you start to listen to your thoughts without dwelling on them, attaching any labels, or judging them.
Allowing Thoughts To Flow
To dive deeper into what I mentioned earlier when it comes to the mind presenting unpleasant thoughts to dissuade our meditation practice, once you start to allow these thoughts instead of fighting them back, it’s another sign that the meditation is working correctly once you are in this meditative state.
Few people want to dive deeper into the unpleasant thought their mind brings them, and thus, they abstain from the meditation practice as a whole.
Shadow work meditation is the one that is specifically tailored to confront the side of you that you’re not happy with and be able to grow in the sense that you don’t let those thoughts affect you to the same degree they did at the beginning. In that sense, meditation provides a strong feeling of independence you didn’t know you had until you dove deeper into the entire journey.
Unpleasant thoughts will always be there nonetheless, it’s almost impossible to get rid of them completely, but the difference between meditating successfully and not is the degree to which those thoughts affect you.
If you’ve reached a point where those thoughts affect you less and less or don’t affect you at all, you’ve reached a point many could only dream of when starting out on meditation.
It’s worth keeping in mind that there’s a big misconception about what meditation is supposed to be like. Some see meditation as having no thoughts at all, but that’s literally impossible. Now, what you do with those thoughts will to a large extent dictate how properly you are meditating.
You’re Able To Keep Your Mind on The Meditation
This is yet another internal sign that your meditation is done correctly. If you find you’re only there with your focus for a certain time, the moment your mind starts going off to different places, you may want to cut the meditation there if you are a beginner.
That is unless you’re able to bring back the attention to your breath, surroundings, sensations, or thoughts.
What’s important, at least with mindfulness meditation, is that both your body and mind are there. Keeping those thoughts on the present has, in my experience, allowed me to feel some sort of energy flowing within me.
It’s something hard to explain, but if you feel something similar, it’s another sign that you’re on the right path and you’re not just feeling like meditating when you’re not.
Now, I should make clear that with meditation you can feel a wide range of signs indicating you’re doing it right, this isn’t some sort of checklist where everything mentioned here has to be checked, but if you feel any of the things I’ve mentioned so far, and am about to continue mentioning, it’s a sign.
You Lose Track of Time
One of the most prominent internal signs that you’re meditating properly is that you lose track of the time while engaging in deep meditation.
And you should. Your focus should never be on how much time is left of the meditation, but rather, when immersing yourself in the meditation so deep that you forget the notion of time completely, and you’re able to stay focused on the practice exclusively.
So if you’ve ever meditated for long, but your notion of time got so distorted that an hour-long meditation only felt like a few minutes went by, without you counting the time, it’s a very good sign that you are on track with the practice.
It’s only a matter of time till the benefits of meditation remain and stick through your day-to-day life.
This external sign should be obvious, but with meditation, the benefits are lasting and often carry over to the time you’re not meditating.
Meaning that if you felt a deep sense of peace while meditating, you’ll often feel it while not meditating as well, because it persists, as long as you continue meditating every day.
This will often translate into better, higher quality deeper sleep. And even be more mindful about your sleep. There are even some meditation practices that are guided and tailored to help individuals sleep better.
So not every meditation is meant exclusively for the benefits often attributed to mainstream mindful meditation.
Sleep is important for meditation, as sleep will give you the energy you need to carry on with extended periods of meditation without falling asleep to them, but rather, feel more energized. People many times forget that good sleep and meditation go hand in hand.
The quality of your meditation can deter if you’re not sleeping properly, so if you’ve had trouble meditating and staying focused, but your sleep hasn’t been the best, you’ll want to look into improving your sleep.