What Happens When You Stop Meditating?

Many individuals stop meditating for many reasons, but many times, it comes down to a lack of discipline, or not allowing the meditation to build enough momentum to reap what they sowed with the practice. However, even some that get past the momentum and experience the full-on benefits of meditation, still choose to abandon the practice. 

More often than not, those who have left meditation find themselves regretting their decision and wanting to come back to the practice, that’s for the minority that manages to build somewhat of a discipline with the practice and experience positive changes. 

There’s something addictive about being in a perpetually calm state without the fuzziness of the mind getting in the way. Fortunately, the benefits you obtain from meditation can many times remain for years to come or even a lifetime. 

That’s one of the beautiful things about meditation — should you ever abandon the practice, you can always come back and pick it up, even if it might take some momentum to build back to the progress you were in before. 

What Happens When You Stop Meditating?
Credits: Photo by Matheo JBT on Unsplash

You may find yourself skipping a day here and there, which is totally fine, but you’ll often see a difference in how you feel when you meditate as opposed to when you stop. Don’t let one skipped day turn into two, then three and so on, until you stop altogether.

Here are some of the things that you may experience but that also don’t necessarily apply to you:

Going From The Present to the Past or Future

When you stop meditating, it’s almost like surrendering your attention to be taken away by the future or present, since we aren’t conditioned by default to be in the present moment, which is often where you can find the most amount of calmness. 

Now, you may not notice this at first, because stopping meditation often means that you choose comfort over growth. 

Whenever you choose comfort, it’s almost as if your mind becomes too lazy to remain in the now and it seeks to be in a place where it doesn’t have to deal with the confrontation and discomfort that can come from the present moment. 

Living on autopilot can feel very comfortable, but often doesn’t lead to any growth, and that same price of comfort we end up paying with anxiety, and stress, which, if you ask me, I don’t think is a good trade-off, since almost anyone that experiences the beauty of the present can do so because they’ve learned to endure what comes with the present and still find beauty in it. 

There’s also a chance for you to remain present for years, even when you already stopped meditation since meditation is just one of the ways to remain present. But there are some that have gotten complete control over their mind to the point where they don’t feel they want to explore meditation anymore.

The Benefits Stop There

When it comes to the progress you’ve managed to build up with meditation, some of it will stay, and some of the progress will to revert what it was before you started meditating. 

Now, since meditation can have such a long-term effect, a lot of the benefits you’ve already cultivated might stay for years to come, or even for life. 

That will of course be the scope of the benefits you can experience with meditation, in turn, making the meditation experience somewhat limited but still beneficial enough to experience the changes you want to see, which is completely fine. 

But there’s something powerful with always expanding your scope of what’s possible and learning more about the world inside you

Some reach complacency with meditation and feel like they’ve experienced the peak, but there’s always one level up to go and there is always room for improving more and amplifying the benefits you’ve already attained along the way. 

Stopping Meditation Is Like Stopping Exercise

If you’ve ever stopped exercising or eating healthy, you’re likely to get a similar sensation from meditation. I’m sure we can all agree that there’s nothing fun about the strength and progress you’ve built wearing off. 

Meditation is also a way to let your mind rest, which isn’t necessarily something you’ll get from sleep to the same degree, in the sense that if you’re used to being stressed or anxious, sleep isn’t likely to have the same effect of dealing with it as meditation would. 

The combination of good sleep, exercise, eating healthy, and meditation are everything you need to be walking a path of becoming a more high-value individual, often for yourself. Because it’s how you see yourself that matters more than how others see you. 

You’re not really meditating for anyone else but yourself, which can be liberating in the sense of knowing that the direction you take your life, you have full control over, and how much you want to achieve is largely up to you. Simply controlling these variables that are within your control is likely to make everything else fall in place. 

Treat Meditation Like a Lifelong Practice

You shouldn’t treat meditation any different than you treat exercising, bruising your teeth or eating healthy. Although they may not seem to have a visible effect in the short term, these compounds ultimately help you become the type of individual that you strive to become. 

Neglecting these habits will also compound and can lead to irreversible regret later down the line, so while you’re still in time, choose wisely. 

Your Emotions Take Control Over You

Each time you say no to your emotions and say yes to meditation, you are training a muscle and allowing yourself to take control over your emotions, as opposed to having your emotions take control over you. 

However, if you stop meditating, you may not notice this change right away but the emotions that were often convincing you to have fun at the expense of your growth will gradually do a better job at convincing you and making you succumb to them. 

The way you can keep your discipline is through meditation, even if the meditation you do is on the shorter end. Short meditations are better than no meditations, at the very least, you’d be keeping the consistency habit, which is far more important than intensity. 

Those emotions that once had taken control over how you react to different things in your day-to-day will continue to do so until you put a stop to them. It’s either your true self or what you are feeling that often controls which course your life moves. 

Final Thoughts

While there are many reasons to keep meditating, there are some things that will never wear off and always play in your favor. 

For instance, if you’ve managed to become traumas or fears, it will often serve you for life, and that’s not something that wears off. 

Especially if you’ve worked with your shadow and overcome it. If you’ve managed to conquer your fear, doing so later down the line will be easier, regardless of if you meditate or not. Meditation alone can be a means to an end to building habits that, on their own, remain with you permanently. 

There are no right and wrong reasons to meditate, there’s just right for us. As long as you manage to stick with the habit long enough to create lasting change, even if you choose to stop later down the line, you’re gonna be far ahead of most meditators, since most abandon the practice. 

There’s almost nothing more gratifying than looking at yourself in the mirror to realize you’ve become closely aligned with your true self and as close to the best version of yourself as you can be. 

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