Most people think that meditation will give them super focus, increased inner awareness, emotional stability, and improved cognitive function. Plus, there is growing evidence that many of these statements are true, just read all the scientific benefits of meditation.
To the outsider, all the hype surrounding meditation makes this practice seem like a utopia, a "magic thing" for mental and physical health. Unfortunately, not everyone experiences the noticeable benefits of meditation. Some people find that meditation only exacerbates their existing problems or creates new ones: mood swings, severe brain fog, or depression.
Here’s some effects to be aware of during meditation:
Time span. It all depends on the time that has passed since the beginning of the practice. Newcomers are more prone to hallucinations and feelings of anxiety, due to a lack of understanding of the ongoing neural changes in the brain. In some cases, it is better to stop or change the type of meditation.
Frequency: Those who meditate several times a day are more likely to run into problems than those who meditate only once a week. As the frequency rises, the brain and physiology adjust, directing attention inward. This unnatural direction of attention leads to psychological problems.
Duration: As with frequency, it is also important to observe measure and consistency. Experienced practitioners can be in a meditative state for a long time. Beginners, on the other hand, should concentrate first on the advice of the masters and quality.
Technique: It is important to understand that the more you meditate, the more you essentially "shape" your brain in a special way through neuroplasticity. If the neural patterns caused by meditation make you feel physically and mentally healthier, chances are you will want to strengthen them.
However, if the neural patterns triggered by meditation make you feel constantly worse, there is no need to reinforce them. The "shaping" of your neural activity will differ greatly depending on the specific type of meditation you are practicing.
Is it possible that meditation could be harmful ?
List of potential situations associated with meditation. Understand that both the severity and the number of “hazards” people face are subject to significant individual differences. You can fight dissociation while the other person can fight brain fog.
Attachment One potential danger is that the meditator may become overly attached to the meditative experience. This attachment can be associated with the emotions experienced during a deep meditative state, or with an esoteric, subjective experience. Attachment is dangerous in that some people may drop all other important "earthly" activities (eg work, food, friendship) in order to focus on meditation. Excessive obsession and attachment to meditative experiences can be detrimental to psychological health.
Brain fog In some cases, excessive meditation can actually cause brain fog. Brain fog is insidious in the sense that it can interfere with a person's work or study. This is usually caused by abnormally slow brain waves, changes in brain activation, and excessive relaxation - without proper stimulation from the sympathetic nervous system.
Cognitive impairment Meditation can significantly increase your cognitive power, but it can also impair it. If you have already achieved great results and notice that your thoughts are becoming less organized and you cannot concentrate, this is probably meditation. Cognitive impairment can be dangerous in the sense that it can jeopardize work or academic performance.
Rave There are many types of delusions that you can experience while meditating. You may believe that you were sent on a mission from some godly person to change the world. Or you will believe that the more you meditate, the more chances you have to reincarnate into a higher being. Delusions are considered false beliefs that have no basis in reality and are often experienced by meditators. The basis for these misconceptions may be neural changes as a result of excessive internal focus and lack of balance with external reality.
Depersonalization This is a kind of loss of individuality. The more you meditate, the more likely you are to end up experiencing an altered state of consciousness. Not all altered states of consciousness are beneficial to your standard waking state. In an altered state, you may feel as if you are emotionally numb or disconnected. You may feel as if your soul has been sucked out of your body and you will never get it back. Depersonalization can be scary for some people and cause long-term discomfort.
Detachment Many meditation practitioners preach that the meditator should remain “detached” from sensations, experiences, and the physical world. While detachment can be helpful in dealing with certain scenarios, if a person makes the practice a way of life, they may feel disconnected and perhaps less human. For some it can be confusing, for others it can be taken to the extreme.
Dissociation You may feel that you are separate from the rest of the world or dissociated. This dissociation can be extreme, especially if you force yourself to meditate for a long time. Others may find that dissociation fades over time, but it can cause significant discomfort.
Emotional enhancement Some people experience emotional amplification, as if someone is turning up the volume or brightness of their emotions. Happiness is felt much more intense than usual, but depression is also on the move. This emotional enhancement can be associated with increased inner awareness as well as specific neural changes caused by meditation.
Emotional numbness Others may find that they feel emotionally numb after meditation. This numbness is associated with depersonalization or dissociation. Many people would rather feel some emotions (even if they are unpleasant) than complete numbness. This numbness can impair your ability to relate to others, empathize, or be in society.
Hallucinations Many people experience both hypnagogic hallucinations and hypnopompic hallucinations during meditation practice. Although they are considered relatively benign, more dangerous hallucinations are possible. Hallucinations may be more common among people with pre-existing mental illness, but can occur among people who meditate excessively and isolate themselves.
Hypersensitivity Many people become hypersensitive during meditation. Hypersensitivity can be related to other people's emotions (for example, being overly sympathetic), or simply hypersensitivity to sensory experiences. For example, you may perceive sounds as painfully loud or lights as blindingly bright.
Narcissism Some meditators believe that practice automatically makes them superior to others. The combination of social isolation and the idea that meditation somehow improves their performance can lead them to view non-meditators as intellectually disabled or unhealthy. This unhealthy perception can lead to narcissism.
Relaxation Anxiety For some people, over-relaxation can lead to feelings of anxiety. Excessive relaxation without any appropriate stimulating balance can lead a person to a state of brain fog, intense emotions, and an inability to concentrate.
Meditation itself is a neutral act designed to raise awareness or develop a specific state of mind. It should be seen as a tool. However, it is important to recognize that this tool is not suitable for every person on the planet.
Humans did not evolve by sitting and focusing all their attention inward - they evolved by focusing their attention outward on the environment. For most people, meditation brings significant cognitive, psychological, and physical health benefits.