Have you tried meditating? Does it have a darker side?

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Have you tried meditating? Does it have a darker side?

I’ve just read an article in New Scientist about the darker side of meditation.

Its surprising to learn that for some, meditation can mean depression, mania, hallucinations, terror, psychotic breakdowns.

On long meditation retreats, the outcome can be distressing for some, but blissful for others. David Shapiro of California University found that 7% experienced profoundly adverse effects, including panic and depression. Apparently is doesn’t matter if you are an experienced meditator or not.

After a relationship breakdown a few years ago, I went on a 3 day silent meditation in Dorset, and although I cried and let go of a load of baggage on the first day, I found a lot of peace, and continued to meditate when I got home, although the car drive back was a nightmare, because of the noise, the madness of the traffic, the pressure of driving, almost negated the whole 3 day experience.
Also,  I used to meditate for 30 – 45 minutes every morning with a friend in the village. I was usually away with the fairies and in a state of bliss, she , however, seemed quite distressed at times, because it was hard to relax the mind and feel happier and serene.
My take away from the article that relates to life, fitness, wellness and your self esteem is this – mindfulness can be a stressful thing. Trying to focus on your awareness om what you are feeling and thinking can be demanding on the brain.

When the “bad stuff” arises, it can be hard to negotiate with those memories and thoughts, and its this side of meditation that is the darker side of it.

So, if you are considering meditating, have an awareness of the effects, of what may happen, that it might not be the blissful stress free experience that you are seeking, but then again, it might, this all depends on you and what has happened in your lifetime.

Theres also an article on wellness, and the issues with the wellness industry, Ive got my thoughts on that too, thats for next time.

But for now, I want to thank everyone who has bought their Phase I of the corrective exercise project, and have received great feedback, helping a couple of guys with tight hamstrings , and a woman with long term back pain to name but a few, thanks, keep your good comments and questions coming though to mel.collie@live.co.uk

Mel Collie
Want a copy? Go here  and click the corrective exercise tab at the top.