In the past few years, ancient Eastern practices, including meditation and yoga have been gaining in popularity, with many TV advertisements and interviews of celebrities claiming that they have found their inner peace and an effective method to cope with daily stress and frustration.
This sounds quite enchanting, doesn’t it? A solution so close yet so far away from you. Why? Most people don’t get into the core of these practices and never understand the true principles, thus never experiencing the optimal results.
Yoga and meditation are beautiful mental and physical exercises that can be practiced on a daily basis. Still, if one doesn’t acknowledge the true power of these, and the concepts that stand behind them, there is no point in wasting their time. The problem is that people assume that doing a few yoga stretching exercises and reading a few mantras out loud will allow them to reap all the potential benefits and live a life happily ever after.
But this is not how it happens, and with people missing out on reading the meditation guide, most don’t even know the basic techniques. This brings us to the question – can meditation be harmful? The short answer is no, but then again, it can be in certain scenarios. How? Let’s take a look.
Can Practicing Meditation Harm You?
Let’s get one thing clear — meditation can cause no harm to your physical health if that is what you were thinking — unless you join an awkward cult that has meditation as their main model, but this is not the topic we are going to discuss.
Practicing meditation can only allow you a number of physical benefits as long as you do it the right way and you stay aware of its potential. From what studies suggest, you may end up with lower blood pressure, heart rate, lower cholesterol levels, better focus, more mental and physical strength as well as regulated blood sugar levels.
Does this sound harmful to you? Absolutely not. Thus, you should be safe and free to give it a go, but not before you are familiar with the idea and concept of it.
How Can Meditation Be Contradictory?
Once again, we will not be looking at the core of meditation itself, but rather at the results that some people have been getting over the past few centuries. Most practitioners expect that with only a few mantras and a few daily sessions, you will be able to reach your inner peace. But they forget the most important part of it — relaxation and mindfulness.
As long as you have expectations from meditation, you will get close to nothing. Why? Because the concept of any Eastern practice is to stay in the present moment and be aware of what happens in the now, instead of expecting results that may or may not come.
Bearing this in mind, meditation can prove quite contradictory for those who expected it to be easy, yet have had no results in their practice, and that’s when the idea of meditation being potentially harmful occurs. The unsatisfied practitioner goes around claiming how meditation yields no results and it is a waste of time, doing even more harm to themself and in no way contributing to the well-being of others.
Practice It the Right Way
As we mentioned above, if you honestly want to see results from meditation, you shouldn’t expect any. See your daily sessions as a time for self-care, when you will sit/lie down and relax, connecting with yourself.
The basic technique is to close your eyes and focus on nothing but your breathing. Don’t block your thoughts and emotions, but always stay aware of the rhythm of your breathing. Once you have accomplished that, it is time to spice things up and include some mindfulness in the practice.
Instead of ignoring your thoughts, allow them to flow freely through your mind. Yes, both negative and positive thoughts are both fine and welcome — the goal is to follow the pattern and realize why it comes and goes that way.
By being present in the moment, you will learn much more about the past and the future, than if you were to stay worrying about what has happened or what will happen next.
At the end of the day, meditation is not harmful and can add a great deal of calm and peace to your life. But if you don’t understand the concept, and you don’t practice it the right way, it may yield no results, thus becoming quite nerve wracking for certain individuals.