Meditation

Are there any drawbacks to meditation?

16 Answers

Brainspotting Professional, Buddhist Minister, Licensed Professional Counselor, HAES Advocate

When people get into trouble with meditation, it's usually because they are practicing without knowledgeable support. Ideally, your practice of meditation leaves you feeling more connected to life and your own experience. But sometimes, people think they are meditating when they are just dissociating, and that is the very opposite of improving your connection to yourself and your life. Additionally, sometimes people will push themselves to go into difficult material (past traumas and such) without support, and in the process re-traumatize themselves. But when there is appropriate support - from a meditation facilitator, spiritual director or contemplative therapist - you can get knowledgeable guidance and a safe place to ask questions and share experience.


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One could possibility could be that you've tapped into space you don't know how to manage or handle. Depending on one's insightfulness and willingness to wander into the world of meditation, it can be daunting and perhaps even fearful of not knowing what's normal for you. Yes, there are some common elements to each experience; however, everyone feels and experiences mediations differently.


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Hi Don. In my experience, the only drawback to meditation is the expectation of it. Many go into meditation thinking they are supposed to do it a certain way or believe that it is going to be magic. In reality, it can be hard at first to sit still and start witnessing your thoughts. Meditation is a process of getting to know all the different sides of yourself. The other drawback that really isn't' a drawback but can be uncomfortable is that you start to really see yourself. Subconscious programming starts to become conscious and well, it can just be challenging to witness it. But there is no other way through to waking up. So the sooner you start the process the sooner you go through and remember your greatness!


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Meditation is an amazing tool to recenter yourself and put stress into perspective.

I do believe there are situations, for those that have severe depression, anxiety, negative self image, and suicidal thoughts, where meditation can be a harmful place to enter Alone.

If you suspect that meditation may be difficult for you, it may be best to start with therapy to help with any overwhelming emotions, as well as Group Meditation if it's right for you. Surrounding yourself by other's positive energy may create a safe place for some people while entering the space of meditation.


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In reading everyone's responses, one thing I want to add is cautioning folks to use meditation as a form of escape so that they don't have to feel the "unpleasant feelings." Intention of meditation is important. If a person is trying to resolve conscious and unconscious wounds from long ago, I believe it's also important to engage in processes that connect the younger parts of the person that have been abandoned, ignored or denied.


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Meditation can feel frightening or uncomfortable to some and the fear is the drawback more than anything.

The practice is safe as you connect to your own self. There are traditional meditations, but as a healer myself, I meditate on various ways, especially during exercise time

If you have anything specific please feel free to reach out directly


Hello there! I am Kat. I was born to this planet to help people in a profound way. Mentoring and healing practices are my methods.

Great question, Don! I have practiced meditation most of my life. The only drawback to meditation is how it is used. If one is using it to calm the mind, to regain focus, or for spiritual connection, this is healthy.

If meditation is being used as a form of retreating from the daily stresses of life or hiding from emotions, then we must examine if this is withdrawing from social norms or addiction, which are attachments to the process and not the outcome.

Healthy meditation is balancing, quieting, and meant to relax the mind to better cope with our emotions that arise from our worldly experiences.


I use a combination of psychotherapy and biofeedback which allows me to help people regulate their emotions both mentally and physically.

Great question. Most people do not have negative effects from meditation. However, there are some, particularly who have suffered abuse or trauma, who may experience more anxiety or (in the extreme) may de-personalize. I have worked with people who have suffered trauma and abuse and have helped them safely learn to meditate.


Stacee Finkelstein
A teacher that creates a warm, safe, serene space for anyone who wishes to start yoga, or deepen their yoga practice

I haven't found many drawbacks, to be honest. If you are interested in getting deeper into meditative amd breathing practices, I would be happy to chat with you. Let me know, and feel free to set up a free consultation!!! I have been doing mindful meditation on others and myself for many years!


I am a Human Potential Coach who helps individuals achieve their goals and live their best life! Specialist in Performance & Wellness.

This is a great question and it demands a nuanced answer. It all comes back to the individual, its approach to any meditation practice as well as his or her own life experience. Normally meditation is a fantastic tool with many proven benefits, however it isn´t convenient at times and it might wake you up from a comfortable dream. Though this might be perceived as a drawback it might not be so at all. Meditation allows you to experience yourself, as you are and by doing so allowing you to chose differently, probably for the better.

Hope you find this one useful.


Kristi L. Filkins, B.S.
My name is Kris Filkins. I am a "lightworker" , sent here to assist others in recognizing their own power in healing themselves and others!

Just a little bit of quiet time , where you can be alone and uninterrupted yields benefits beyond any minor inconvenience!


Zen Benefiel, CHt, MA, MBA
A transformational life coach who asks, listens, reflects and understands how to make action plans simple and personal change effective.

Don, from my experience, the only drawback to meditation is not treating the practice with respect. I hear 'oh, it's not working' and inquire of the actual devotion and time spent. Most of us have cluttered minds and cannot manage the mayhem, increasing stress in our lives. It's hard to be still. Judging your ability to be still and engage the practice might be a drawback as it tends to cause frustration and we all want to avoid frustration, right? Sometimes folks view meditation as a very complex practice when it really isn't. Some of the more advanced techniques may be a bit more demanding. I like a simple method I stumbled upon as a teenager faced with an altered state that was really intense. I put my fingertips together and noticed I could feel my heart beat in them. As I focused and became aware of my breath, the intense stimulation turned into a blissful quiet and solace from my overactive mind.


Naturopathic and Chinese Medicine Doctor

Meditation can be extremely useful, but there are known effects which may be experienced as negative. It very much depends on a person's history, background, and what they are looking to achieve with a given meditation technique. Unwanted effects can range from some minor physical pain all the way to psychosis or depersonalization; these more serious effects are often linked to previous trauma. This doesn't mean people with a history of trauma should not practice meditation, just that they need to find the right approach and have the proper support in place to help them move through these difficulties. For more detail than you probably need or want check out https://www.cheetahhouse.org/, a website to help meditators experiencing distressing symptoms of all kinds.


I help people achieve extraordinary holistic health using energy healing, Shamanic journeys, nature therapy, and therapeutic guidance.

Hi Don, great question! I believe the only drawback to meditation is that people sometimes have difficulty maintaining their attention and focus, or finding the discipline to meditate on a regular basis. If someone is already depressed or very self-critical, they may feel like a "meditation failure." I used guided meditation quite a lot in the therapy office, and take people on Shamanic Journeys when they come for energy work or attend my retreats. This more active style of meditation is accessible and helps people reap the benefits. Feel free to contact me if you would like to try a Shamanic journey.


Anne Sussman
I'm a Certified Meditation Instructor and an MMI-Mindful Trainer, bringing "Mindfulness to Work". Learn valuable tools that reduce stress create calm & live with greater wellbeing

Hi I love your question Don. Have you practiced meditation yet? Was there something that happened when you practiced that you were uncomfortable with? I have not found any drawbacks , quite the opposite. I would be happy to chat with you about a practice if you are open to it. Please let me know!


Healing presents itself as we lower the walls of self doubt & fear and we allow ourselves to blossom into the beauty of who we are. ~Corinna

I have never experienced any drawbacks while in quiet time or in any meditation classes I have taught. It is a time to become re-acquainted with who you are and get focused in your life. There are many types of meditation some focus on stillness that may help you listen more to your heart and others may focus on mantras and specific goals. Either way I have found that quiet time can assist with health issues, mental challenges and even physical pain and discomfort.


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