Meditation can be a powerful tool for self-discovery and transformation, but it can also be intimidating. For many of us, the idea of sitting still in silence with our thoughts can cause feelings of fear or anxiety that stop us from even trying to meditate.
But why is this? Why do we sometimes feel scared during meditation? In this article, we’ll explore some possible answers to this question and offer tips on how to move past these fears so you can benefit from the practice of meditation.
The fear we experience during meditation can come from several sources, such as anticipating the discomfort of sitting still, worrying about what we might encounter during our practice, or feeling overwhelmed by thoughts and emotions that arise.
These feelings of fear can be strong enough to prevent us from even attempting to meditate.
Why do we sometimes feel scared during meditation?
Meditation can be an incredibly powerful tool for self-discovery and transformation, but it can also be intimidating. For many of us, the idea of sitting still in silence with our thoughts can cause feelings of fear or anxiety that stop us from even trying to meditate.
1. Anticipating Discomfort:
Sitting still in silence can be uncomfortable, especially if we’re not used to it. This anticipation of discomfort can lead us to feel scared or anxious before even starting our practice.
2. Worrying About What We Might Encounter:
When we sit down to meditate, there’s no telling what thoughts and emotions might surface during the process. These unknowns can create a sense of fear and uncertainty about what will come up for us during our practice.
3. Feeling Overwhelmed By Our Thoughts And Emotions:
As we get into our meditation, we may start to feel overwhelmed by the thoughts and emotions that arise. This could make us feel vulnerable or exposed, leading to a feeling of fear.
4. Fear Of The Unknown:
We may also feel scared of the unknown, such as what we might encounter or what will happen if our practice is successful. This fear can prevent us from wanting to even try meditating.
5. Not Knowing How To Deal With Anxiety: Finally, many of us are unsure how to deal with anxiety and discomfort that arise during meditation, so this lack of knowledge can create an additional layer of fear around the practice.
What are the signs that tell you that you got scared while meditating?
If you’re feeling scared while meditating, there are a few signs that you can look out for:
1. Increased Heart Rate:
Your heart rate might increase as your body responds to the fear and anxiety that you’re experiencing.
2. Shortness of Breath:
You may also feel shortness of breath as your breathing becomes more shallow and rapid in response to fear.
3. Muscle Tension:
Fearful feelings can cause muscle tension throughout our bodies, resulting in physical discomfort or pain.
4. Intense Thoughts:
We may also start to experience intense thoughts, such as worries and “what-ifs”, during a fearful meditation session.
5. Panic Attacks:
In some cases, fear can escalate and lead to a full-on panic attack during meditation.
What are some tips for overcoming fear when meditating?
1. Start Small:
Start with short sessions and gradually increase the length of your practice as you become more comfortable with meditation.
2. Prepare Yourself Physically and Mentally: Make sure that you’re physically comfortable by sitting in a relaxed position, and mentally prepare yourself by setting an intention for your practice beforehand.
3. Acknowledge Your Fear:
Notice any fearful thoughts or feelings that arise without judgment, but rather observe them with kindness and compassion.
4. Let Go of Expectations:
Don’t expect to be perfect or make great progress in your practice right away. Give yourself permission to simply relax and be in the moment without any expectations or goals.
5. Practice Regularly:
Make meditation a regular part of your life, so that it becomes an easy habit rather than a source of fear or anxiety.
Is it normal to get scared during mediation?
Yes, it is normal to feel scared or anxious when first starting out with meditation. Everyone experiences fear and anxiety differently, so it’s important to be compassionate and understanding towards yourself during this process. With time, practice and patience, you will learn to overcome your fears and use meditation as a powerful tool for self-discovery and transformation.
Is ignoring fear the right solution?
No, ignoring fear is not the right solution when meditating. It’s important to acknowledge any fearful thoughts or feelings that arise during your practice and allow yourself to experience them with kindness and compassion.
The best way to move through fear is to face it head on, rather than avoiding it or pushing it away. Through accepting our fears and allowing ourselves to feel them fully, we can learn how to respond in a healthy way and become more resilient.
Are there any other techniques I can use to cope with my fear during meditation?
Yes, there are a few other techniques you can use to cope with fear during meditation:
1. Connect With Your Body:
Take time to notice sensations in your body, such as the sensation of your breath or the physical contact between your body and the floor or chair that you’re sitting on.
2. Focus on Self-Care:
Make sure to take care of yourself both before and after meditating. Eat nourishing food, get plenty of sleep, and give yourself permission to do something fun every now and then.
3. Practice Mindfulness:
Pay attention to your thoughts throughout the day in order to become more mindful of how they affect you. This can help reduce fear during meditation since you will be more aware of any anxious thoughts that arise.
4. Reach Out for Support:
Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you’re feeling overwhelmed or scared. A trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional can provide invaluable guidance and help you cope with fear in a healthy way.
By understanding why we get scared during meditation and making use of these techniques, we can learn how to move through our fears and use meditation as a powerful tool for wellbeing.
How can these feelings of fear prevent us from even attempting to meditate?
Fear can be a powerful deterrent and can prevent us from even attempting to meditate. It leaves us feeling stuck, helpless, and unable to move forward.
Ignoring our fears or pushing them away is not the answer; instead it’s important to acknowledge them with kindness and compassion. With time, patience, and practice we can learn how to respond in a healthy way and become more resilient.
Tips on how to make your practice more comfortable and enjoyable.
1. Find the Right Space:
Make sure to find a comfortable and quiet space for your practice free of distractions. This will help you reduce stress and stay focused on your meditation.
2. Use Music or Guided Meditations:
Play calm music in the background or use guided meditations to help guide your practice.
3. Set a Time Limit:
Start off with shorter periods of time such as 5-10 minutes, and then gradually increase it when you feel more comfortable and confident in your practice.
4. Stay Positive:
Remind yourself that meditation is a powerful tool for self-discovery and transformation, rather than a source of fear or anxiety.
5. Take Breaks:
Give yourself permission to take breaks throughout your practice if needed.
By following these tips, you can make your meditation practice more comfortable and enjoyable while learning how to move through any fears or anxieties that arise. It is important to be compassionate and understanding towards yourself during this process. With time, practice and patience, you will learn to overcome your fears and use meditation as a powerful tool for self-discovery and transformation.
Meditation can be an invaluable tool for wellbeing when fear and anxiety are addressed with kindness and compassion. By understanding why we get scared during meditation, acknowledging our fears, and using techniques such as focusing on our bodies and practicing mindfulness, we can learn to move through our fears and use meditation as a powerful tool for transformation.
The practice of meditation doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming. You don’t need to fear it– if you approach it with patience, practice and self-compassion, it can become a powerful tool for personal growth and transformation. Even when you feel scared during meditation, remember that it’s possible to move through these fears and embrace the benefits of a regular meditation practice. With time, you’ll find that meditation can be an invaluable tool for wellbeing.