Meditation can feel awkward and unnatural at first.
You’re not used to sitting quietly for extended periods of time, focusing on your breath and nothing else.
But after a few sessions, you’ll begin to feel the benefits.
Are you wondering if you are doing meditation all wrong and not sure what the hype is all about?
Don’t worry, I’ll tell you exactly what meditation feels like, so you know what to look for!
1) You’ll feel a sense of relaxation and calm
The most common feeling when you first start meditating is a sense of relaxation and calm.
If you’ve ever been in a sauna or gotten an amazing massage, you know that it makes you feel completely relaxed and calm.
Meditation is a bit like that. You’ll relax all the muscles in your body and just feel light, relaxed, and calm.
When your mind is relaxed and calm, it has no worries.
That means it will be much easier to control and focus.
With fewer worries in your head, your mind won’t be able to focus on anything stressful. You won’t be able to think about anything but your breath.
The thing is, when you meditate, you can often feel the benefits not just mentally, but also physically in your body.
Sure, people always talk about mental focus and clarity, and we will definitely talk about that in a minute, too, but meditation will also make you feel physically relaxed and calm.
The thing is, your nervous system is closely interlinked with your brain.
So when you meditate, your nervous system will relax and calm, and your brain will start to relax as well.
This is why you’ll feel a sense of relaxation and calm in your body when you first start meditating.
That will also help your muscles, helping them recover from exercise.
You see, athletes sometimes utilize meditation to recover from physical stress.
They use meditation to relax their muscles, and it works great!
2) Your mind will start to slow down
The more you meditate, the more your mind will slow down.
That’s because you will train it to focus on one thought for extended periods of time.
You see, when you meditate, you focus on your breath.
While focusing on your breath, you let go of all other thoughts that come up.
When your train of thought is interrupted, you let go of the thought, go back to focusing on your breath and let the new thought go without judging it.
Your goal is to stay focused on your breath for as long as you can. The more you practice, the longer you’ll be able to stay focused on your breath.
Now: it is a common misconception that in order to meditate “successfully” (putting that in quotes because there is really no thing such as unsuccessfully meditating), you need to completely clear your mind and be void of thoughts.
But that is simply not true.
While it is true that the fewer thoughts you have, the better you will feel at meditating, it is not true that the fewer thoughts you have the more successful you will be.
That’s because it rarely ever happens that your mind is completely empty of thoughts unless you have reached complete enlightenment.
Have you ever really tried to stop thinking? It doesn’t really work!
For example: if someone tells you to “stop thinking about something” and then asks “What are you thinking about now?” and you answer “Nothing!” – then this means that there were some thoughts going on in your head before they asked that question.
And those thoughts must still be going on in order for you to answer “Nothing!” – which means there was some activity in your brain before they told you to stop thinking about something.
And so this means that “nothing” was a thought or a concept in your mind before.
The thing is, the goal of meditation is not to stop thinking – if that is what you are waiting for, you will probably be waiting months or even years, only to experience that for maybe a few moments at most.
The real goal of meditation is to become aware of the many thoughts that are going on inside your head.
The more you become aware of the thoughts that are going on, the more you will be able to control them.
The more you can control the thoughts in your mind, the better you will be able to focus on your breath, and the better you will be able to feel at meditating.
If this is all new to you, let me tell you about another common misconception about meditation:
Many people think that if they meditate for a long time – say an hour or two – then they have succeeded in meditation.
But this is not correct at all!
You can really start out with just two minutes, or five, if sitting for a long time feels like a lot.
But back to your thoughts.
When you meditate, you will also notice that your thoughts will start to slow down once you focus on them, making you feel a lot more at ease than before.
3) It will make you more aware of your breathing
When you meditate, you’ll become more aware of your breathing.
You’ll start paying attention to the way your body breathes.
You’ll notice if you are breathing too fast or if your breathing is too shallow.
You’ll also become more aware of what affects your breathing.
If you’re in a stuffy room, you’ll notice it immediately.
If you have something in your mouth, you’ll be able to feel it.
You’ll become more aware of your breathing when you are not meditating too. This will happen naturally as a result of meditating.
Now, why is that important? Well, your breath is actually really important.
Your breath is not just something that will keep you alive, your breath is a tool that can help you influence your mind and your body.
Your breath is the physical manifestation of your life energy – it is the vivifying force that animates every part of your being.
In other words, when you’re alive, you will breathe.
And when you are not alive, you won’t be breathing.
You see, when we observe something or someone else, our brain notices a pattern in that thing or person’s behavior and then makes a prediction about what that thing or person will do next – a kind of “if-then” statement.
This is how our mind works: by making predictions about what will happen next based on what happened before.
The same thing happens with your breath.
When you breathe quickly and shallow, then your mind associates that with stress and ultimately – danger.
Doesn’t matter if you are being chased by a tiger or simply stuck in traffic on your way to work.
When you breathe slowly and deeply, then your mind associates that with relaxation and ultimately – safety.
You see, when you breathe slowly and deeply, your body becomes relaxed – which makes it much easier for your mind to relax too.
And when you are relaxed, you are less likely to be stressed out.
And when you’re less likely to be stressed out, you won’t feel stressed in the first place.
Your breath is thus the key that can unlock the door to inner peace and calmness. When you meditate and focus on your breathing, it will become a lot easier for your mind to relax as well.
Trust me, once you learn how to use your breath as a tool, you will unlock a new world of inner peace and calmness.
Breathing is the key to unlocking inner peace and calmness.
So, how do you learn to use your breath as a tool?
Well, the first step is to simply start observing your breath.
When you begin observing your breath, it’s natural that you will start breathing normally – just like when you are not meditating.
Then you simply start to slow down your breath purposefully, and maybe even do some breathwork.
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4) You may experience physical pain or discomfort
Meditation can sometimes feel uncomfortable.
That’s because when you try to sit still for long periods of time, your body (especially your legs) will start to hurt.
That’s because you are not used to sitting down without moving for extended periods of time, especially when it’s in a position like on the floor, with your legs crossed, etc.
It’s the same reason why running long distances can be extremely painful at first.
Your body needs time to adjust to sitting still and focusing on one thing.
In time, you’ll become more comfortable with meditating and will be able to sit still for longer periods of time.
When you feel discomfort, let go of the thought that caused the pain and go back to focusing on your breath.
Now: many people feel like they can’t meditate because they get uncomfortable and then they feel like they can’t focus.
But the truth is, meditation is all about being present with your body, so the act of feeling uncomfortable, noticing it, and sitting with it, is actually meditation!
It sounds silly, but pain and discomfort can be great ways to become more present with your body, and it’s okay to feel uncomfortable and experience pain.
5) Some people experience hallucinations during meditation
Meditation is a completely natural thing.
Every human being on the planet can meditate.
That said, some people have hallucinations when they meditate.
Hallucinations are when you see or hear things that are not there.
When you hallucinate, it’s like you are dreaming while awake.
This is a natural phenomenon and not as uncommon as you might think.
There is nothing to worry about if you experience hallucinations when you meditate.
Some people believe that hallucinations are a gift and are a sign that you are a natural at it.
The thing is, a lot of people will start experiencing hallucinations once they actually get really deep in their meditation practice, so don’t worry about it if you can’t hallucinate just yet.
But not just that, hallucinations also tend to happen more often when people do things such as intense breathwork.
Because of the fact that you might experience hallucinations, or maybe even feel a tad lightheaded, you should never do breathwork in a body of water or while driving.
6) A feeling of lightness and happiness
When you are in a relaxed and calm state, you will feel light and happy.
You won’t be able to feel any heavy or negative thoughts.
All the thoughts in your head will feel like they have been lifted away, or at least they have lost their heaviness.
This feeling is normal when you are meditating.
If you are feeling light and happy when you are not meditating, it’s a good sign that you are doing things right.
The thing is, when your mind finally slows down and your body relaxes, you might feel as though you are almost not in your body anymore.
Your soul will feel liberated and happy, and it might feel as though you are in another world.
When you feel this light, it will be really easy to return to a meditation practice, as it will feel so good.
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7) Emotional wounds might come up
If you have been meditating for a while, you might experience emotional wounds coming up and out.
This might happen if you have been grieving about something that happened in your past.
Or it might happen if you have a lot of pent-up emotions.
Emotional wounds can be caused by many things.
It could be a person who hurt you or an event that deeply affected you.
It could be a trauma that happened to you as a child. If you experience emotional wounds while meditating, let them come up and out.
Accept them and let them go.
Letting go of pent-up emotions can be extremely painful.
It can feel as if you are ripping apart inside.
You may experience short bursts of sadness, anger, or frustration.
Let these emotions come up and out. Be kind to yourself, don’t judge yourself for feeling these emotions, and stay focused on your breath.
I know, in that moment, you might feel as though this feels really wrong.
Emotional wounds are painful and you will probably want to stop.
However, that is the beauty of meditation: it allows you to access these deeply-buried emotions.
You are not suppressing them, you are allowing them to come out and be seen.
As you continue to practice meditation, your emotional wounds will start to heal and you will feel lighter, happier, and more at peace.
Trust me, healing your emotional wounds will ultimately help you out so much!
8) Calmness and gratitude
When you meditate, you’ll feel a sense of calmness and gratitude.
You will feel grateful for the fact that you can sit still for 15 minutes to meditate.
You’ll feel grateful for the gift of meditation.
That gratitude will help you let go of any negative thoughts that might come up.
You’ll also feel calm because you will not judge any thoughts that come up.
Instead of fighting the thoughts, you will accept them and let go of them.
At first, you will only see these results during your meditation, but the more you do it, the more you will start to experience these benefits throughout your day.
The benefits of meditation will make you feel more relaxed and happier.
You will feel grateful for the fact that you have time to meditate.
You will feel grateful for the fact that you can sit still for 15 minutes to meditate.
You’ll also start to experience more clarity and creativity, which is a great help to your work and life.
As I said before, meditation will help you slow down your mind so you can be more present in the here-and-now.
This is something that is crucial in our fast-paced world filled with distractions.
If we are not present, we miss out on opportunities and possibilities that could improve our lives in big ways.
9) Synchronization of body and mind
If you meditate regularly, you will start to see a synchronization between your mind and body.
Your mind and body are connected. Your emotions can affect your body, and the way your body moves and functions can affect your emotions.
When you meditate, you’ll notice that your body and mind will start to synchronize.
You will find it easier to control your body and emotions.
Your body will be completely relaxed while your mind will be completely focused.
Your body and mind will work together to achieve the same goal. You will feel confident and in control of your body and emotions.
When your body and mind are in sync, you will feel peaceful, calm, and happy.
You’ll feel confident that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to.
It won’t take you very long until you reach this state.
10) More appreciation for everything in life
The more you meditate, the more you will appreciate everything in life.
You will appreciate small things that you never thought were important before.
You will appreciate the ability to sit still for extended periods of time.
You will appreciate the fact that you can control your thoughts.
You see, you will appreciate the fact that you can feel calm and in control of your emotions.
But not just that, you will also appreciate the fact that you can let go of any negative thoughts that come up.
You will appreciate the gift of meditation.
But more than anything, you will learn to appreciate the little things in life that make it beautiful, such as a soft blanket, or coffee in the morning.
This will make you an ultimately happier person.
People who are grateful and full of appreciation seem to glow.
You will become a happier person because of meditation.
How long will it take?
Meditation is a completely natural thing. It’s something that all human beings can do.
You don’t need any special skills or training. All you need is a quiet space and time to do it. You will notice a difference in your life when you start meditating!
But I know, it can be frustrating if you can’t feel these benefits right away.
You could try a guided meditation at first, to make things easier for you, but I promise, if you lower your expectations and go into your practice with the mindset that there is no such thing as failing or being unsuccessful – the practice is the whole success already, then you will start to see the benefits of meditation almost instantly.
We’ve covered what meditation feels like but if you want to get a completely personalized explanation of this practice and where it’ll lead you in the future, I recommend speaking to the folks over at Psychic Source.
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Not only can they give you more direction on meditation, but they can advise you on what’s really in store for your future.
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