We’ve all heard of the great benefits of meditation. In addition to gaining an improved focus, increased immunity and an enhanced emotional well-being, meditation enables you to get a healthier body, reduce anxiety, improve your self-esteem and even cure your body and mind of certain diseases and conditions.
However, the naked truth is that meditation also has a dark side. According to a study published in the US and conducted by a behavior research group at the Coventry University, more than 60 percent of people who have ever practiced meditation, mindfulness, yoga or any other type of related activity, have suffered at least one negative side effect. Among the most common meditation symptoms people can experience we need to mention anger, pain, confusion, depression, dizziness and certain sensations of tickling and twitching.
My Experience with Meditation
I have leveraged many of the benefits of mindfulness meditation for my body and mind. However, I’ve also got to experience a unique feeling of dizziness or spinning sensation during meditation. Sometimes I just felt spinning inwards, just like a ring in motion. I could then leave my body and float and be able to look down at my body. It was just like my soul was trying to escape my body. At first I was afraid to continue because I thought I I was so afraid to let it go, as I was feeling that if it left my body I would literally die. All the while, I didn’t even care that I would die.
Those feeling were really weird, trust me. I’ve also had a feeling of spinning while meditating. In my mind, I felt by body turning sideways, while my soul was trying to escape my body. I’ve also managed to perceive the sphere around my body, like a comfort zone and a protection against external factors.
Another meditation effect that I know people have experienced is anger. While meditating was extremely helpful to them at that moment or in the next few hours, they were always gripped by an unnatural anxiety and anger after one or two days, sometimes even faster. Sometimes your relationships can be effected. I have a friend’s girlfriend that thought meditation was the root problem and advised her boyfriend to quit or practice it once or twice a month. I would advise them that whenever those feelings arise, I accept it and let it go. When anxiety arises, I recognize it, accept it then let it go similar to Vipissana meditation. They still continue to reap the mental and physical benefits of meditation.
Sensations you Might Experience During Meditation
Here are some of the most common meditation effects you can experience in your body and mind.
- Have a Ticklish Sensation
Even though I did not experience this personally, many people who meditate declared that sometimes when they meditate they have a strong ticklish sensation in the chest or heart area. They experience both a strong desire to laugh and feel good, while at the same time an unnatural fear and anxiety grips them.
You might experience something similar. You might feel that you have opened up to an external force and that you are extremely vulnerable. At the same time, part of you feels soothed and at peace. You might wonder what all of these contrasting feelings really mean.
The answer is simple. Because the mind and the body get so close connected during meditation, you can experience any type of physical sensation. This ticklish sensation might mean that there is some normalization going on in your chest or heart area, which only leads to the cure of your sensations and enables you to take your positive feelings to a whole new level. You should not give this ticklish feeling too much importance. Just remember that it is something important and that it needs to happen if you want to reap the healing meditation brings.
- Feel Disconnected from your Body
This is another of many bn feeling you might experience while meditating. I’ve also experienced this kind of disconnection before. After 5 or 10 minutes of keeping my eyes closed and meditating, I find myself beginning to disconnect from my body. This meditation spinning sensation is soon accompanied by a strong perception that my hands and feet are not attached to my body anymore. I also perceive certain spinning meditation rings that seem to draw me in. However, as soon as I open my eyes, I come back to the normal world.
This meditation sensation was definitely not the best ever, but it was a new one that I really enjoyed. In the end, life is worth living if you get to experience new sensations and you can enjoy things many people could ever dream of experiencing.
- Difficulty Staying Awake
Probably one of the most common meditation sensations you can experience is the difficulty of staying awake. Time of the day or night, location and physical position are not normally factors that impact this aspect. After you stop thinking, you fall into a slumber and you wake up after 10-15 minutes. You might experience a very strong desire to nap. As soon as you indulge in it, you feel like dreaming and you realize that your meditation session is over. Even though you got enough sleep during the night, you have issues staying awake while meditating.
There is only one solution to this problem – go ahead and sleep. Meditation is a state that is poised to heal you, and more than often the best type of healing comes through sleep. Even though you are not tired physically because of a sleep deficit, your body needs to pass through an experience of sleep in order to be healed and to ensure endorphins are released. Do not try to fight your natural impulses but do what your body and mind feel to do.
If you’ve ever experienced the feeling of twitching during meditation, you know what I’m talking about. This phenomenon comes from the simple fact that you have a lot of stressors in your life, which are factors that put an extra burden on your meditation session.
For instance, I’ve experienced an unusual amount of twitching in the last couple of years, right after I started working double shifts. Sometimes I would work over 12 hours a day, which took its toll on my life. Coincidentally, I would notice constant twitches during my meditation sessions.
The best way to deal with this twitching sensation during meditation is to spend more time relaxing and to release all of the stress and tension you’ve accumulated over the course of the day. Spend some time in the nature, talk with your friends, enjoy long walks in the park, watch some funny movies or just take a warm bath to relax. You will soon notice that the twitching feeling will begin to go away and that you will begin feeling amazing once again.
- Coolness in Toes and Fingers
Another common meditation sign which proves that something might be wrong or simply unusual is that you feel a strange coolness in your fingers and toes. You might also start feeling the same coolness spreading all throughout your body. This is definitely the opposite of meditation dizziness. Instead, it is a vivid feeling of being cold and being conscious.
If you experience this coolness, it means that you have plenty of kundalini energy moving in your body. In itself, this sensation does not mean anything, except that you are getting deeper into meditation and that you are reaching to the core of your being. In case the symptoms aggravate, you might want to stop the meditation session right there until you feel normal again.
- You can See a Divine Light
This process is also called Merkabah and it is the exact divine vehicle ascended masters used to connect with a higher power. In the Jewish mysticism, Merkabah is a school that teaches people how to have visions like those experienced by Ezekiel, who claimed to have seen angels, fire chariots and many powerful beings from the spiritual realm.
If you see a divine light and you think that you are diving into a divine realm, you should really study more about Ezekiel from the Bible. Another precious resource you should read is the Wikipedia page describing this experience.
If you have visions, it might be a clear sign that you have been put into contact with a higher power. Many people got visions and were able to peak into the future. This is a unique opportunity for you to take your meditation sessions to the next level and change the way you see things in this life.
- Spontaneous Movements of your Head, Feet and Hands
This is one of the weirdest meditation effects you can encounter. We’re not talking here about twitching or slight movements, but about major movements. It’s like your hands or head are controlled from the outside.
I have experienced this one during one of my long meditation sessions. After spending more than 30 minutes meditating and trying to clear my head of thoughts, I have finally reached a point where my head was finally free and I stopped spinning when meditating. I noticed a slight movement of my hands. My head would also turn left and right, even shaking. And I was not the one controlling it.
Even though the movements felt quite slow, almost methodical, they were quite powerful and strong. I was afraid and put an end to my meditation session right away. I’ve asked a famous physician and yoga practitioner about it, and he said plainly that the body acts on its own to rest from the stress that is present in the mind.
These are internal stressors, he said. I was not satisfied with this answer, especially as there are many cases of people who meditate and find themselves entering into contact with a higher power, which sometimes might be demons. This is one of my greatest fears – to be controlled, just like people were controlled in the movies such as Ouija, The Possession or Deranged.
Nevertheless, I think meditation is not wrong as long as you practice it with the right purpose in your mind.
Yet another of the many meditation effects that could have a disturbing effect on you is strong headaches. You might notice some powerful waves of energy followed after a few hours by strong headaches. Even though I didn’t have this experience, I can state from other studies that during meditation your head tries to clear itself of all the stress accumulated during the past few days, weeks or years. That’s why it takes a few hours or even days after a meditation session for those parts of the brain to fully heal and to regain their vigor.
To counter this negative side effect of mindfulness meditation, try to get some extra sleep in the days after meditating and be extra careful not to meditate more than 15 minutes. The last thing you want to do is to put too much strain on your brain.
- Head Spinning
If you experience meditation head spinning, coupled with disorientation, nausea or whirling, you can be at rest – these feelings are normal in most cases. I’ve experiences these meditation effects many times in my body, especially in the beginning. The more healed my mind and body was, the less meditation spinning I’ve experienced.
However, if you experience strong sensations of nausea combined with disorientation or heat, you should probably pause the session until you feel better. You should never try to overdo things, but always work at the pace of your body.
- Having a Feeling of Expanding
Lastly, you might have the feeling of expanding and growing extremely big when meditating. You might also feel like you are leaning and bending at 90 degrees sideways or backwards, even though your body is straight up. Speaking bluntly, these experiences are quite common when meditating.
The more you meditate, the more refined your awareness becomes. As this happens, all spatial boundaries disappear, and your spatial orientation becomes distorted. Many times people reported that they have strange feelings and that their bodies seem quite tall, short, thin or large. These are all normal meditation sensations, and some of the most common meditation effects you can experience during your sessions.