5 Weird Things That Happen When You Meditate & How To Maintain Your Focus Despite Them
When I first started meditating, I honestly thought it was going to be the easiest thing in the world. Like, how hard can breathing and sitting still with your eyes closed possibly be, right? However, I quickly learned that the art of silencing your mind is much more difficult than it may seem. And as I deepened my practice, I started experiencing all of these weird things that happen when you meditate — things I'd only heard about from my friends or read on the internet, but never actually believed to be true.
Sitting in silence with your own thoughts for an extended period of time can teach you a lot about yourself, as well as the areas of your life that maybe need a bit more of your care and attentiveness. Having said that, there really is no right or wrong way to meditate. By taking just a few minutes each day to do so, you'll reap tons of awesome benefits, like reduced stress, improved concentration, and a genuine sense of calm and happiness.
Still, despite those benefits, there are some, shall we say, unexpected feelings — both negative and positive — that may pop up during your meditation sessions. They may catch you off-guard, or they may even make you feel weird as all hell. Here are five bizarre feelings you may experience during meditation; but remember, they're all completely normal. When they surface, simply breathe through them, and observe the sensations without judgment.
1. You Lose Feeling In Your Body
Guys, are we sure The Weeknd wasn't singing about meditation in his song "Can't Feel My Face?" These are the questions that keep me up at night.
For real though, when you first start to meditate, you'll begin observing your thoughts on more of a surface level, and the whole concept of sitting alone with just your thoughts and feelings will take some time to get used to.
However, once you start challenging yourself to meditate for longer periods of time, you may find yourself sinking deeper and deeper into the experience, to the point where you actually lose sensation in your body.
Yeah, it can be a little concerning at first, but, according to a Headspace blog post, this is not only completely normal, but actually a good sign of progress in your quest to relax your mind.
Embrace this sensation (or lack thereof, I guess), and know that feeling will, indeed, return to your body when you're done meditating.
2. You Start Twitching A Lot
You know that feeling when you're about to fall asleep, and you get that falling sensation, or "final twitch" before you get into that super deep slumber? Well, you might experience a similar sensation during meditation, whether it be casual twitching, or a lot more movement than you're used to.
This is said to be your body's way of releasing built-up stress or tension, so even though it feels weird, it's actually a good thing. Embrace the twitch, and allow it to lead you to a deeper sense of clarity and peace when you finish meditating.
3. Your Hands Or Head Start Moving Without Your Awareness
TBH, this has never happened to me personally, but if my hand started levitating without my discretion, I'd definitely start to worry about the possibility of spirits taking up residence in my house.
However, according to The Chopra Center, there's no need to be concerned if you find your hands or head casually moving without a conscious intention of making it happen. Simply observe these bodily movements without judgment, and let them do their thing.
Overall, a really important lesson to learn in meditation is the practice of equanimity, which means not reacting positively or negatively to anything that comes up, or simply staying non-attached to the sensations or thoughts that arise during that time.
So, even if something as weird as your head tilting to the side without your direction happens, try to stay indifferent and neutral through it all.
4. You Feel Like Someone's Tickling You
If you're not sure what I mean here, I'd definitely compare the ticklish feelings during deep meditation to getting your feet scrubbed during a pedicure.
However, this sensation has a much deeper meaning than that kickass nail polish. The tickling or tingling vibes mean that imbalances in your body are being corrected, and as a result, your body is allowing you to more deeply feel and express your inner emotions.
Again, remember not to focus on this too much in the moment. Stay neutral and as relaxed as possible, and breathe through it all, no matter what.
5. You Feel Pain In Your Joints Or Muscles
This definitely isn't the most pleasant bodily sensation you'll experience during meditation, but just because it's uncomfortable doesn't mean that it's not positive.
If you've ever experienced muscle or joint pain during your quest to quiet your mind, it might mean that old conditions are being healed, or injuries are slowly being remedied. Furthermore, it might even signal emotional trauma that your body is letting go of.
However, if these sensations become unbearably uncomfortable, it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor and make sure it's not a sign of anything more serious.
Most of the time, though, using deep inhales and long exhales to sit peacefully with these sensations is exactly what you'll need to remain centered and focused.