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Stop Meditating! Top Five Signs You May Not Be Ready

When I was first starting on the path to becoming a healer I thought mindfulness was the panacea for all imbalances within myself and clients. So much of my training began with the notion that in “in order to get past the pain, one had to walk through it.” And one of those ways of “walking through” was to sit and practice the art of mindfulness. At its most basic core, mindfulness meditation is the practice of just being, noticing thoughts, noticing bodily sensations and allowing them to be there. It is also an exercise in self-compassion and restraint in the sense that the mindfulness practitioner is encouraged not to do anything, but notice what comes up and to just be.

It all sounds so brilliantly simple, and since I’d begun meditating at the age of 7, it felt to me like a second skin I could slip into at any time. But for those with sensitive nervous systems or those affected by trauma, “just being” and sitting still even for a minute can be excruciating. So, if you aren’t quite sure if you or your child fall into that category here are five signs that can help you evaluate if more support or a different approach is needed:

1. Closing your eyes even for a minute feels really hard. You may feel jumpy or notice your thoughts starting to race and this feeling stays consistent over a period of time. This is a tell-tale sign of relaxation anxiety.

2. You may be able to close your eyes, but you feel like you want to move around. Sitting still for any longer than a few moments feels impossible and this feeling stays consistent over a period of time.

3. Intense emotions come up, which cause emotional dysregulation. In other words, when these emotions come up, it’s tough to return to a sense of normal and ruins the rest of your day.

4. If you feel fear and don’t quite feel ready to sit with your thoughts, emotions or bodily sensations, and this lasts over a period of time, maybe you need to stop for a while and seek more therapeutic support.

5. You can’t seem to stay awake! If you’ve tried to meditate and you find you can’t keep your eyes open you might be sleep deprived. In this case, consult with your doctor. There are so many reasons behind poor sleep quality.

And finally. There are other things you can do which combine the practice of meditation with motion—like yoga! Yoga finder is a great resource too if you aren’t sure where to find a class for yourself or your children.

Want more info?

Learn more about the connection between anxiety and mediation.

Thanks for joining me here!

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