It’s not uncommon for people to get emotional during meditation. And it’s in no way a bad thing to experience. In fact, acknowledging our emotions, and appropriately processing them, is very beneficial for our overall well-being.
For some people, meditating is the only time they gift themselves to ‘wind down.’ While meditating, they feel safe and can gradually lower the protective walls they have built up throughout the day.
So, once relaxed, they may find all the emotional energy that they have been stuffing down, and not dealing, with coming to the surface.
Why Do I Get Emotional During Meditation?
Often our meditation practice is focused on experiencing the present moment as it arises. This can mean getting in touch with how we are feeling on a deeper level than what we normally experience during our busy days. As we allow this process to unfold naturally, we will be connected with ‘emotional baggage’ that we have not yet consciously processed. And while it may be uncomfortable, it is necessary for our overall well-being.
Meditation Is Often The First Time We Become Aware Of Our Selves.
Meditation is a process of coming to know ourselves on a deeper level than what is afforded by ‘normal’ everyday living. It’s a practice that allows us to better understand who we are.
Who we are is composed of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. And all these aspects are intimately related to each other.
By this, I mean that our emotions are related to our thoughts which can be dependent on what we are doing. Or is it that our thoughts are generated because of what we are doing, and therefore determine how we are feeling…..
Either way, it doesn’t matter, because you cannot separate one aspect of our ‘self’ from the others and say anything absolute about it…. everything IS a part of the other and together they make our whole being.
So, by now, you may be wondering ‘what the hell am I talking about?’ What’s this got to do with me feeling emotional during meditation? Well, the answer is….. everything of course!
Meditation develops greater self-awareness! When you quiet your mind and body, you become aware of your thoughts and your feeling.
For many people, meditating is the first time they have stopped looking outside of themselves and become aware of THEMSELVES, body, mind, emotions, and spirit.
Instead of being constantly distracted by our external environment, (looking at ‘them’ and judging what they think and what they are doing,) we get to experience our RAW SELVES.
Meditation Stirs The Pot To Bring New Stuff To The Surface
Often, our first experiences of meditation are pleasant. We get to experience a sense of calm and peacefulness that we have rarely felt before. So, we think this is great and we set up a regular practice hoping to experience feeling great more often.
Great idea, and I NEVER want to discourage anyone from meditating, however….. for some people, anyone who is not good at processing their mental and emotional baggage, they may find that they can become quite emotional during meditation. Why?
Before we began to meditate, our systems were ‘stable.’ By stable, I mean they were a certain way because of our habitual thoughts and actions. We may have had our issues, and may not have liked some stuff about ourselves, but at least we had a stable sense of ourselves.
The thing about meditation is that consistent practice allows us to chip away at the walls we have built (our ego) that protect us from the aspects of life and ourselves that we don’t like!
For example, we may not like the fact that we are short-tempered and therefore sometimes react in an overly harsh manner. We may have been dumped by our ex and now fear other relationships because of the previous hurt we experienced.
And what about the time you were trying to help your dad when he was overly tired after a hard day’s work….. and he said NO, he will do it better and faster by himself!
WE ALL CARRY WOUNDS WITHIN US…. And when our minds are not distracted by everyday survival stuff, these wounds slowly make their way to the surface from where we have buried them, within our subconscious minds.
So, when we meditate we may weep, cry, laugh, become sad, or experience any other emotions relative to the emotional energy that is bubbling up within us….. AND IT’S ALL OK….IN FACT, IT’S GREAT!
Should I Stop Meditating If It Makes Me Emotional?
HELL NO! Look, you may cry a bit (or a lot) or experience other unpleasant emotions, but so what! I guarantee that afterward if you don’t get mentally caught up in trying to figure out what is happening, YOU WILL EXPERIENCE A FEELING OF TREMENDOUS RELIEF!
This is what your soul self, the higher aspects of your being are desiring for you at this time…. they want you to process your baggage so you can become more aware, and closer to them.
So just go with the process and allow yourself to be present with what arises at the moment. And don’t judge it as right or wrong, good or bad…. Just experience it as it is and allow it to pass through you and from you.
None of what occurs during your meditations is wrong or abnormal, it IS what you need to be experiencing NOW.
If You Are Emotional During Meditation, 2 Important Things Are Going On
1) You are processing your emotional baggage.
This means you are clearing out your old, stale, and blocked energies. And there is nothing negative about this.
As the old unwanted crap is swept away, it makes way for new and better energies to take their place. And this means that you can become closer to your authentic self…. the self that your soul came here to be…. the one who is unconfined by all of your ego’s rules, conditions, neediness, and pretension.
Meditation will help you see and understand the role you have been playing. And it gives you options to change your path or aspect of yourself…. But only after you may way for it by processing the undesired aspects.
2) You are growing.
By showing up to meditate, even when you are not having the wonderful experience you want, you are building character, strength, and resilience.
And these characteristics are just some of the benefits of meditating.
It’s easy to do something when it goes well all the time and we experience immediate benefits. However, it’s not so easy to come back again and again if the results are not what we wanted. It would be very easy to just stop practicing.
However, we meditate to cultivate states of mind that are conducive to living wonderful lives. And if we don’t work on our minds to make them better, we will remain stuck with the current mindset we have!
So, practice! And when you can become comfortable observing your emotions as they occur, without attachment and judgment, your lives will begin to transform and everything else will start falling into place.
And remember that it’s in the struggle (the unpleasant emotions, etc.) where the real transformation is taking place.
Because if you just experience pleasantness all the time, there is no incentive to grow beyond it. And therefore, you should enjoy your emotions, even the unpleasant ones…..
To sum up: We get emotional during meditation because we have been suppressing emotional ‘stuff’ and it is not coming to the surface to be exposed.
Feeling our suppressed emotional baggage is a good thing. And you should view it as beneficial progress on your meditation journey.
The best practice is to experience your emotions without judgment and just let them work their way through you.
And after your session, take a moment to thank yourself and appreciate the release of unwanted energy that has happened.
By doing this, you will set up a new pattern of thinking and behavior that will inspire you to keep returning to practice again and again.
So, your meditation practice, which you may have started just to feel better, becomes a beneficial life-changing tool.
Practice with peace and love in your heart and mind and your future self will forever thank you for it.