Meditation is a fantastic way to feel more calm and relaxed. It can give you a new perspective on stressful situations and increase your self-awareness. But can you meditate too much?
While balanced meditation offers some great mental health benefits, meditating too much can have adverse side effects for some people.
In this practical guide, we find out whether you can meditate too much and how often you can meditate to ensure that your mindfulness practice works.
Can You Meditate Too Much?
Yes, it is possible to meditate too much. Some people may feel adverse effects from over-meditation, such as disassociation or negative emotions.
However, this is usually rare as most people who enjoy meditation create a self-awareness of what their mind and body need without overwhelming themselves.
You can get the best physical and cognitive benefits from your practice when you meditate regularly.
How Long Is Too Long To Meditate?
The right meditation time is very individual to you. If it feels too much for you, then it is best to stop the session when you start to feel overwhelmed.
It is a good idea to start off with a few minutes of meditation and then build up over time. Many people who meditate find 10 minutes to be a good sweet spot.
This being said, some people may feel that they can sit and meditate for up to an hour.
It is also worth noting that you can also break up your meditation sessions into smaller chunks throughout the day.
The Risks Of Too Much Meditating
There is no specific definition of what is too much meditation as this depends on each person individually.
Some people may find half an hour too much, while others are fine even with a longer session. The right meditation time is personal to you.
But how do you know that you are over-meditating? Here are a few signs and symptoms that you should look out for with your practice.
1. Negative Emotions
Meditation creates greater self-awareness in your mind which means that you come across all your emotions, from anger and happiness to deep sorrow.
This form of mindfulness can often be shocking, surprising and overwhelming to meditation beginners.
If you expose yourself to too many negative feelings in one meditation session, then this can lead to panic attacks and anxiety.
Make sure that you take plenty of time to process these emotions outside your meditation routine.
Just like any experience and product that feels good to our mind, meditation can be incredibly addictive.
If people develop a dependent relationship with their practice and it is too difficult for them to stop, then this is a clear sign that they are addicted to meditating.
Meditating excessively can lead practitioners to cut themselves off from other people. They stop socializing with their friends and family and end up just focusing on their inner world.
A healthy meditation routine allows you to look into your mind with all its feelings. But over-meditation can result in an altered sense of self.
When you get too absorbed in your emotions, then you don’t have the distance you need to see stressful situations in a different light.
5. Physical Side Effects
Meditating too much does not just affect your mind but it can also create great awareness around your body.
You may feel pains and aches, such as dizziness, headaches or stomach upsets.
How Long Should You Meditate For?
There is no fixed meditation time or length for each meditation session. You can vary your meditation according to your needs and your situation.
The best way to find your personal meditation time is by starting with a few minutes.
If you are a beginner, two to five minutes are enough to give you a feeling for this mindfulness practice.
If you find that five minutes feels comfortable, then you can increase the time to ten minutes or 15 minutes.
Only a few practitioners have the time to meditate for longer sessions, so it can be useful to break your practice into smaller sessions throughout the day.
Can You Meditate Several Times A Day?
Yes, you can meditate multiple times a day (see also: How Many Times A Day Should You Meditate?). In fact, it is often more effective and practical to break your meditation down into smaller sessions.
This is especially important for beginners who still need to find a reliable time when they can regularly practice their meditation.
Over time, you will be able to develop a regular practice schedule that feels personal and individual to you.
This means that you will have specific times of the day or the week when you feel most comfortable practicing.
As a minimum, it is a good idea to practice meditation at least once a day to reap the full benefits of mindfulness.
Is It Better To Meditate Longer Or More Frequently?
Meditation is much more effective when you practice every day for a few minutes instead of for longer sessions every few days.
Once you have established a meditation routine for yourself with a daily time schedule, then you will notice the positive effects quickly.
You need to find the right balance between the length of your meditation practice and regularity. Both are important.
How Long Should Beginners Meditate for?
While meditation seems easy on the outside, it needs a lot of practice to be effective. If you are new to meditation, then you can start with a couple of minutes each day.
Make sure that you carefully observe how you feel and what you experience. Even a few minutes can feel like a long time for beginners.
Two to three minutes of meditation time give you the opportunity to adjust to your own internal space. Just sit, rest and be aware of your feelings.
You can gradually increase the time for each session until you feel fully comfortable that this is what works best for you.
Meditation is a wonderful way to connect with yourself but it is important to find a sustainable and healthy balance, so you don’t get overwhelmed.