If you ever try out meditation, you might feel a little bit antsy, anxious, impatient, or even angry. It seems you would rather lay down and stare at the wall rather than sit there with your eyes closed and doing nothing. You are not alone especially if you are just starting out or if you are in a busy and stressful period of your life.
Even if you believe in the powerful benefits of meditation, sometimes you can’t stand still with your to-do list on your mind or with your emotions running wild. You might think this is not your day to meditate or that you are not in the right headspace for meditation.
Psychologist and yoga teacher Gail Parker explain:
“You may feel antsy at first like you really don’t want to be doing this and want to jump out of your skin.”
If you are feeling this way while meditating this is just another reason why you shouldn’t give up. If you feel jittery on your mat while meditating, you probably feel the same off the mat, but you just don’t notice it as much as when you sit still. Feeling antsy and anxious is just another reason to embrace your practice.
Why Do We Feel Antsy During Meditation?
People who tried meditation and gave up will often say that it didn’t work for them because meditation makes them feel nervous. Sitting still, focusing on the breath, and letting thoughts pass by will make most of us feel nervous. The feeling of clarity can become overwhelming and the defense mechanism will be feeling nervous.
It’s important to remember that the practice of meditation is not making you anxious and jittery, it just means that you feel that way before you even stepped on your mat. Meditation is only propelling those feelings to the surface.
Feeling like you can’t sit still is a sign that you need meditation more than anyone else. No one probably told you that releasing stress and accumulated tension is not a pretty and easy process. You will feel relief afterward, but the process in itself can be very uncomfortable. While we meditate whatever we felt before is only emphasized during meditation and while meditating you will free your body of those negative emotions such as anxieties and uncomfortable moments of being fully present. You will become more relax and comfortable in your own skin, but the process in itself won’t be easy.
What Do We Learn and Become During Meditation?
During meditation, you will learn how to tolerate discomfort and you will heal. Once you complete your meditation that feeling of anxiety will be reduced and you will be able to be more relaxed.
If we pay attention to it, during meditation we learn a lot about ourselves and what bothers us. You might cry out of nowhere or you might feel like you want to run away.
The most important thing is to embrace discomfort and become comfortable with it.
Where Do You Start?
If you start with one-hour meditation right away, it might feel almost unbearable to sit there for an hour. If you are starting out or starting all over again, it’s a good idea to start with 5 minutes of meditation and to increase it by one minute each day. Make the next meditative practice even more challenging. If you feel like you don’t have 15 minutes in a day for meditation, think about all the benefits that meditation will give you with continued practice. Think about the ease that you will feel for the rest of the day.
Increase meditation time minute by minute until you are able to tolerate the stillness and the silence and until you reach the point of deep relaxation.
If you feel irritated, anxious, and impenitent during meditation, you are not alone. It’s a common feeling when starting out or when you are going through a busy and extremely stressful period of your life. When you start feeling this way, don’t write it off declaring that meditation is not for you. That feeling of being uncomfortable is only a sign that meditation is for you and that you need the practice to live a more relaxed and happier life. Tap into your emotions and work on them. It might be unpleasant but relieving the stress and tension through meditation will prove to be worthwhile.