Monday, July 25, 2011

Letting Go of Clutter

Self-calming activities like relaxation training or meditation should quiet the mind and body.

When you begin any kind of relaxation or meditation practice, you are lowering the noise level in your brain and body. When this happens, you might notice some ‘clutter’ in your mind. This clutter may manifest itself as wondering thoughts, pain or other sensations in your body.

Keep in mind, these distractions are not just popping up as you relax. With meditation, you are finally getting quiet enough to see what is regularly going on inside your brain and body. The bubbling of sensations and feelings is commonly known as ‘letting go’ phenomena (sometimes called discharge) and it is a good thing. You want to let go of the old, clean out the clutter, and make room for the new.

So, if you are meditating and emotions start bubbling up or you begin to feel anxious, understand that it is part of the process.

If you ever feel too uncomfortable, just stop, and try again later. The key is to be gentle with yourself. Start slowly. Gently ease yourself into the practice.

I suggest starting with visualization or relaxation exercises that keep you busier with suggestions. If you are practicing the more passive meditations like counting breaths or a mantra, only practice for twenty minutes at a time and build up to longer meditation sessions.

Some of the symptoms you may experience:

  • An increase in dreams
  • Emotions bubbling up to the surface
  • Feelings of nausea or dizziness or other bodily sensations
  • Feelings of anxiety or uneasiness as you are meditating

I hope I’m not scaring you off. This ‘letting go’ phenomena does not happen to everyone. Relaxation and meditation is so good for your mind and body, the benefits greatly outweigh the possible side-effects. If you ease into meditation and don’t get carried away with “more is better” in the beginning, you’ll be fine.


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