Woman meditating by the sea

Is meditation helpful for emotional issues?

We live in a world of quick-fix expectations; we are raised in the modern world to expect that whatever your problem is, you can find a pill to fix it. And people are often in a hurry to deal with any illness or emotional problem quickly, especially when constantly under pressure to do everything faster and better.

My top six reasons people distract themselves.

  • Debt problems.
  • Avoiding thoughts and emotions from past trauma.
  • Fear of facing the truth.
  • Work pressure and stress.
  • Unhappy marriage or partnership.
  • Fear of failing.


Self-medication for emotional issues

Without any help or support, overstressed people can find their own quick-fix methods when left to their own devices. Those methods can bring quick respite at that moment in time. But if continued can lead to even more significant problems in the future.

Drinking alcohol or taking drugs to cope with feelings of emptiness, or stress and anxiety in the short term, is quite often limited in its consequences. But given time will have a major impact on everything from destroying personal relationships. To permanent physical damage and generate serious mental health problems.

Not just alcohol and drugs.

It is not just alcohol and drugs that are used to cope with the pressures of life; anything that distracts people from emotional discomfort can be used. This includes using food and gambling. Or relentlessly watching TV and playing computer games, and using other kinds of media to distract from their emotional pain and uncomfortable thoughts.

This avoidance becomes self-destructive. Especially when it steers people away from what we need to deal with now, it can be like a quick fix pill; take it when needed to make your world feel better. Unfortunately, it only delays the inevitable or makes everything worse.

Are antidepressants the answer?

Medication is only short-term help, not to be used for the long term as it can lead to other issues like dependency. Obviously, in some circumstances, long term use of antidepressants is unavoidable when considering some kinds of complex mental health issues.

One problem with the medication is that it can deaden the emotions to a point where no emotional healing can occur. It can help the person cope or decrease the symptoms but does not usually help solve the primary issues; this can mean that the problem will appear as soon as the medication is stopped. Or the person will need to take more and more pills over time, leading to a lifelong prescription.

For people to start the healing process, it is inevitable that emotions must be felt, thoughts must be considered, and behaviours explored. Although this work can be very painful, it can also be cathartic and, through expression, personally illuminating.

Is meditation hard to do?

Therapy combined with meditation can provide a safer choice of treatment from antidepressants for most emotional problems, or it can be combined with the antidepressants in the short term, while the collective therapy and meditation approach starts to work.

Just using meditation and mindfulness can help with everything from social anxiety, anger issues and depression. Lots of people have successfully managed their issues by practising meditation. The main problem with meditation is that many people find it hard to do. Not just because they find it hard to relax, or they keep being distracted by their own thoughts, but meditation needs commitment and, in some circumstances, can feel even feel unpleasant.

What makes meditation difficult?

Some people can discover that strong emotional spaces within themselves can make it hard to navigate their inner world. Meditation can reduce the ability for people to push away uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.

Even before the person encounters any real discomfort when starting to meditate, they can start to feel anxious as they get closer to the emotionally unpleasant area, quite often ending the meditation before it starts.

Meditation can become unpleasant when memories, thoughts and emotions, that were once locked away start to escape or leak out. This can culminate in exposing past traumas or uncovering long-hidden fears and beliefs about themselves. Indeed, it is this very aspect of meditation that can be so helpful with finding clarity and commence healing, with the help of therapy to find clarity.

Can meditation make you feel worse?

Yes, under some conditions, people practising meditation can have upsetting experiences, and in very extreme cases, make people feel depressed. Usually, if this does happen, it will pass in a short time, but there are a few cases where people have become severely affected and even become suicidal. If you feel depressed after doing meditation, you should seek support from your doctor or a meditation specialist.

Even with people entering therapy, the therapeutic process can make people feel worse when difficult emotional areas are explored. This is often just an extension of the natural healing process.


Combine what works.

In my opinion, it is always best to combine meditation with therapy when working on any issues like past trauma. The two work well together and may help the person sort out the emotional disturbances sometimes found when doing meditation.

With meditation, used with counselling, either face-to-face or using an online counselling service, it can be possible to identify the root causes of the symptoms and find a long-term solution. Or at least have the possibility to reduce the medication safely over time.

Did meditation help you?