Okay, so you know someone who is into mindfulness meditation, and they always keep talking about how it’s beneficial for everybody and why you should do it too. But of course, you don’t feel like doing it – who wants just to sit cross-legged and do nothing?
However, you realize that your friend tries to be all scientific. He references all these studies that back up his claims, and you’ve got nothing to say to him in return. So now you’re looking for reasons why you shouldn’t meditate.
Or maybe you feel like meditation just isn’t for you, and you’re looking for ways to justify your belief. Either way, I’ve got your back! In this article, we’ll take a look at ten solid reasons why you should never meditate.
- 1. Meditation will take away your insomnia
- 2. Meditation will make you happier
- 3. Meditation will reduce stress
- 4. Meditation will reduce depression
- 5. Meditation will make you more creative
- 6. Meditation will make you more youthful
- 7. Meditation will stop you from binge eating
- 8. Meditation will tone down your anger
- 9. Meditation will sharpen your mind
- 10. Meditation will make you a nicer person
1. Meditation will take away your insomnia
In modern times, when we are accustomed to taking our smartphones and tablets to bed with us, we find it comparatively harder to fall asleep. Our mind keeps getting stimulated throughout the day, so we’re able to drift into sleep at night. The problem lies in not being able to quiet the mind’s activity enough to fall asleep.
However, if you were to meditate before going to bed, studies suggest that you would be able to fall asleep much quicker. Although, like other treatments for sleep disorders, meditation also has its side effects. Unlike sleeping pills, however, all the side effects of meditation are positive. One of the impacts is that meditation also keeps our mind calmer throughout the day and reduces anxiety, which further help you get a good night’s sleep.
But hey, who wants to fall asleep quickly and quietly when you can keep tossing and turning in bed for hours? So don’t ever get into meditation – not unless you want to have restful nights.
2. Meditation will make you happier
You might be surprised to know that pleasures don’t make you happy in the long term. Our brains have a base level of happiness that remains unchanged regardless of the happenings in our lives. It basically means that no matter what I achieve or lose externally, I won’t be any happier or sadder than I was before that incident.
That’s where meditation comes in. It increases our base level of happiness, which means we become genuinely happier overtime. You can read more about it here where I’ve linked to various researches – does meditation make you happy?
But, who wants to gain permanent happiness when you can keep running after the endless pleasures that the world has to offer you? So my advice to you would be that you shouldn’t get into meditation – not unless you want to become a happier individual.
3. Meditation will reduce stress
Whenever someone experiences stress, the body immediately jumps into what’s called a fight-or-flight response. In a lot of cases, this physical response is quite helpful. However, if a person experiences such agitation for a prolonged period, it can cause physical damage to different parts of the body. There’s also a stress hormone in our body called the cortisol, and excess of this hormone is directly linked with increased levels of stress.
Studies show that meditation triggers the body’s relaxation response. It helps your body repair itself and restores the body to a calm state. It changes how your body reacts to stress. Researchers have also revealed that meditation reduces the cortisol level in our body.
But hey, who wants to be stress-free and relaxed when you can stay agitated most of your day? So, don’t ever start meditating – not unless you want to live with less stress in your life.
4. Meditation will reduce depression
Stress and anxiety are some of the significant triggers of depression. Meditation works to change your response to these feelings. With regular practice of meditation, you are better able to shift your attention when negative thoughts or feelings arise. Meditation allows you to let go of those triggers when they are incipient, and when the whirlpool of depression hasn’t begun.
A part of our brain known as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) becomes hyperactive in the state of depression. mPFC is where you process information about yourself, such as thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Meditation changes the brain regions linked with depression, such as the mPFC (or the “me center”) and also the amygdala (or the “fear center”). How meditation helps with depression
But hey, who wants to be happy and peaceful when you can stay depressed or rely on pharmaceutical treatments, perhaps even for the rest of your life? So steer clear from meditation – unless you want to become your friend in the battle with depression.
5. Meditation will make you more creative
Danny Penman, in his book Mindfulness for Creativity, argues that meditation enhances creativity by improving three crucial skills in a person. Firstly mindfulness meditation opens your mind to new ideas, or in other words, it switches on divergent thinking in your brain. Secondly, meditation and other mindfulness practices improve your attention span, so you are more able to brainstorm and spot useful ideas. And finally, mindfulness makes you more courageous and resilient in the face of setbacks, which are a part of really any innovation process.
But hey, who wants to become more creative when they can be complacent with their current abilities? Don’t meditate even for short periods, because you’ll start to see the benefits by meditating for only 10 minutes a day!
6. Meditation will make you more youthful
Meditation slows down both the psychological and physical processes of aging. Regular practice of meditation affects the production of three crucial hormones that affect aging: DHEA, melatonin, and cortisol.
- Regular meditation can increase the production of DHEA by 44-90%. DHEA is a hormone that Guards our body against disease and also maintains the youthfulness of the body. It generally decreases as we grow older.
- Meditation practice can also increase the production of melatonin by 98%. You probably already know that melatonin is a sleep hormone. But it is also an anti-aging agent, antioxidant, and antidepressant.
- Finally, meditation can decrease cortisol levels by up to 47%. Cortisol is a stress hormone, which also causes wrinkles and thinning in the skin.
But of course, who wants to maintain acuity when you can hasten the physical and psychological aging process because of the extra stress in your life? You can tell your friends that you don’t meditate because you don’t want to feel or look younger. Simple as that.
7. Meditation will stop you from binge eating
People don’t always eat just to satisfy their physical hunger. Many of us also turn to food for stress relief, comfort, and to reward ourselves. And when we do, we tend to go for sweets, junk food, pizzas, or other comforting but unhealthy foods. Our bodies respond to stress with cravings of high-sugar and high-fat foods. This behavior is known as stress eating or emotional eating.
A review of 14 studies that investigated the relationship between mindfulness and binge eating revealed that mindfulness effectively decreases binge eating and emotional eating tendencies in people. Another small study showed that if mindfulness is added to cognitive behavioral therapy, it works to improve self-awareness and eating behavior. I’ve talked about this in another article – should you meditate after eating?
So unless you want to achieve your weight loss goals more efficiently, you shouldn’t get into meditation at all.
8. Meditation will tone down your anger
Regular meditation practice helps you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, and you are better able to cope with anger. A study was conducted on 37 individuals who attended 5 to 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation daily for a week. Within four weeks, it was reported by the participants that mindfulness indeed has a powerful positive impact on anger issues.
But why would you want to become peaceful when you can keep lashing out on people all the time? So that’s another reason for you to not meditate – don’t do it unless you want to tone down your anger.
9. Meditation will sharpen your mind
The ancient yogic and Buddhist masters have claimed that meditation, Pranayama, and other yogic practices improve our ability to focus on tasks. Hundreds of years later, researchers at Trinity College, Dublin, and Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity have successfully found the neurophysical link between attention and breathing.
The study revealed that breathing directly affects levels of noradrenaline in our bodies. Noradrenaline is a natural brain chemical messenger, which is released when we are exercised, challenged, curious, or emotionally aroused. The brain is better able to grow new connections when noradrenaline is produced at the right levels in the body. According to Science Daily, breathing affects our brain chemistry, our attention is improved, and our brain is healthier.
And here you have another reason not to meditate. Why would you want to sharpen your brain? Why would you want to become smarter? I just don’t get it.
10. Meditation will make you a nicer person
Research, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, has shown that people who practice mindfulness meditation are better at regulating their emotions. As a result, they are kinder and more empathetic, even to strangers.
Another study found that more mindful people are concerned with compassion-oriented goals like avoiding doing any harm to others. They care less about goals that protect their self-image, such as avoiding showing any weakness.
You totally don’t want this one. Why in the world would you want to become kinder and more empathetic? Don’t get into meditation because if you do, you’ll soon find yourself caring more about other people and expecting less from them.
So there you have it—10 reasons why you should never meditate. Everything is great except one thing, you would love to have all the above benefits, wouldn’t you? Of course, this article is full of sarcasm. Meditation is fantastic, and I can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t do it.
I wrote it to share with my hesitant friends to help them formulate some arguments “against” meditation. You can do the same!