If you’re someone who has dealt with anxiety or depression, the one advice you would’ve received to reduce it would be to practice meditation and mindfulness. But what if these stress-reduction techniques actually have adverse effects?
According to a study published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, the most common adverse effects of meditation were anxiety, reported in 33% of the studies, depression in 27%, and cognitive anomalies in 25%. This was found out after researchers performed a meta-analysis of 83 studies published between 1975 and 2019, with a total of 6,703 participants.
Overall the adverse effects of meditation were 8.3%
According to a study published in New Scientist, about one in 12 people who try meditation, experience an unwanted negative effect, usually a worsening in depression or anxiety, or even the onset of these conditions for the first time.
Even though mindfulness is a good way to feel optimistic and live in the present, in a 2007 study, it was found out that almost half of the participants taking part in this study experienced delusional, irrational, or paranormal thoughts caused by meditation, as well as a change in executive function.
Sometimes when a person tries to still their thoughts, the mind rebels. According to a researcher, Miguel Farias at Coventry University in the UK, it is advisable to opt for guided meditation sessions, led by a teacher or an app with a recorded narration, which might be safer.