Almost all personal development and spiritual teachers recommend meditation as a way to feel better. I also mention it in the majority of my blog posts and articles as a fantastic method for raising your vibration. So why is it, that when some people begin to mediate, their lives actually get worse? Are these people just doing it wrong? Are they different? Are they perhaps meant to suffer and are therefore being punished for their attempt at feeling better? No, no and no. There’s a perfectly rational explanation for why your life might seem to get worse when you begin the practice of meditation.

You’re not doing it wrong

First of all, there’s almost no way you can meditate “wrong”. All you need to do is quiet your mind and concentrate on your breathing. Even if you happen to fall asleep, there’s no harm done. So the fear that incorrect meditation could lead to a horrible, life-destroying outcome is completely unfounded.

I’ve written an article on How to Meditate, if you’d like to learn more.

Second, the laws of the Universe apply to all of us equally. So, even though we are all unique and have our own vibration, the Law of Attraction will treat us all the same. Meditation raises our energy, period. It doesn’t create or draw bad experiences to us. It just speeds up our energy.

And third, none of us are meant to suffer and there is no entity that will ever punish us for anything, least of all spiritual growth. Now, you may think that this belief sounds ridiculous, but think about this: The last time that something went wrong in your life, did you think, even for a second, “Why is this happening to me?”, as if it was being done TO you? This is an old belief that’s still hanging around in one form or another – the idea that if we do something wrong, we will be punished for it. The whole idea of Karma is based on it. But the only one who can and will ever punish us is, well, us.

So, why DO things get worse for some people when they begin to meditate?

You can never go back

As I stated, meditation helps to raise your vibration and higher vibrations feel better. So, during your meditation and immediately after, you’re given access to much lighter emotions. Your frustrations turn into boredom and then hopefulness. Then, when you return to your old, limiting thoughts and the negative emotions they produce, it feels worse than it did before.

It’s as if you’ve been living on rice cakes all of your life. You might not really enjoy them, but you wouldn’t complain, because you wouldn’t know any better. They would just be normal. But if you’re then given access to a gourmet meal, your whole gastronomical world would open up. The flavors! The textures! The pure enjoyment of it all! Well, going back to those rice cakes the next day wouldn’t feel “normal” anymore. You would suddenly be aware of how bland and boring the food was. You’d have a whole new perspective.

This is what happens when you meditate. You get a taste of nirvana so to speak and going back to your old emotional state feels worse to you by comparison. You’re becoming fully aware of the negative feelings you’ve been putting up with, but you’re no longer so content about it. Things aren’t actually worse, you’re just finally becoming aware of how bad they’ve always been.

Faster Energy = Faster Manifestation

Of course, sometimes, the shit really does hit the fan as soon as a person starts to raise their vibration. Speeding up your energy doesn’t create negative manifestations. But it does cause the manifestations that are already on the way to appear more rapidly, and providing you ignore them, to get bigger faster. Plus, raising your vibration doesn’t automatically get rid of your limiting beliefs.

Think of it this way: you’re in a car, travelling slowly through an obstacle course. The obstacles are your limiting beliefs – the lower frequencies that are active in your vibration (activated by your attention to them). So, while you’re driving slowly, you can navigate around these obstacles. You have some time to see them coming and they’ll generally only come at you one at a time. Even if you hit one, it’s not really going to hurt at that speed. But then, you speed up your energy through meditation, and you begin to drive faster and faster. The obstacles become harder to spot, more of them come at you at once and if you do hit one, well, it’s going to hurt. A lot.

Let’s use a real world example:

You’re holding on to some negative belief. It’s not a huge one, but it’s been niggling away at you, causing some negative emotion; let’s say frustration. But you’ve been ignoring it, because frustration feels kind of normal to you. Then, you speed up your energy. Now, you become aware of the frustration and you don’t like it one bit. It seems like meditation is making you feel worse, when in fact, you’re just feeling the frustration that’s always been there. You keep going with the energy work, but you don’t address the limiting belief. And so, it begins to manifest in a bigger way. You might begin to experience some physical pain. That generally makes us take notice. The manifestation will continue to grow and get worse until you address it. Remember that the manifestation is just an indicator of that limiting belief. It’s just saying “Notice me! Take care of this! You have a belief that’s not serving you!” And it will continue to try and get your attention in bigger and more painful ways until you either give up and release it or die. How bad it has to get before you do something about it, is entirely up to you.

You still have to do the work

Meditation only gives you access to the better feeling thoughts, but you still have to choose to actually think them. If your general state is one of “I hate myself”, then meditation will give you access to a slightly higher thought, like “I’m not all that horrible.” If you then choose to adopt that thought, to practice thinking it instead of the old, horrible feeling one, you’ll begin to feel better and you’ll stabilize at that new, slightly higher vibration. If you continue to meditate, you’ll continue to be given access to higher and higher thoughts. But you still have to practice thinking them. Meditation isn’t a fix-all. You still have to be willing to do the work.

Sometimes what seems bad is actually good

Now, sometimes, when it seems like your life is falling apart, it can actually be a prelude to something great. If you want to build a new house, you’ll have to first tear down the old one. Faster energy also means faster positive manifestations. And that means change – something we humans traditionally don’t have an easy time with. We tend to see all change as scary and bad, even when it’s clearly needed in order to make room for something much better.

So, you’ve been focusing on getting a new job and you’ve been lining up your energy. As you speed up your vibration, it’s going to attract that new job and all conditions that lead to it more rapidly. One of those conditions is that you have to get out of your old job and the fastest way to do that is for them to lay you off. No problem, right? As long as you continue to focus on the new job that’s just around the corner.

Only, we don’t tend to react that way. When something “bad” happens to us, we generally focus on that and use it as an excuse to feel horrible. Why did this happen? What did we do wrong? What are we going to do? Etc., etc. The vibration you want to be holding is “New job on the way! Yippee! New job on the way!”, while you’re actually thinking “Old job is gone! Oh crap! Old job is gone!” And of course, those thoughts will slow down your vibration and your manifestation.

Meditation is just a tool

Now, after reading this, you might come to the conclusion that even though mediation doesn’t actually cause negative manifestations, it’s still kind of dangerous, because it brings them about faster. But notice that at no point did I say that meditation actually leads to more negative thoughts. All it does is make you aware, in one way or another, of the thoughts you’re already thinking and the manifestations they’re already creating, while giving you access to better feeling ones.

If you cut your finger and ignore it, it will get infected. If you continue to ignore it, it will get worse. Now, you can choose to continue to look away, taking the stance of “I don’t even want to know”, but ultimately, the pain will get worse and worse, until you can’t help but pay attention to it. But by then, it might be too late. You’ve lost your finger.

Or, you can decide to make yourself aware of the cut while it’s still small and harmless. This is all you’re doing with meditation. The negative beliefs you’re holding on to will continue to manifest in your reality until you release them. The only way that meditating will actually make your life worse, is if you speed up your energy but refuse to think the better feeling thoughts. If you use meditation as a tool to gain access to better feeling thoughts and then actually think them, your life will just get better and better.  It always, always, ALWAYS comes down to choosing better feeling thoughts. 🙂


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  • Good stuff, Melody. I would describe my current perspective as feeling like a stranger in a strange land. I have just gotten back into meditation and noticed how my energy levels have gone through the roof. I felt much better, yet I wasn’t happy in the world I was living in – job, location, negative thoughts, etc. It was as if I was feeling no connection to any of this and I began to have trouble sleeping, while also feeling emotionally overwhelmed and depressed. Suffice it to say, stumbling on to your blog today seemed to explain EXACTLY what was happening.

    Thank you so much for your insight just when I needed it.

  • I was looking for an answer to an extreme attack of anxiety last night following a very lengthy and deep mindful meditation, and your explanation fits the bill. So, thank you very much!

  • I am sorry but I need to knwo something. When I meditate I start to feel sick. I get a headache and sick to my stomach. please help me. thank you

  • Seriously thank you so much for this. I have been doing a lot of self work this year and have accomplished amazing things, following my dreams, and meditating, a lot. I just moved to Hawaii recently and instead of feeling excited and breath taken by all the sights i just feel numb and upset. I’ve felt like with all the many positive changes happening I become more and more depressed and have actually had suicidal thoughts?! I’m normally one of the most positive, spiritual, uplifting person you’ll meet and I’ve been so upset by these thoughts. It’s almost like my EGO is eating me alive and I have no clue how to handle it. This article has made me feel SO much better!! The negative thoughts are arising to accept and let go, not year me apart. If there’s any other advice you can give to this that would be great! Thanks! xoxo

  • hi Melody,

    Really Interesting.. now a days something moving me to search for
    meditation tips…

    already without reading and knowing all those things i was started my
    meditation(simply siting in ma room and thinking of my god that he guiding me and answering ma questions)

    is really nice……..


    and am much happy now i got this blog when i searching tips for meditation to do

    gods grace i got it…

    bunch of thanks to u….
    thank u…..

  • Meditation seemed to make my insomnia worse not better, that’s why I read the article. In the article you say once you start meditating, you can’t go back. Well if I can’t go back, then how can I sleep? I was told meditation would make sleep easier, but it just made my mind more awake. So basically my body is tired, but my mind is awake. I don’t know how to bring my mind and body into balance, especially if meditation is making this process worse. I thought meditation was supposed to help.

  • Hi
    I absolutely love your article as I am now 30 years old and want to start practicing meditation, but I want to know what I need to be prepared for. I’m a devoted Christian and I’ve been blessed with prophecy, clairvoyance, etc by simply growing closer to Jesus….If I’m already head strong but I also have an addiction, and I want to be free of that addiction. What could you tell me as to how to start the meditation process?

  • Dear Kat, if the visualisation dont work for you anymore, just leave it, it purpose has been achieved, you dont need it anymore. Of course do not stop meditating, but let happen whatever is going to happen, whatever will come, do not try to control anything, do not try to force good feeling on you, be curious but, do not expect anything, do not cling to things that happened before as this causing your tension and that is the reason meditation doesn’t feel good for you anymore. Relax and let go, soon good feeling will come by itself, no need to force it, no need to visualise anything.

  • I just don’t agree that you have to impose some so called positive thoughts on yourself, they are already inside, just covered by all the rubbish, that all will be cleared in meditation, then the light is seen, which is real you. Meditation is a “fix – all”, if you will impose positive thoughts or any kind of thoughts on yourself, you will just create another layer or rubish, nothing else is needed, just meditation.

  • Oops I just saw that my initial comment is still awaiting moderation and has not been removed…I just didn’t see it when I opened the page…anyway, sorry for leaving that second comment about my first comment getting removed. So now sorry for leaving a THIRD comment about the second comment! Ahaha, I will shut up now. I’ve manifested a blubbering idiot! 😉

  • Hmm looks like my comment got removed (not sure why)…it’s not a problem but now I realize that I must have manifested that! Doesn’t make me feel good but I’m sure there’s a reason why I manifested this resistance…thanks for making me have to now deal with this and face it. I shall now go digging for answers within! 🙂

  • Hi Melody,

    What about when meditation no longer feels good to you? I’ve done meditation on and off and a week ago it seemed to go well (I’d try to do it at least 1x/day); I’d achieve good emotion by visualizing my dreams but now those visualizations no longer bring me ANY kind of emotion, as if I’ve become desensitized by them. And because of this, I end up feeling frustrated and now I feel like meditation/visualization is nothing but a chore, some kind of obligatory work I have to nag myself into doing in order to manifest what I want.

    I know you’re probably going to say “if it doesn’t feel good then back off and don’t do it anymore,” but do you know why this has happened? You say we can’t go backwards but what happens when we stop moving forward and making progress? I’m worried…

    • First of all, chill out. Second, remember that you’re reaching for a feeling and the visualization is just a tool to get you there. If one visualization doesn’t do it for you anymore, change the visualization! Reach for the feeling and let your visualizations change and morph to continue to keep you there. They generally will. And if you’re doing well, they will get better and bigger. 🙂

      I hope that helps.

      Huge hugs!!


  • Okay I was looking into trying this I was wondering by me being stressed alot would it be safe to meditate? I don’t want to fall into some deep depression just wondering how to go at this. As I read the comments I thought I don’t won’t to feel worse after meditating what should I do?

    • Hey Devin,

      It’s always safe to meditate. Meditation can make you more aware of emotions that are already present, which you’re glossing over (it hurts, but I’m going to ignore the pain). It’s will NOT create negative emotion that wasn’t there before.

      You won’t actually feel worse when you start meditating, but you will become more aware of you you’ve been feeling all along, and that can make it seem like things are getting worse. Not meditating because you’re afraid of what you’ll feel is a bit like shutting the door to the kitchen so you don’t have to see the cockroaches… 😉

      Huge hugs,


  • Hey Melody. Great article about meditation (my favourite subject 🙂 ). I’ve been meditating for about 8 years now, and luckily for me, I didn’t experience any ‘upheaval’ at all in the beginning. But for some people the negative emotions can ‘bubble’ to the surface and make them feel like they are going backwards.

    It’s actually a good thing because when these emotions come to the surface, they can then be released. The important thing is to NOT ‘resist’ and try to fight theses negative emotions… this will only increase the pain and suffering. Just stay out of the way and watch the show and in time the negative feelings will go. And remember that everyone’s experience will be unique.

  • Melody,
    Beautifully worded. I’m going through one of those times when things are getting worse, or so they seem. I feel that a break through will come though. I just have to find the key to open it.

    • Hi Glynis,
      Thank you so much for your kind words.
      Often, if you’re having trouble shifting your vibration on a subject, it’s really helpful to go do something completely unrelated, but which makes you feel better. By raising your vibration through another topic, you’ll get access to the answers that are alluding you now (they’re vibrating at a higher frequency, so you don’t have access to them as long as you keep focusing on the problem.)
      Thanks so much for the comment!


  • Hi Melody,

    Yes, meditation is a powerful tool, there is no doubt about it, but we really have to overcome our limiting beliefs to make meditation more helpful. For me, meditation helps me to clear my mind and it helps me to find answers to what I’m seeking. Great read as always my friend. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • HI Melody,

    Great article about how meditation speeds up our vibrations. I have to admit I’ve been doing horrible lately with my meditation. When I meditated on a regular basis I actually felt better, now that I’ve slacked off I feel those vibrations becoming denser. Thanks for the reminder to get my butt back in gear.

    • Hi Todd,
      We’re always going to go through cycles. Periods of super high vibration followed by periods of contrast. So don’t beat yourself up. The fact that you’re sensitive enough to feel the difference means you’ll never spend very long in the contrast. 🙂


  • Melody,
    You have such a wonderful way of explaining these concepts on your site! I really love that about being here in this space – how easy to understand everything is that you share.

    I have been meditating (on and off) for about the last year. And, this really brings to the forefront the “off” part (i.e. it’s time for me to turn it back on!)


    • Hi Lance,
      Thank you so much for your wonderful, kind words. This is exactly what I’m aiming for: to attract people who easily find clarity through what I write. You’re my manifestation! 🙂


  • Hi Melody,
    This is an interesting and original topic to tackle. Indeed, meditation is a tool and very powerful one at that. Just becoming aware of all the useless Self-Talk that can dominate our thinking is enough to feel shocked and overwhelmed. But, bad news is always good news because now we do something about it. Our heightened awareness through meditation exposes the truth… the truth is never an easy thing to swallow when it upsets out beliefs. We cannot get to the light unless we go through the muck first. With time and practice I have found that the muck barely exists now.

    • This is so true, Rob. No everyone experiences negative repercussions, of course, and I’ve only ever heard of it happening when someone starts to raise their vibration, not after they’ve been doing this work for a while. Once you’ve released some negative beliefs, you get pretty good at noticing them and letting them go. But then it can be easy to forget what beginners go through…
      Thanks for your valuable comment! 🙂


  • Dear Melody,

    All this happens to me now, i enjoyed the fruit of meditation, i enjoyed the taste and i felt as lighter as feather.
    Now i stopped meditating i am longing for fruit and taste, thank you very much for your post.

    Thank You

    With Regards
    P.Murali kannan

    • Hi Murali,
      Perhaps this will give you the impetus to start meditating again… It’s not like your life will fall apart if you don’t, but it is a valuable tool that we can use to help us move toward our joy.


  • hi Melody,
    great explanation about the working of medetation.i would like to add more to it. If u practice medetation early in the morning at 4:00am its positive effect increases tremendously.this is how it works:
    early in the morning most of the people are asleep so they can not fill the atmosphere with their negative vibration. So u get huge benifit due to clear surrounding atmosphere, u can easily slow down ur thoughts.
    And while u r asleep the the level of lactic acid in ur body goes down. And by practicing medetation early in the morning for half an hour will decrease the level of lactic acid far more than in sleep.
    Please keep writing this type of articles i enjoy it a lot compared to my college studies.
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Harsh,
      Thank you so much for adding this valuable info to the discussion! I’m not a morning person, so 4:00 a.m. meditations just aren’t going to happen in my house (unless I’m STILL up…) I find, personally, my best time to meditate is in the afternoon, or even at night, providing I’m not too tired. I’ve tried in the morning, but my mind is so active, it’s more annoying than anything. It’s not impossible, but it takes me longer to achieve that state. The lesson I take from your words is that there are times of the day for each of us when it will be easier to achieve the meditative state and if we pay attention to our reactions, we can certainly gain more benefit from our meditation practice (notice, I try very hard to stay away from absolutes, like this time of day is best for everyone…)

      Thanks again for your comment and for your kind words.


  • Hmmm! You definitely have something in this blog. I wondered why I was feeling crapy the week I began my meditation practice again. I was moody, ate a lot of crap (still haven’t started my detox yet 🙁 ). This explains a lot of things. I really expected meditation to make my life rosy. I forgot that I still have to put action behind this tool. What good is a hammer if you don’t pick it up and hit the blankedy blank nail. Ok! I expected the medicaiton to make my limiting thoughts vanish into thin air and I would be able to zone in on my desire to become the best version of myself, which includes a more raw based diet, healthy beliefs, and all that comes with it.

    Thanks for the wake up call…. So there must be such a thing as mediating out of balance with the amount of action and effort in doing the work. For example, I only have about 40 mins in the morning to myself. During this time I can either meditate or exercise. When I first began my practice, I chose meditation because I believed it would supercede exercise and make me want to do right by my body. I believe I actually gained weight during the process because I still didn’t deal with the negative thoughts causing me to overeat. Now I split the time up and do about 20 minutes of mediation and exercise. Interesting stuff Melody!


    • Hi Kim,
      Thank you so much for your kind words.
      You’ve had a really valuable insight there. Meditation brought up those lower frequencies and they aggravated the eating response. Just reach for the best feeling thought you can find and over time, you’ll clear out all those cobwebs. 🙂 Also, sometimes it’s easier just to play into a belief than release it. If, for example, you have a strong belief that you need to exercise to lose weight, it might be easier just to exercise a bit, instead of fighting that. You have to feel your way through it to decide.


  • Hey Melody,
    I haven’t meditated in quite some time but several years ago I did it daily including chakra cleansing. I had many limiting beliefs come up as physical experiences but at the time I didn’t understand this concept.

    When I meditate I lay on the ground because this is most comfortable for me. One time I was able to even hear a soft gentle voice speaking to me. I generally have a chatty mind but meditation was able to quiet the mind allowing me access to higher-awareness.

    • Hi Justin,
      I also lie down when meditating. I can do it sitting up, by prefer to lie down. 🙂 It’s such a powerful tool, and I find that over time, I’ve been able to access all kinds of frequencies and get huge “downloads”. I’ve only had a couple of clairaudient experiences, and nothing coherent, just snippets of some voice. It’s just another way to interpret energy. I love playing around with different techniques, though. It’s such an adventure. Thanks for your valuable comment.


  • Interesting article! I have found that when I am practicing meditation that things in life become a lot more clearer…Positive things that I am focus on get heightened and take on a juicy form that I just sometimes stand in awe with gratitude. =)

    • Hi Baker,
      Absolutely! You gain access to much more clarity and understanding (that’s part of accessing higher vibrations). But you have to actually go there. Mediation opens the door, but you have to walk through. And there are people out there that have experienced some “negative” repercussions at the beginning of their meditation practice.

      I personally love meditation. The insights I get and the experiences I’ve had are nothing short of mind blowing. It just makes you sit back and go “holy crap, I love this work!!!”

      Thanks for the awesome comment!


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