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Is too much meditation bad for you?

by Andy Puddicombe

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Question:

I have been meditating with Headspace for around three years now. I really enjoy it and I think I have benefited from it. Years ago, I used to do Transcendental Meditation which was a regime of  twice a day.

I have now started meditating twice a day with Headspace. I do a 30 or 60 minute guided meditation in the morning and one of the Headspace Pro sessions in the evening. The other day, I felt I could do even more then someone told me that too much meditation can be bad for you, which I find hard to believe.

What are your thoughts on this and on how much daily meditation it is ok for me to do?

Andy’s answer:

Great to hear you’ve been using Headspace for such a long time – you must have been one of the very earliest adopters!

It sounds as though you are really committed to the journey and have put aside a good amount of time each day to meditate, which is brilliant. I would say that actually sounds like a really good amount right now.

Personally, I would recommend carrying on with the Headspace Pro series alongside your 60 minute morning meditation, as it can really help with a few of the more common obstacles. As for whether it can do you harm, my own experience is absolutely not.

There is some interesting research and some curious tales which sometimes suggest that once people get into doing deep retreat, perhaps 10-18 hours of meditation a day, without the correct guidance, then there is the potential for harm in a very few individuals. But even then it is extremely uncommon. So you can feel safe to continue as you are for now and perhaps look at slowly nudging it up in the future if you find it helpful – and you have time.

Warm wishes, 

Andy

Andy Puddicombe

Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert. An accomplished presenter and writer, Andy is the voice of all things Headspace. In his early twenties, midway through a university degree in Sports Science, Andy made the unexpected decision to travel to the Himalayas to study meditation instead. It was the beginning of a ten-year journey which took him around the world, culminating with ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India. His transition back to lay life in 2004 was no less extraordinary. Training briefly at Moscow State Circus, he returned to London where he completed a degree in Circus Arts with the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, whilst drawing up the early plans for what was later to become Headspace.