10 ways to know you’re meditating properly

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You’ve been meditating for a while, but recently, you started doubting whether or not you’re meditating correctly.

Maybe you’re not performing the activity in the right way, or maybe you’re not getting the results that you expect.

And I understand — it’s especially complicated for beginners to determine whether they are doing it right.

So, how do you know if you are meditating properly?

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry — here are 10 ways to know if you’re meditating properly.

1) You have an increased sense of awareness of your surroundings and in yourself

Most people would tell you that something that would prove you’re meditating properly is that you’re able to relax, but personally, to me, here’s the most important sign that you’re meditating properly:

You’re able to be more aware of your surroundings and of yourself.

Does this sound familiar?

If so, then chances are that meditation helps you to pay extra attention to what’s happening around you.

The result?

This makes you more grounded in reality, and also more aware of yourself, your thoughts, and your emotions.

The reason why it means that you’re meditating properly is that meditation is a practice that should allow you to be more conscious of your thoughts and actions than before.

As a result, it leads to improved self-awareness.

You also tend to be less judgmental of people around you because you’re able to see things from their perspective as well as yours in a clearer light than before – a sign of greater self-awareness.

But how can you know if your sense of awareness has actually increased?

Well, the easiest way to find out is to make use of the fact that you’re more aware of yourself and your surroundings.

Simply pay attention to how you react to things around you.

  • Do you notice yourself paying more attention to people around you?
  • Do you listen more carefully?
  • Do you notice details that would otherwise have passed by unnoticed?
  • Are you able to see things from different perspectives?
  • Do people seem different from before — or maybe do they seem the same but with a different twist?

Just try to pay attention to your reactions, and you’ll soon realize whether you’re meditating properly.

2) You feel lighter, happier, and calmer than before

In my experience, this is one of the clearest signs that I’m meditating properly.

In fact, my friends who tend to meditate for years already have always told me that this is the best sign to tell whether you’re meditating properly.

In fact, that’s the reason I started to meditate.

The reason is that before I started meditation, I used to be a very anxious person.

I would get stressed out easily, I was always worried about things, and I used to have constant negative thoughts about myself.

In fact, I was so anxious that it even affected my sleep at night. So one day, I decided that something needed to be done about it.

That’s when I took up meditation as a tool to help me deal with my anxiety and stress.

And you know what?

After just a few days of meditating regularly, I noticed that my anxiety started to go down.  And after a month or two of meditating regularly, my anxiety disappeared completely.

And here’s the best part: even when I’m not meditating regularly anymore (which is actually quite rare), the results still remain!

In other words, it seems like the effects of meditation on anxiety are long-lasting and permanent!

So here’s the thing:

As I mentioned above, relaxation is not the most important sign that you’re meditating properly.

But it is one of the signs that can indicate that you’re on the right path.

If your mind is less stressed out than before you started meditating, then it’s a good sign that everything’s going as planned.

If you are still having problems relaxing after some time of regular meditation practice, try doing a different type of meditation — maybe something easier or more suited for beginners will help you see some results faster.

And trust me, if you’re doing it right, you will feel lighter, happier, calmer, and just generally better after meditation.

3) You aren’t thinking as much

Perhaps unsurprisingly, proper meditation isn’t only about feeling happier and being more relaxed.

Instead, one of the most obvious reasons that you’re meditating properly is that you’re simply not thinking as much.

I know it sounds a bit weird. I mean, isn’t meditation all about helping you to think more clearly?

Well, that’s right. But it’s also right that meditation is a great way to avoid overthinking and constant thinking in general.

How do I know this?

Since I’m interested in the way people think and perceive the world, before I started meditating, I simply tried to research the effects of meditation on my cognitive activity.

And guess what?

Studies show that meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task. This means that during meditation, you’re thinking less actively and more passively.

In other words, meditation teaches you how to think less, instead of forcing you to think more.

In other words, if you’re meditating properly and doing it right, you will notice that you are simply not thinking as much as before.

And this is a fantastic way to solve some of the problems associated with too much thinking.

For example, excessive thinking can cause anxiety and stress.  It can also increase your chances of becoming depressed.

And most importantly, too much thinking prevents you from living in the present moment.  It stops you from enjoying your life in the here and now.

So if you want to avoid all these problems associated with overthinking, then meditation is your best friend.

Now I’m not saying that you won’t have any thoughts while meditating.  After all, it’s impossible to completely stop thinking, right?

But meditation helps you to be less distracted by your thoughts and more focused on the present moment.

4) Your mind is quieter (but you’re not asleep)

This one is related to what I’ve just discussed about the thinking process during meditation.

If you’re meditating properly, then your mind should be quieter.

In other words, you shouldn’t be able to hear the constant noise of your thoughts.

Let me explain how this works.

Meditation is a form of mindfulness. It involves focusing your attention on one thing — in this case, it’s your breathing.

As you focus on your breathing, your mind becomes quieter. You also become more relaxed. When you are relaxed, you are much less likely to have racing thoughts. You’ll notice that your mind is much quieter because it’s less active.

However, this doesn’t mean that meditation makes you fall asleep or that it somehow puts your brain in sleep mode.

On the contrary, during meditation, your mind is actually active and busy thinking about something else.

Now I know that this may sound a bit confusing.  But if you really think about it, then it makes perfect sense.

What I mean is that during meditation, you’re actively trying to focus on your breathing or some other object of attention.

And since your mind is busy doing something else, it has no time to think about anything else or anything unrelated to what you’re doing at the moment.

And thus there’s no room for any kind of unwanted thoughts and distractions.

5) Your dreams are becoming clearer, deeper, and richer

Have you noticed that recently your dreams have become more vivid or that you’re remembering them more than before?

Well, if you’ve been meditating properly, then your answer should be positive. Why?

Because this is another sign that you’re meditating properly!

Of course, as I’ve said, even though your mind is quieter during meditation, you’re not asleep. But this doesn’t mean that meditation doesn’t affect your dreams.

In fact, it’s the opposite!

A 2018 study about lucid dream frequency in long-term meditators found that people who meditate long-term have more frequent lucid dreams compared to those who don’t meditate.

This happens because meditation helps you to get in touch with your subconscious mind. It helps you to tap into the wellspring of creativity within.

And as a result, your dreams become deeper and richer.

So, here’s the takeaway:

Proper meditation helps your dreams to become clearer, deeper, and richer with symbols and images that guide you on your path towards enlightenment or self-discovery (if that is what your dreams are about).

Sometimes these dreams can even be lucid, which is where you become aware that you are dreaming while still being able to control the dream itself – definitely a sign of a deeper connection between the conscious mind and unconscious mind!

In this case, it is highly likely that your unconscious mind is sending out messages for some kind of guidance for decisions or choices that need to be made during the day – this is why it’s essential not to forget about these important results of meditation!

6) You become less judgmental of others and yourself

Let’s continue talking about the inner effects of meditation on our mind, instead of our body for a while.

Another way to know if you’re meditating correctly is that you become less judgmental of others and yourself.

The truth is that meditation has been proven to reduce self-criticism and judgments.

You’ll become less critical of yourself because you’ll have a better understanding of yourself.

When you’re less judgmental of yourself, you are much less judgmental of others. Meditation helps you to see the world from a non-judgmental perspective, which is a very powerful thing.

How so?

Well, when you’re judgmental of others, you are also judging yourself.

And when you judge yourself, it’s usually because of some perceived flaw or weakness that you think is really important.

For example, if you think that your weight is the most important thing about yourself, then it’s likely that you are judgmental of others who are overweight too. You may look down on them for being ‘weak’ or ‘lazy’ or ‘out of control’.

But if someone else were to say the same thing to you about your weight, how would you feel?

Uncomfortable right?

And that discomfort is a sign that your judgment isn’t really fair and is coming from a place of insecurity within yourself.

But as I already told you, meditating properly helps you to become more self-aware, right?

And self-awareness, in turn, helps you to see the world from a non-judgmental perspective.

This is why meditation helps with this issue so much – because it makes us more aware of ourselves and less critical of others!

7) You have an increased sense of gratitude

Now as you already know that meditation helps you to become less judgmental of others, you won’t be surprised if I told you that feeling an increased sense of gratitude towards others is another sign that you’re meditating correctly.

If there’s one thing that almost all religions agree on, it’s that one should be thankful for everything that happens in our life, right?

And if this is true for religion, then why not in real life as well?

After all, having a grateful heart can help us appreciate the small things in life and make our lives much happier as well.

But how do we develop such a heart full of gratitude when we’re constantly surrounded by worries and problems in life — or even worse: when we’re constantly complaining about the things that are happening to us?

Well, the answer is simple: by meditating properly!

As I already told you, meditation helps us to become less judgmental of others, and when we stop judging others so much, we also stop judging ourselves so much.

And when we stop judging ourselves so much, it’s easier to appreciate who we are and what we have.

For example, if you are constantly judging yourself for being overweight or for not being good enough at something, then it’s unlikely that you will ever feel grateful for who you are and what you have.

But when you learn to accept yourself as you are, then it’s much easier to appreciate all the things that make you special.

And this is why meditation helps with this issue so much – because it makes us more aware of ourselves and less critical of others!

And remember: even though that may be true from your perspective, it still doesn’t make you a better person than anyone else in general.

It just means that you have a different set of circumstances and choices in life.  You have different priorities!  And both of these things are equally okay!

And meditation properly helps you to see this clearly and increases your sense of gratitude for all the people around you who have different circumstances and choices in life than yours.

So it might sound weird but it’s true: if you want to feel more grateful, then I would suggest trying to meditate properly!  It really works wonders!

8) You have an increased sense of inner peace and well-being

It’s not only about gratitude but another sign that you’re doing meditation properly is that you feel more at peace with yourself and with the world around you.

I know that it doesn’t make much sense to you now, but I will explain to you why this is a sign of a successful meditation session.

You see, one of the most important things in life is to be happy.  All right, so maybe that’s not the most important thing – but it’s definitely up there on my list of priorities!

After all, if you’re not happy then how can you be anything else but miserable?

Well, it turns out that meditation is one of the best ways to make yourself happy.

In fact, scientists prove that meditation is the strongest mental practice that can make you happier and healthier.

The reason why is that meditation helps you to become more at peace with yourself and the world around you.

While relaxation is not necessarily the most important sign that you’re meditating properly, inner peace definitely is one of them!

And if your mind feels calmer than before starting meditating, this can be one reason why.

Inner peace means having a general sense of well-being — calmness and contentment with life, so if this feeling has increased since you started regular meditation practice — it’s definitely a good sign!

So I think you can see my point now: meditation makes you happy!

And this is why it’s important to be able to practice meditation on a regular basis – because it will help you gain inner peace and well-being, which are both signs of a successful meditation session.

And when you’re at peace with yourself, it’s much easier to be happy.

It’s like this:  when we are not at peace with ourselves, it’s much harder to take care of other people and stay present at the moment – because our mind is always elsewhere!

So we have no idea what’s going on!  We don’t know how we feel about anything or how others feel about us!  We don’t know if we’re being too critical of them or not enough!

But when we meditate properly, our mind becomes much more peaceful as a result. It calms down and doesn’t wander all over the place so much.

And this makes us more aware of what’s going on around us, which helps us to be more mindful in life.

9) You have fewer negative thoughts

Speaking of happiness, no doubt that proper meditation will help you in becoming more positive and optimistic.

Let me explain how.

When our mind is filled with negative thoughts, it makes us feel sad and hopeless. And this can feed into depression.

But when we meditate, our mind calms down and becomes more positive – thanks to the calming effect of meditation – which makes us happy and optimistic.

Actually, that’s one of the reasons why mindfulness meditation is considered one of the best practices in positive psychology to decrease your negative thoughts and increase your positivity.

And this is also why I believe that another way to know if you’re meditating correctly is that you have fewer negative thoughts than before.

You might notice that you have fewer negative thoughts while you’re meditating. Or, you may notice that you have fewer negative thoughts throughout the day.

You might even find yourself feeling more positive as you go about your day. If you notice a decrease in negative thoughts after meditating, it’s a good sign that you’re doing it correctly.

But how can you assess the negativity in your thoughts?  Here are some ways:

Just ask yourself whether you’re feeling any negativity or not. Reflect on your thoughts and emotions and you’ll soon notice how practicing meditation properly helps you to get free from negativity.

10) You generally feel better about yourself

One last thing before I end this list of signs that you are meditating properly: I would like to share with you how meditation calms down the mind, helps in finding peace, and makes you generally feel better about yourself.

You might notice that you start feeling more positive and generally feel better about yourself after meditating.  You might even find yourself feeling more at ease and less stressed.

And you may also notice that you feel more confident as a result of meditation. You may feel more calm, relaxed, and at ease with yourself as a result of meditation.

And this makes you generally feel better about yourself.

The truth is that when we feel better about ourselves on the inside, we automatically project confidence toward others — which makes us feel better about ourselves.  And this is exactly what meditation does for us.

As a result of proper medication, our bodies feel more flexible and relaxed as well as our minds. Our mood is also more positive, hence, making you feel more energetic and productive throughout the day.

So guess what?

We feel happier and generally more positive about ourselves. And this makes us generally feel better about our lives and our surroundings as a whole.

What happens when you meditate correctly?

Now as you already understand the basic signs that you’re meditating properly, I’d like to share with you how it really feels whenever you meditate correctly.

As a matter of fact, practicing meditation usually leads to a deep state of relaxation and a thing that people call “a tranquil mind.”

The reason is that meditation helps us to focus our attention on one point, and it helps us to calm down our minds.

And all this can result in increased physical, psychological and emotional well-being.

So when you feel more relaxed, your mind becomes calm and less stressed. And this makes you generally feel better about yourself. And this is exactly what meditation does for us.

The best thing about this is that meditation can be practiced by anyone, anywhere, and at any time of the day — regardless of whether you’re busy or have a lot of obligations to attend to.

It’s as simple as that!  All you need is a quiet place to sit down and practice meditation for 15-20 minutes every day.

And believe me: if these signs that you’re meditating properly seem like what you feel, you’ll probably take advantage of all the benefits meditation can bring to you.

Final thoughts

So, that’s it! I hope that I have managed to explain to you why meditation is a good practice and why it can help you live a happier life.

And trust me, even if you have been struggling to find time to meditate, don’t give up. Make it a priority and you’ll eventually find the time.

With the signs outlined above, you’ll know when you are meditating correctly. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have to try a couple of times before you get it right.