why do you cry during meditation

Why Do You Cry During Meditation?

Meditation is supposed to be a time of calmness and focus. But as you concentrate on your breath, moving in and out, you start to feel a strong welling in your chest, and before you know it, you are sobbing your eyes out.

Most people are surprised when it happens, so it’s normal to ask “Why do you cry during meditation?”

The good news is that you’re not alone. Many people experience crying during meditation, and it’s nothing to be alarmed about.

Crying during meditation is a common occurrence that can be confusing and even alarming. You might be wondering, “Why am I crying? I’m supposed to be relaxing, not getting emotional.” But rest assured, this is a normal and even beneficial part of the meditation process.

Why Am I Crying During Meditation?

Meditation is a journey inward. It’s a time when we quiet the mind and allow ourselves to just be. During this process, we can often come face to face with suppressed emotions that we’ve been carrying around, sometimes without even realizing it.

The practice of meditation strengthens the mind-body connection, allowing us to become more aware of our emotional state. 

As we delve deeper into our consciousness, we may encounter feelings that we’ve ignored or pushed aside. When these feelings surface, they can often manifest as tears.

This emotional release is a natural part of the healing process. It’s a sign that you’re connecting with your inner self and starting to process emotions that you may have been holding onto.

why do you cry during meditation - man in a button down shirt sitting by a window crying

Reasons for Crying During Meditation

There are several reasons why you might find yourself crying during meditation. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Emotional Release and Healing: As mentioned earlier, meditation can bring suppressed emotions to the surface. This can lead to tears, but it’s a good thing. It means you’re starting to process and heal from these emotions.
  • Connection with the Self: Meditation is a time of deep self-reflection. You might start to see yourself more clearly, including parts of yourself that you’re not entirely happy with. This can be a painful process, but it’s also a step towards self-acceptance and love.
  • Release of Stress and Tension: We carry a lot of stress and tension in our bodies. When we meditate, we start to let go of this tension. This can sometimes result in emotional release, including crying.
  • Spiritual Awakening or Enlightenment: For some, meditation can be a deeply spiritual experience. You might feel a profound sense of connection with the universe or come to some new understanding about the world. This can be an overwhelming experience, and it can certainly bring about tears.

Remember, crying during meditation is not a sign of weakness or a sign that you’re doing something wrong. On the contrary, it’s a sign that you’re doing something right. You’re allowing yourself to feel, to heal, and to grow. So next time you find yourself crying during meditation, don’t fight it. Embrace it. It’s all part of the journey.

The Science Behind Crying During Meditation

Crying is not just an emotional response; it’s also a physiological one. When we meditate, we engage different parts of our brain, including areas linked to emotion regulation, such as the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. 

As we delve deeper into our meditation practice, these areas can trigger an emotional response, which can lead to tears.

Hormones also play a significant role in this process. When we’re stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol. 

Meditation helps reduce cortisol levels, leading to a sense of relaxation and emotional release. This release can sometimes manifest as crying.

Moreover, crying itself has a physiological effect on our bodies. Tears can actually help to soothe and regulate our emotions. 

They release oxytocin, a hormone often referred to as the “love hormone,” which can help to improve mood and promote a sense of calm and well-being. The Science of Crying: Why Do We Cry? provides more insights into this fascinating process.

why do you cry during meditation - woman meditating at sunset outdoors

How to Handle Crying During Meditation

If you find yourself crying during meditation, here are some steps you can take:

  • Acceptance and Non-Judgment: First and foremost, allow yourself to cry. It’s okay. It’s a natural response and a sign that you’re connecting with your emotions on a deep level. Don’t judge yourself or try to suppress your tears.
  • Techniques for Grounding and Self-Soothing: If the emotions feel overwhelming, use grounding techniques to help manage them. This could be focusing on your breath, visualizing a calming place, or repeating a soothing mantra. These techniques can help you stay present and avoid getting swept up in the emotion.
  • When to Seek Professional Help: While crying during meditation is normal and can be a sign of healing, if you find that it’s causing you distress or interfering with your daily life, it may be a good idea to seek help from a mental health professional. They can provide you with additional coping strategies and help you navigate any underlying issues that may be coming up.

Remember, meditation is a personal journey, and there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do it. It’s about finding what works for you and being kind to yourself in the process. So if you cry during meditation, let the tears flow. They’re a sign that you’re on the path to healing and self-discovery.

Famous Cryers

In his book 10% Happier, Dan Harris, a well-known news anchor, shares his personal journey with meditation. He talks about his own experiences with crying during meditation. Harris describes it as a cathartic release, a moment of genuine connection with his inner self. His story serves as a reminder that even those who seem to have it all together can benefit from the emotional release that meditation offers.

When to Seek Professional Help If You Cry During Meditation

While tears during meditation are typically a healthy release of stored emotions, there are instances when it’s wise to seek professional guidance. If your meditation sessions consistently stir up intense emotions that disrupt your daily life or exacerbate existing mental health concerns, it’s time to reach out for help.

Research indicates that a small percentage of individuals may experience adverse effects from meditation, such as heightened sensitivity, distressing dreams, or even symptoms akin to post-traumatic stress. These effects can persist beyond the meditation session and may indicate unresolved traumas surfacing.

In such cases, consulting with a mental health professional can provide the support and strategies needed to navigate these challenging experiences. Even if your emotional reactions aren’t severe, becoming more attuned to repressed feelings through meditation can be a profound journey, one that can be enriched by the guidance of a therapist. Remember, seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness, but a proactive step towards deeper understanding and healing.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, crying during meditation is a natural and common occurrence. It’s a sign of emotional release and healing, a testament to the power of meditation in helping us connect with our inner selves. So, if you find yourself shedding tears during your meditation practice, remember that it’s okay. You’re not doing anything wrong; in fact, you’re doing something very right. You’re allowing yourself to feel, to heal, and to grow.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms of any mental health condition, we strongly advise consulting with a qualified healthcare professional.


Yes, it’s completely normal. It’s a sign of emotional release and healing.

Crying during meditation often means that you’re releasing suppressed emotions. It’s a part of the healing process.

Not at all. Crying during meditation is a sign that you’re connecting with your emotions on a deep level.

Accept the emotions without judgment, use grounding techniques, and seek professional help if the emotions become overwhelming or distressing.

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