What to do if Meditation affects your mental health

I was listening to a podcast the other day and it had mentioned how meditation has a negative impact on approximately 30% of the population mental health.

This shocked me and intrigued me as everything I had been taught about meditation was that is helped to positively impact mental health.

As a person who promotes well being I needed to know more about this. Looking up the research it turns out that for 1 in 12 people meditation negatively impacts people can can worsen their depression or anxiety, or bring on the onset of these conditions.

There are currently around 55 studies into how meditation affects those in a negative way, the studies found that around 8 percent experienced increased anxiety and panic attacks, and some who experienced psychosis or suicidal thoughts.

While for the majority of people meditation promotes and helps mental health, it is important to recognise it is not for everyone, the studies are ongoing to understand why this occurs. With the percentage of people meditation negatively impacts still in flux.

So what can people do instead of meditation to help with mental health?

Activities that bring the mind into the present moment. These activities can work the same way as sitting and meditating for 30 minutes.


Research has found that surfers are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

Stand up Paddle board

Benefiting both the body and mind, paddle boarding helps to bring on what psychologists call 'oceanic feeling' the sense of one's self dissolving into the external world.

Tai Chi

This is a movement based meditation, with research confirming similarities between meditation and Tai Chi, with an increase in brain volume, verbal learning, and fluency, improvements with those with dementia, and lowering cardiovascular risk in women.

Walking Meditation

Research has shown that walking meditation reduces depression, improves fitness, and vascular fitness, and lowers of stress hormones. 


Colouring within the lines brings the mind into the present, it is also an immersive, and rewarding. With research also showing links the same benefits as meditation.