Why Do You Sometimes Cry While Meditating?

We meditate to center, quiet, and calm the mind and body. It's a spiritual tool long used to gain clarity and insight. Whether you practice meditation or mindfulness to alleviate depression and anxiety or just to clear out the mental clutter, the benefits are vast and worthwhile. According to PsychCentral, even just five to 12 minutes of meditation daily is enough to have an impact on stress levels.


And if you already do meditate or practice mindfulness, you likely know that a lot of emotions, both pleasant and well, less than pleasant, can arise. We may feel unfamiliar sensations, even while focused on our chosen mantra for the session (via Chopra). Essentially, without the distractions of our smartphones or other people, we are faced with what is brewing beneath the surface — something that tends to go unexamined.

"If you feel like you're living your life on automatic pilot and you want more connection to yourself and to life, you might want to try mindfulness meditation," Diana Winston, the director of mindfulness education at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and the author of The Little Book of Being, told Self. "It's very also helpful for regulating negative emotions and cultivating positive emotions like kindness and compassion."


It's easier said than done, but refraining from judging or dismissing what emotions arise during meditation is key — even when the tears begin to roll.

Crying during meditation can be a release of pain and grief

It seems only natural that repressed feelings have a chance to arise once we finally slow down and dim the noise of the external world. Crying is a release of energy that needs to leave the body and sometimes this can only happen in a safe and quiet environment. If you can't seem to pinpoint a specific reason for crying during meditation, that's also very normal. It could be sandbagged stress and anxiety from the past or an unresolved event your conscious mind can't even remember. It is safe to let the crying come and go.


We tend to feel drained and tender after a crying session and crying during meditation is no different. Take some time to process what came up for you and try to find peace in knowing your grief had a chance to be seen and set free. Breathwork is also a key component of meditation, and it's possible that when we focus on the breath, we are also able to tune in with the body and separate from the societal pressure to go, go, go. This distance creates an in-between where feelings can finally be felt.

Tears of joy can also occur in meditation

Meditation can bring spiritual breakthroughs and feelings of bliss we may not have experienced before. Crying could be an indicator that you've had one of these breakthroughs and are entering a new phase of joy and well-being. The tears could be a sign you're exiting a cycle of struggle and your dedicated meditation practice was the vehicle to get you there.


Perhaps you've felt the universal oneness and love that yogis speak of during meditation, or maybe you've reached a level of self-compassion you hadn't previously encompassed. You may even have the sensation of coming into the presence of some divine entity or higher power — an experience to which many meditators relate. This is bound to be the source of a few happy tears. Whatever the case may be, crying during meditation is nothing to be feared. It's often a positive signal of your progress and well-being.