Manifesto: Part 1 of 2
Why Meditation, Gratitude Lists and Astrology Don’t Work For Everyone 🙅♂️
Ok, that last one was a joke 😜
Everyone knows astrology is a scam ✨
So let’s replace astrology with $49 Moleskine journals.
We’ve all been there…
Meditation books, apps and beads
$49 Moleskine journals
Talk therapy, life coaching and breath work
Running, savage gym workouts and screaming while driving
And of course, enormous amounts of coffee 🤤☕️
The question is…
Is it working?
I’ll speak for myself:
After ten years of doing everything I was “supposed” to be doing to be happy (everything listed above)…
…I still felt stuck.
My mind still raced… especially in stressful situations.
I continued to have a LOT of negative thoughts.
I felt like an imposter.
I had trouble feeling my emotions.
I complained of never feeling truly “alive.”
And like many others, I drank, smoked and used drugs to escape my misery.
Then one day, everything changed.
I finally figured out what was happening and how to fix it…
…without the traditional self-help tools I listed above.
More on that in a moment.
First, let’s talk about meditation 🧘♂️
If we’ve been meditating for a while and we still struggle with CONSTANT negative thoughts…
If we’re always tired and lethargic…
If we respond to triggers with our survival instincts… with our chest getting tight, feeling hyper-alert and even flying off the handle…
…or if we feel numb, disconnected and dead inside because we suppress emotions like a zombie…
…then it’s safe to say that meditation isn’t working 🤷♂️
It turns out that meditation actually has a lot of adverse side effects.
No one talks about this 😳
According to one study, 1 in 2 people experience at least one negative side effect when they start meditating…
…even if it’s just a few minutes a day 😮
“Of the 96 participants, 58% reported at least one meditation-related adverse effect, which ranged from perpetual hypersensitivity to nightmares to traumatic re-experiencing.”Britton and others, 2021, Defining and Measuring Meditation-Related Adverse Effects in Mindfulness-Based Programs
Other adverse side effects from meditation include:
- difficulty thinking
- difficulty concentrating (hello procrastination!)
- heart palpitations (yes really 😲)
Why is no one talking about this!?!?? 🤔
Some people have even committed suicide after attending meditation retreats (like Megan Vogt, a 25-year-old Pennsylvanian woman).
Meditation does NOT work for everyone 🙅♂️
Because despite what most people think, the mind is not the problem.
It’s actually a symptom of a little-known and much deeper problem… but I’ll get to that in a moment.
Gratitude lists 📝
While they might help us feel better for a moment, does it last?
It never did for me.
Gratitude lists also got me into the bad habit of suppressing negative thoughts and feelings.
Replace them with a grateful or positive thought!
Feeling unhappy or upset?
Think about what we’re grateful for so we feel good again! La la la la la la la 🙉
“Constant positivity is a form of avoidance – not a solution to life’s problems.”
Instead of making us happier, it can make us more miserable.
Because we end up suppressing all these essential parts of ourselves.
We can overlook red flags in a relationship or job since we’re always focused on the positive…
…which can make us stay in a relationship or job that’s TERRIBLE for us.
We waste our lives and settle for less than we deserve.
It can also be downright dangerous when it comes to manipulative or abusive people (I’m speaking from experience 😓).
This is why gratitude lists don’t work for everyone.
Finally, let’s look at those pretty little $49 Moleskine journals 📖
While it can feel good to write in a journal, does the writing – on its own – solve the problem that we’re writing about?
If the toilet’s blocked, does writing about it unblock it?
We could have the world’s best understanding of blocked toilets, with all the fancy words and a deeply tEcHnIcAl understanding of the problem, BUT…
…until we unblock the toilet, nothing changes 💩
I’m not saying we should never meditate, be grateful or write in a journal.
I’m saying that for weirdos, misfits and crazy people like us…
…meditation, gratitude lists and journaling are NOT the answer.
What IS the answer, then?
Well, just like with a blocked toilet, before we can find the answer to stress, fear and our relentlessly negative mind…
…before we can face our demons and slay them…
…we have to figure out what the REAL problem is.
Otherwise, we keep going in circles… forever feeling stuck, tired and miserable.
Here’s the thing though:
The real problem is NOT what most people think it is.
It’s not the mind or our thoughts.
It’s not our lack of gratitude or the fact that we don’t have a $49 Moleskine journal.
And it’s definitely NOT the fact that Mercury isn’t in the Microwave 😏
Want to know what the little-known REAL problem is?
Click continue to find out…
– John “Let’s Get Real” Wood