Meditation Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: brotelle on June 11, 2018, 10:16:37 AM

Title: Tachycardia during meditation - Beginner
Post by: brotelle on June 11, 2018, 10:16:37 AM
Hello all,

I'm new too meditation, well, I have been practicing a two years ago then I stopped. I started meditation again 3 days ago but I'm having some problems. I started meditating 15min twice a day to begin with. But as soon as I sit to meditate, my heart start going very fast! This morning I was at 118bps and I usually am around 60bpm. I have problem with anxiety and I'm a bit desperate. It feels that meditating do me more harm than good.
Does it happen for some of you too?
Do you have any piece of advice to give me?

Thanks for your help,
Title: Re: Tachycardia during meditation - Beginner
Post by: raushan on June 11, 2018, 11:33:22 AM
Sometimes in the beginning phase meditation may increase your anxiety.

But It will difficult to tell correctly until you tell us What kind of meditation you are doing.

There is a PDF in the home page of this forum. You can use that to practice the meditation.

Title: Re: Tachycardia during meditation - Beginner
Post by: brotelle on June 11, 2018, 11:39:22 AM
Thanks for your reply, I had a look at the PDF. I think this is what I'm trying to do, only focusing on sensation and especially my breathing, and getting back to my breathing when thoughts arise
Title: Re: Tachycardia during meditation - Beginner
Post by: raushan on June 11, 2018, 05:25:30 PM
In the instruction it is also written that with each breath-in and breath-out relax yourself. Relaxing means watch your shoulders, face if any tightness is there. Relax it.

Watch the full body sensation because of breathing.

Keep practicing. Generally meditation result you will be able to see in the 2-3 months. Sometimes it can take longer 6-8 months depends on person to person.

Be patient. Don't expect anything immediately from the meditation.

Title: Re: Tachycardia during meditation - Beginner
Post by: Alex on June 11, 2018, 06:07:59 PM
Hi Estelle

There is no harm in tachycardia if it is caused by anxiety.  It is then merely part of the body’s natural and adaptive stress response. If you have doubts, you should consult your physician.

I invite you to set the intention “to relax (as raushan points out) and not to interfere when you notice your heart rate going up.” I purposely use the word ‘intention’: other things will happen in the mind or in the body… and that’s very normal.

So, look at your mind when heart rate goes up:
Maybe you notice automatic thoughts, like “I’m going to have a heart attack”?
Maybe you feel you should be able to control heart rate, or meditation should bring you calm, and you are getting frustrated (= stressed or anxious) that you can’t control?
These kind of thoughts will in turn will trigger stress response (and tachycardia as part of that).

Whatever the mental dynamic you notice, don’t fight or try to change/control it. It’s fine. You’re safe. Make some space for how things are right now. Investigate. And allow yourself to relax.

As raushan pointed out as well, practice & patience is key. If you nevertheless want to judge your meditation, don’t judge it by what happens, but how you related to it.

Title: Re: Tachycardia during meditation - Beginner
Post by: brotelle on June 11, 2018, 08:21:25 PM
Thanks to all of you for your kind replies.

I thought I was trying to let go even if I felt my heart rate rising, but maybe you're right and I probably have more thoughts than I can notice.

I'm taking all your pieces of advice and try to put that into practice next time.

I'll let you know how it goes in a few weeks.

Title: Re: Tachycardia during meditation - Beginner
Post by: oscarabeo on June 15, 2018, 03:12:08 PM

I can relate -- this is not uncommon. I know a few people who, like me, occasionally get a racing, pounding heart, and even begin to heat up and sweat.

I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I also have symptoms of anxiety, and it's one of the reasons I began meditating. (Interesting that we have that in common.)

Over many hours of practice (~400) I've managed to get a grip on the racing-heart thing. Not out of sheer will or effort, but mainly through calm perseverance and constant experimentation. Here are some observations I've made:

1. If my mind is jumping (even subtly) from thought to thought, and I'm trying to bring my attention to the breath, this usually results in my heart beat going up. The remedy here has been to not to try too much to calm the mind. Instead, I spend my time noticing what's happening. I expand my attention and watch the mind and body together, all at once. I do not try to narrow the attention -- that only increases more tension and is counterproductive.

2. If my heart begins racing or pounding I can get into a loop where the attention is stuck on the sensation of heart beat, probably because the sensation is unpleasant. It can be easy to resist the sensation, but again this will only create more tension. Instead of resisting, I try incorporating the heart beat into my meditation. I try to just notice the pulsating sensation without judgment or reaction (which is not easy!) It sometimes helps to say to myself "the heart is beating faster," or just "the heart is beating." The important thing is not to judge or avoid the sensation.

3. I know from experience that when I get home from work my mind is way more restless than in the morning. So, even though I try to meditate twice I day, I prioritize mornings over evenings if I have to choose one.

With practice and time, you'll be fine.