As rough as our current year has been so far, many have been searching for methods to alleviate the stress and angst brought upon their daily lives. Some turned to exercise, others turned to binge watching television series on Netflix, and I have turned to something that likely has not come to many minds, meditation.
Meditation itself can be defined and explained in various ways. For some, it is a gateway to anxiety relief, for others it can bring them into a state of mindfulness, and it is also used for sleep too! While meditation is not for everybody, for those that do perform it and can, the effects are nothing short of healthy and mind opening. These positive effects include but are not limited to anxiety relief, increases in attention span, self awareness, improvement of sleep, enhanced emotional health, and lowering the likelihood of developing neurological diseases. While this is just a simplified run-down of what meditation is and the benefits within its grasp, there is much more research and information that goes into the broader umbrella of meditation (Thorpe, 2017)
When experiencing meditation for the first time, I did not know where to place my expectations or if it would even work for me considering meditation is known to be difficult to achieve for many. However, while undergoing a night of anxiety and sleep deprivation, I was compelled to give the act of meditation a whirl. I looked up beginner's guides to meditation on YouTube, where there were various introductory videos to choose from, but the first video I clicked was one of the first I saw (link is provided at the end of this article for those who are interested).
Upon linking by earbuds into my ears and resting in a comfortable position, which can be whatever preferred position is chosen by the beginner, the video was of relaxing music and a soothing voice that guided me via verbal instructions through steps to help the beginner achieve meditation. Many of these steps emphasized on the act of clearing the mind and taking slow and deliberate breathing exercises. With these collectively being brought into consideration, my mind felt clearer and clearer by the minute as did the internal weight of my stressors lessen their grip. Throughout the exercise, I felt a sense of inner and physical peace that I rarely ever recognized. Admittedly, the feeling I had cannot be done justice through text or words, but my emotional self was placated as my worries and anxieties withered away along with the tension in my body's muscles and stature. In fact, I was in so much peace, I slipped into an unimaginable sleep that I never thought I needed.
Reflecting on the experience I had with meditation brought upon a new appreciation for the practice that I now consider it a priority whenever I may end up in a state of anxiety or depression. While the understanding of meditation not being for everybody still persists, so does my recommendation of giving it a try to anyone as it can be a major game changer in how someone feels emotionally, mentally, or even physically. Meditation is fascinating to me as it is an older practice done for centuries and a holistic and non-pharmaceutical approach to alleviating tension present within ourselves, enhancing the appeal of it. While it may not be appealing to every person out there, it sure is worth giving a chance as it can be exactly what is needed to improve mood and well-being.
Link to the meditation video from my experience: https://youtu.be/IzV6J4WCwRM
Thorpe, Matthew. "12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation." Healthline, Healthline Media, 5 July 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-medita....