You’ve probably heard of meditation for as long as you can remember. It’s something Buddhist monks do, right? You’ve heard the "Ohhmm" mantra and you’ve seen the chubby Buddha statue, but you may have brushed off the actual meditation practice. You have an idea of what it is, but you don’t have that type of concentration and you just don’t have time to meditate. I thought this way too. I thought meditation was way out of my realm to ever think about doing, but then one day I tried it.
I have anxiety, like a lot of people struggle with today. My brain is a game that tosses back and forth and has the potential to really hurt me. I wound up in dark places where all I wanted to do was cry because I couldn’t handle what I was feeling. I would shake in social situations and I suffered through this pain and let my mind control me. Until, one day I didn’t.
At a time, I thought about trying medication for my anxiety, but I couldn’t bring myself to take a pill every day for the rest of my life. I kept searching for answers and I knew that medication wasn’t the solution, at least not for me. I read books and listened to podcasts. I heard the word “mindfulness” over and over again during that time, but still, I couldn’t bring myself to practice meditation when I couldn’t even read a page out of a book without getting distracted.
However, this past summer I tried it. I wound up landing on a Youtube video that was a guided meditation for anxiety. Just 10 minutes of my time. I thought why not I have nothing else to do?
I didn’t feel anything after I sat with my eyes closed for those ten minutes, but the next day I landed back in that same place. I meditated again. Over the course of a few days, I kept practicing. I sat with my legs crossed, my eyes closed and listened to a 5-10 minute guided meditation on my phone. At first, I felt stupid and couldn’t believe me of all people was doing this. But somehow I kept coming back. After a week I felt lighter and my mind was clearer. This was in July and I keep meditating to this day.
Each morning I wake up and listen to 5-10 minutes of guided meditation on my phone with my headphones in sitting, on my bed. My anxiety, the thing I never thought would go away, has subsided. The anxiety I once had is not at the high levels it used to be at. I am no longer controlled by negative thoughts because I take time for my brain to rest. I take time for my brain to rejuvenate. I take time for my brain to relax. Sure, some days my mind is going crazy and I’m stressed and I don’t want to mediate. But once I do my mind is so much clearer. I can’t explain how or why this is, but it works.
Meditation, may not have completely dissolved my anxiety, but by me taking the time to sit and be still has lead to breakthroughs in my mental health. I’m not 100% each day and I don’t think I’ll be levitating anytime soon. My mind still wanders, but I’m nowhere near the type of hurt and confusion I felt last year.
In our society, we are constantly being trained to go go go, but we need to take time for ourselves, even if it is just five minutes. Five minutes of this inner-peace practice can change your life. It changed mine.