I’m a long sufferer of anxiety, and after countless years I began to just accept it as being ‘a part of me.’ The more others painted it to be a huge part of my personality, the more I came to see myself as solely that.
“I’m just a massive worrier”
“I’m a drama queen”
“I’m just too sensitive”
Yes, I probably am all those things (although in my opinion there’s nothing wrong with being sensitive at all, I’d rather feel hard and deeply, than close myself off from emotion), but if I concentrate on those traits and behaviours; I will constantly let my overactive imagination run freely into negative thoughts and a negative attitude, and I’d constantly feel pretty shit.
The mind is a powerful. Surely I have the ability to put it at peace (albeit with a little more concentration), just as easily as I can send it straight into a state of frantic pandemonium.
Of late, the tool I have used to achieve this state of tranquil balance is meditation.
Despite any preconceptions you may have, meditation is in fact accessible to all. You don’t require a special outfit, textbook or even a room.
All you need is an open mind.
In western culture, meditation has been traditionally portrayed as something exclusive to Tibetan monks, or more recently associated with hyper-stereotyped hippies across pop culture and film.
In reality, it isn’t so much an activity as it is a way to look at the world; it may give your own life meaning and clarity as well as offering a space and time for reflection.
We so often mistake reflection for nostalgia, but rather than holding onto past memories, meditation allows us to evaluate the present and really connect with our true self and the moment.
But where and when will I do it? I don’t have time
Before you invest in a pair of overpriced Gap Yah elephant-print Harem pants and sit crossed legged in an incense filled room, you should know that you can meditate pretty much anywhere, whether that be on your bed or in a crowded room.
Once you tear down the barriers of expectation, you can truly begin to embrace the art of meditation at anytime and anywhere. Even if you only have a few spare minutes each day, enrich them with some meditation, it’s quality over quantity.
Why am I yet to achieve enlightenment?
One headspace session isn’t likely to be the true epiphany of your spiritual journey.
If it does, great for you but it’s not likely. In all honesty, for a long while practicing meditation only really made me sleepy. However, being someone who has long struggled with sleeping, I was merely grateful for that nudge to switch off and get some actual rest!
A spiritual journey is named so as there is no clear destination. There will be bumps in the road, and you may never feel like you are total ‘there’, but that doesn’t equal failure.
Sometimes after meditating I feel incredibly zen where I just want to be out in nature taking it all in and being detached from the ego. Other days my session may be highly distracted, where I’m thinking more about a burrito than I am about spirituality.
Every day will be different, just keep trying.
I don’t know what to do!
For me, (I can only speak from personal experience here) it’s less about the ‘ommmmms’ and instead all about the breathing. I really take for granted the power and tranquillity in taking long deep breaths. Establishing a pattern in my breathing that is calm and steady allows me to then concentrate on clearing my mind and letting go of the things that have been stressing me out.
If like I was, you are pretty clueless about getting started, apps are a great place to go to first. I downloaded Headspace (which I’ve praised many a time before), which clued me in on a few techniques and motions to go through, and it massively helped.
In terms of books that encouraged my spiritual journey I’d definitely credit the incredibly inspiring Eckhart Tolle’s ‘The Power of Now’. I’d love to give some podcasts a go, as I’m massively into pop culture podcasts at the minute and would love to transgress from them into informative episodes that allow me to delve deeper into this subject area, if you have any recommendations please message me over on Instagram, I’d be so grateful!
Meditation has massively helped me, particularly when it comes to my panic attacks and hyperventilating. It clears my head and gets me to BREATHE normally and to really tune into and appreciate each breath.
If you have any meditation tips or any other ways you combat anxiety and feeling overwhelmed, I’d love to know. It helps to help each other.