Whenever I write about anxiety and how to heal, I almost always mention meditation. I’ve read numerous articles, books and research on the subject, BUT (truth time), I wasn’t actually practicing what I preach. I believed it was wonderful and worked, just didn’t believe it was for me. Oh, how that has changed my friends! You are now looking at (listening to?) The newest meditating junkie!
I’ve loved yoga and practiced deep breathing exercises for years, but I used to leave yoga before the end (shavasana pose) and only ever attempted meditating a handful of times. I was always too scared to be alone and quiet with just my mind, so I did whatever I could to drown it out. I didn’t know how to quiet it, and I didn’t realize how much control it had over me, even when I kept myself distracted. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I was convinced to give meditation a real shot. It all began with a podcast, The Lively Show.
Lively talks a lot about meditating, and I just happened to get a stronger interest in meditation around the time she shared an interview, with Dan Harris (funny how that happens, right?). Dan is an ABC news anchor who, log story short, suffered with anxiety, depression and addiction, had an on air panic attack and found (through lots of research and soul searching) that meditation healed him. I found it really interesting that Dan is atheist/agnostic. Most people who meditate seem to be spiritual and people of faith, but that’s clearly not always the case. Dan actually wrote a book, 10% happier, explaining how meditation is incredibly beneficial for everyone. and does everything from lowering your blood pressure to calming that neurotic voice in your head. Between the podcast, my pregnancy and growing anxiety, everything was pointing to meditation. And, so, my journey began.
Obviously, I’m still new at this, but I’m already seeing so many benefits and am so convinced that it can be a life-changing, or even life-saving practice that I just had to share my experience with you. On the daily, I can tell it’s helped reduce my stress, improve my concentration, increased my positive thoughts, relieve my headaches and tension and just make me feel good! During my labor with Dash, I meditated (or tried to) constantly. It kept me calm, controlled my breathing, helped me make it through contractions AND it literally lowered my blood pressure over and over again. Most importantly, it kept me in a positive mindset and I truly believe that’s one reason why this pregnancy and postpartum experience was so much better than my first pregnancy. Don’t take my word for it…listen to science!
There have been over 3000 scientific studies on the benefits of meditation. Aaannddd it’s been shown to treat depression to a similar degree of medication! That’s kind of amazing. Also, it lowers high blood pressure , reduces panic attacks, improves your immune system, increases creativity and a myriad of other equally just as amazing things. It’s basically a free and simple cure to a buttload of problems. So why isn’t everyone incorporating it into their daily routines??? I think it just hasn’t become mainstream enough (in Western culture). That’s one reason why I think it’s important I share my experience. One day, I’m sure it will be just as popular as yoga or sushi or bubble tea.
In the meantime, give meditation a chance, especially if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression. I’ve tried the Headspace, Calm and Insight apps and have really enjoyed them all. You can also find tons of guided meditation videos on YouTube. And, plleeaassee let me know all about your experience!!
Cheers or Namaste!