How Meditation Helped Me Decrease My Anxiety

I used to think that meditation didn't work. Then I meditated for at least 10 minutes every day consecutively for 8 months. 

Why meditate? 

When I was younger, I had a lot of anxiety. I had some panic attacks.

Due to childhood trauma, I have had to deal with underlying fear and anxiety at different periods throughout my life. 

Granted, this is something that I have worked through in therapy for multiple years and has been a significant point of personal growth for me. 

I want to explain that meditation does not have have to have the stigma of sitting on a yoga mat in silence or living like a monk. 

There are many ways to meditate

Meditation can be walking outside in nature for one person, and painting for another.

When we meditate, we go into flow. Our conscious minds move away from space and time, and we disconnect from our outer world and get connected to our inner world. 

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This is something that has become abnormal for most people as we are stimulated constantly by distractions on our phones, computers, work, and daily activities. 

We are consistently going going going rather than being. 

As silly as it sounds, this makes it important to schedule time in just to BE. 

So, like I said at the beginning of this, I meditated every day for 8 months. 

So, how did this come about? You're probably wondering how I went from someone who was anxious, afraid, and on-the-go to meditating for so many days straight. 

A little more about me and my story...

In July 2018, my mom found out that she had a recurrence of breast cancer and that it was metastatic, meaning it had already spread to her liver and bones. 

This was devastating to say the least for myself and my family. 

Now, as a little bit of a backstory, my mom has been my guiding angel and my rock since I was a baby. She has been my fearless leader, my best friend, and my greatest teacher. 

I went home to visit in August a few weeks after her diagnosis. On that hot August day, while I was sitting on the floor and she was in her favorite reading chair, she looked at me and said "you should be meditating for at least 20 minutes per day, I think that would really help you." 

Like a movie, this moment is cemented into my mind forever. It is a lasting piece of advice that I hold onto from my mom, who to this day was always right. 

I think most moms and daughters will agree that sometimes we don't listen the first 99 times our moms tell us something, and then on the hundredth time we do listen and we realize they were right. 

This is how this was for me. 

When my mom passed away in October 2018, I was grief stricken. It is a difficult process to explain, but anyone who has gone through losing someone close to them understands that your world gets turned upside down. 

Meditation became something that I was able to turn to even if I was crying in bed. It was something that was a constant safe place I could turn to. 

I started doing it in the morning right when I woke up and before bed as I normally fell asleep to it.

Then, I continued my streak without missing a day for 8 months. 

So, how did I not miss a day? 

Simply put, I started a routine. Every morning, when I woke up, it was my first instinct to turn to my Simple Habit App. I would pick something that sounded good to me such as "Waking up with Positive Intentions" or "Morning Meditation in Bed". I found myself having a few favorite narrators, or people whose voices I found soothing. 

Then I would get up, start my day, and I realized that I was feeling better. I was actually starting my day with the right intention. 

Upon going to bed, I would practice the same thing. I would turn on a going to sleep, calming meditation. I am grateful that normally I would fall asleep in about 30 seconds of listening. 

I noticed that I slept more soundly, had better dreams, and woke up in a more positive mood. 

How is this possible? 

Meditation has an incredible impact on our brain and its neurochemistry. Because our thoughts and feelings are reflections of the chemicals being produced and interpreted in our brain, when we calm down the central nervous system, our mood, clarity of thinking, and how we feel on our body improves. 

I recommend that you meditate every day, either with an app, or doing something that you love that takes you into a place of flow. 

I also meditate when I am running or walking my dog. These activities all bring me peace of mind. 

I will say, that laying in bed, listening to Simple Habit is when I feel the most relaxed and meditative. 

Now, I have to admit that I love meditation. It's like my eyes have been opened to a whole new way of being. I have found that even when stress comes my way, there is a place within myself that I know I can tap into, to go and it is safe. It is peaceful. 

I hope that as you're reading this you know that it's possible for you too. 

 Here are some related posts to check out: 

How to Lower the Effects of Stress With Adaptogens 

5 Essential Oils to Decrease Stress and Boost Your Health 

5 Affirmations to Boost Your Mindset

 

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