THE POSITIVE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION FOR ANXIETY
For my entire life to this day I have experienced constant anxiety that cripples me greatly (in regards to my emotions and mind) if I don’t do anything about it when needed. Anxiety is horrible to experience. It’s extremely painful emotionally, provides negative thoughts that quickly escalate to a crucial level, and it also brings me physical pain in my heart and throat. Never an hour goes by when something doesn’t trigger my anxiety, and the fear of having to experience that dreaded pain can too prevent me from trying new things in life.
Whenever I feel the beginning twinge of an anxiety episode, it’s essential that I use a tool of mindfulness and/or meditation to “nip it in the bud” before it escalates to an uncontrollable level. Any other form of distraction doesn’t help me at all, and most of the time it merely feeds my anxiety further by something in relation triggering other negative thoughts.
There have been times when a few support workers and therapists have tried to distract me by starting a conversation about an unrelated topic. That has always ended up being a major mistake. Due to my autism I naturally find communication very difficult, and if I’m doing something that doesn’t make me feel comfortable inside (especially when I’m already feeling negative) it’s definitely not a good idea.
Though certain mindfulness exercises do help me a great deal. This I have discussed in many previous blogs. Yet as well as mindfulness being an important life tool, meditation is also a very beneficial activity for me to do.
It wasn’t too long ago (and it’s often still the case now) when meditation was widely viewed as being only an occult activity and/or a pseudoscience. Indeed whenever people heard us talking about meditation, or about ourselves meditating, they would usually jump straight to the conclusion that every person who performs these activities is deeply into the spiritual. Due to there being such judgement from society of people who live that kind of lifestyle, this would cause many to be reluctant to practice meditation, or to even talk about being interested in the activity.
However we must never be embarrassed or ashamed about practicing meditation because it’s not a pseudoscience at all. Regardless of our spiritual beliefs meditation is very beneficial for our emotional, mental and physical self. This has well and truly been proven by science to be true, and it’s great that many psychologists and therapists (including my own psychotherapist) are encouraging clients to consider doing meditations in their daily lives.
Five years ago my therapist said that she was going to give me a “taste platter” of a few activities to try out. These were various kinds of meditation and some didn’t work well for me personally (as every person is different from another), and others worked miraculously for my anxiety and mental health.
Meditations that I have been doing for several years now including a variety of breathing exercises. I wear an Apple Watch that gives me a breathing guide to follow through, with a heart rate monitor afterward. Also, as I go to bed I have classical music playing and I breathe with the notes, imagining them to be a story of the ebb and flow of my feelings. As meditation has now become a favourite essential life activity, I’ve recently bought several books with guides to meditate in different ways. Early in the morning (when I wake up a couple of hours prior to breakfast) I do these meditations, so that I don’t use up precious time from my waking day.
The reason for why meditations have become a favourite life tool for me is that I can now enjoy life more from the reduced stress and anxiety levels that they have given me. As well as reducing my anxiety levels, I’ve found that meditations teach me a lot about my conscious and subconscious psychology, as I lay listening and paying full attention to my deepest thoughts and emotions. As mentioned earlier, emotions are a part of life that I initially don’t understand well. Thus meditations are very beneficial for me in that aspect too.
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