It all starts with a secret. 4 of them, actually. Knowing these will help you finally realize why starting a meditation practice has been so difficult and help you ease into a relaxation routine of your own.
Know that meditation itself can cause anxiety
Imagine a person slowly inching a finger toward your eyeball. Your head is locked in position and your eye is wide open, unable to shut. There’s nothing you can do. That finger is going to poke you in the eye. Sounds pretty bad, huh?
For the first time mediator, especially those with high anxiety, you’ll experience a pretty similar feeling during your first meditation session. Your anxiety will be high. You’ll never want to meditate again. With that said, the extreme anxiety will lessen each time you practice.
Your anxiety will never completely go away
This is surely a tough pill to swallow. In all but rare cases, meditation will not completely cure your anxiety. This advice is coming from someone who has meditated for 13-plus years. Someone who started meditating to cure his anxiety. Yes, I’m talking about myself.
But there is hope.
I no longer suffer from the general daily anxiety I had when I first started meditating. That, in fact, has completely disappeared. However, anxiety bouts still happen, as I’m sure they do to all longtime mediators.
I still get anxious when speaking to large audiences. And the fear of contracting serious diseases (I live in Thailand where dengue, rabies, malaria, and a whole slew of other life-threatening diseases are not uncommon) from a potential viral or parasite exposure drives my mind bonkers, sending me on an emotional roller coaster.
Meditation is insanely simple
There’s good reason people get confused about what meditation is. From breathing meditation to zazen to transcendental, there’s nearly two dozen different types of meditation. There’s no reason to let all these styles overwhelm you, though. If you want to meditate, all you have to do is sit still. Really, it’s that easy. Just be still.
In fact, you don’t even need to sit. You can lie down, as well. Just get in a comfortable position and be still. This is meditation in its simplest form, and as a person who has practiced this type of meditation for years, I guarantee you it produces the anxiety calming results you’re looking for.
Meditation is not the only natural cure for anxiety
As a long time mediator, I’m gonna tell it to you straight. There are other ways to naturally help alleviate your anxiety. Yes, meditation is great, but it’s not for everyone and it’s not the only option. Taking walks, spending time in nature, having a real face-to-face conversation with a good friend—all of these are exceptional ways to ease anxiety.
Part of the reason meditation is powerful is because it gives you time to process your experience. But so do all the above mentioned activities. Are you ready to feel less stressed? As someone who suffered from debilitating anxiety for most of my teenage years, I know exactly how overwhelming and bleak life can seem. But you can overcome it!
Meditation will not rid your life completely of anxiety, but you will gain more calm and clarity than you ever imagined. You will be able to breathe easy. Focus. See the bigger picture. And not let little things bother you.
How great would it be to wake up feeling excited for the day? To smile in the face of adversity, knowing that it’s going to be OK? It can be a reality.
You just need to make it a priority with meditation or another natural means. So start today and take some time for yourself. You deserve it.