I thought meditation would fix my anxiety – that’s why it wasn’t enough

“Your mind, emotions, and body are musical instruments, and the way you adjust and adjust them determines how well you play life.”

The first memory of my anxiety was 10 years old in 5th grade.

In junior high school, the bus arrived at 6:22 am, so I remember it very clearly.

Every night, I look at Garfield’s clock and say, “If you fall asleep now, you will sleep for 5 hours … If you sleep now, you will sleep for 4 hours … If you sleep now, you will sleep for 3 hours …”

And, no doubt, my alarm clock didn’t wake me up, so my sister slammed my door at 6:15 and shouted that I would miss the bus. This is the last time she wakes me up.

I didn’t know I was worried.

When the doctor asked her mother, “How are you?”, The answer was always “She never fell asleep.” And that was it.

Or, when I couldn’t concentrate on school and do my homework, the “answer” was ADHD and I was given medication. This helped a bit, but it didn’t solve the problem.

In high school, anxiety about going to school was exacerbated. I couldn’t eat breakfast in the morning because of stress and nausea.

At university, there was a month when my jaw joints were so bad that my jaw was so tight that I couldn’t open my mouth. I started rubbing the knuckle with a dull butter knife as a physical distraction from the wrath of anxiety in my stomach.

Many of this over the years.

In my late twenties, after a panic attack that sent me to the emergency room, a fear-driven co-dependency, daily tension headaches, stomach problems, and a wreck with a nearly nonexistent immune system … I finally understood that this was all anxiety.

I was beginning to understand why my pursuit of symptom relief for all physical illnesses was unsuccessful — I hadn’t reached the root of the problem.

Meditation has entered my life.

And that helped — much!

It helped calm me down. It taught me how to breathe properly. It gave me time to take care of myself every day.

I also practiced yoga, a healthy vegetarian diet, went to the gym, smoked cannabis, and took medicine, which improved my anxiety. But my anxiety didn’t go away … yet.

I couldn’t go any further with my recovery because I didn’t really understand what anxiety was and why meditation was useful (and what was missing in the equation).

What is really anxiety?

We often confuse stress with anxiety.

Stress is an important body system.

Stress occurs when a triggering event (such as a bear or a tight deadline) activates the sympathetic nervous system to send cortisol and adrenaline to the body, allowing them to fight or escape to keep themselves safe.

Energy and resources can be diverted from “non-essential” systems such as the digestive, reproductive, and immune systems to the heart, lungs, and large muscles.

This is a reaction that lasts 20 minutes (or until the imminent danger disappears).

Anxiety is when our thoughts continuously activate our stress response.

Our bodies are designed to recover from acute stress, but not because of long-term stress.

And that’s why we end up with the following symptoms:

  • Malaise
  • Muscle tension
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Immunosuppression
  • Childbirth and menstrual disorders
  • headache
  • (And like the other hundred)

How meditation can help anxiety

As I said, I did see the benefits of meditation, but I didn’t see any further progress in my anxiety.

At that time, I realized that I had to change the way I meditate and learned how to “practice” even if I wasn’t meditating.

Meditation is more than just focusing on breathing. It’s a training exercise for your mind.

The goal is not to relax (although it is often a great side effect), it is to change the relationship with the thoughts that come to your mind.

It was the first lesson that made a difference in my practice, learning that “you are not your idea”. At first I was crazy, but that makes sense.Me Have got idea. I have ideas, stories and sentences built by the brain to explain the situation. They are neither me nor the truth. The neurons are just giving out ideas.

Intensive attention meditation, such as mindfulness meditation, teaches us three main things: awareness, admission, and redirection.

When we meditate, we News When our attention deviates from our focus (like our breathing).

Then we AcknowledgmentsYou can also label what we were thinking, such as “planning” or “worry,” without making this judgment.

And we gently release the hold of that idea and direct our attention to where we want it, our breathing.

This process of noticing, approving, and redirecting tells you how to:

  • I’m in the moment
  • Become conscious of our thoughts
  • Choose curiosity over judgment
  • Practice self-sympathy and patience
  • Let go of control

All of these are essential skills for learning how to build relationships with anxiety-causing thoughts.

As I began to think of meditation as a practice like soccer practice, I began to realize that each 2-minute, 5-minute, or 20-minute meditation session was preparing the mind to deal with the actual stressor. .. off Of my meditation cushion.

So when I sent a text message to a friend but she didn’t return a text message (my old trigger), I was learning how to:

  • Note: “Oh, I’m worried because I think the reason she didn’t reply is because she doesn’t like me as much as I like. I believe her reply proves I’m good. It’s enough and I like it. “
  • Admit: “This is unpleasant, but I allow you to stay here until it’s over. She hasn’t responded, but I choose to love and accept myself.”
  • Redirect: “You may get another explanation for her lack of reply. She may be busy, ill, or forgot to reply. I wait or message her again. I can make amends because I am a good person, even if she is angry with me. “

Instead of swirling around the rabbit hole, “What’s wrong?”, I learned to recognize it as a useful idea for the brain, based on the habits I’ve developed after years of believing that I’m not enough. .. ..

This understanding did not prevent me from having those ideas, but it reduced them, and it taught me to change my relationship with them. Instead of believing them to be true, I could see what they were, a defense mechanism to keep me safe.

But even after realizing that meditation is really a training exercise, I still missed an important part of how it can help with anxiety.

Despite great progress in anxiety, he continued to feel some of the physical symptoms associated with chest tightness and throat stenosis.

This is when I learned that meditation is involved in the parasympathetic nervous system, rest and digestive modes.

We have a sympathetic nervous system that defends and a parasympathetic nervous system that unlocks that defense system.

Therefore, meditation is often relaxing. Anxiety stays in a fight-or-flight mode, so slowing down, focusing on breathing, and relaxing your body can tell your nervous system that it’s safe and relaxing.

Our emotions are stored in our body

I’ve made great strides in getting out of my anxiety, and I’m feeling anxious in my body, even though I can’t believe the idea that I’m not feeling well and no one likes me. I did.

That’s a long-lost part of me — the knowledge that our emotions are stored in our bodies. This means that we have muscle memory of how our body responded to our stress triggers in the past.

A meeting is approaching that you know you’re ready, but have you ever felt nervous? Or is there nothing stressful trying to relax, but is your body still tense? That’s what I’m talking about.

Meditation helped alleviate these physical symptoms, but I still kept that tension. Beyond meditation, I realized that each of us needed to find the right tools to be continuously and regularly involved in our calming system.

There are many ways to do that. Yoga practice, walking and dancing, laughing, singing, caressing cute puppies … all of which helped me.

There are also practices of other embodiments in which we can send sensory information directly to the safe and relaxing vagus nerve (most of the parasympathetic nervous system).

I found it fascinating to know that it is our nervous system that creates the tension in our muscles. For example, if you are anesthetized, your muscles will become loose. When you wake up, your nervous system remembers where you were tense and returns.

This physical tension sends a signal back to the brain that we are not completely safe. So even if everything is going well, it’s hard to shake that anxiety.

In addition to meditation, the practices that helped me personally release that prolonged tension were:

  • Acupuncture (I Huge The physical release after the session blew my heart away! )
  • Tapping (EFT)
  • Reiki
  • Kundalini breathing method
  • And some simple vagus nerve stimulation that sends sensory information directly to the nervous system

An example of vagal activation is lying on the floor with the nose facing the ceiling. Use only your eyes to look to the right and keep your eyes on the change in energy, the need to swallow, a sigh, or a deep breath. Then relax in neutral, look to the left and repeat.

If you practice meditation to help with anxiety and it doesn’t work or doesn’t work at all, try the notification, approval, and redirect techniques above to regain power from your anxiety. please. And if you still feel the emotions trapped in your body, perhaps trying new reification practices can help you release that accumulated tension.

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