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What Having Anxiety Taught Me

March 15, 2017

As a kid, I was one of the lucky kids that never really had to worry about much. A pretty care-free childhood. Which is why anxiety was such a new feeling for me. I was living it not only every day but also all day long. I would go to bed with anxiety and wake up with it. My favorite time of the day was right when I woke up. You know those few precious seconds right when you open your eyes and you don’t have a single worry on your mind. I used to crave those moments because it seemed like it was the only time I was truly at peace.

I knew that I couldn’t continue that way. Not only was I introduced to the feeling of a migraine (for the lucky ones that have never experienced a migraine, it’s quite awful) but I was just living with so much tension. Something had to change. Although I had read countless times about the benefits of meditation, I was always skeptical and just thought “who has time for that”. But those that say they don’t have time to meditate are probably the first ones that need meditation, right? I was visiting my sister in Boston one time, and as we are talking on the couch one evening I tell her about how I’ve been lately. This is when she gives me that final push to start meditating. And that’s when I started to meditate and embarked on a journey of awareness. Awareness of my feelings and emotions.

I downloaded the app Calm and every day was a new day from that moment on. It’s not that it was ever easy. And like many already know, emptying your mind is just about close to impossible. But what I loved and still love about my practice is that the point of it is not to empty my mind but to just bring awareness to my thoughts. I also learned to detect when my muscles are tense as well as strategies on how to relax. This method is called a body scan. So for those that are still on the fence to try meditation, it will really be life changing.

Not that it was an overnight change. It slowly started with less road rage. I used to get very angry at Miami drivers. Granted the traffic can be quite awful but there’s no reason to be so angry right? Also, I stopped complaining so much about what’s going wrong in life. And then slowly I was starting to see the good again. The good in every day. The good in all relationships with my family, friends, coworkers. The good in all experiences (pleasant and not so pleasant experiences). One of my meditation sessions mentioned that we should observe things like passing clouds. Not getting too attached or involved. Because everything passes. And this, I believe, is what I loved most.

I still meditate. And I confess that there are those days in which I may miss a practice. But I always go back to it. Meditation keeps me centered, keeps me aware. Aware that life is so much greater than that one moment that may seem endless. Every experience comes with a valuable lesson. Even if at that moment we don’t see it. So embrace all that comes your way. Meditation helped me see this. And anxiety many times comes from us being so caught in a moment or situation. Meditation helps me recognize when I’m in need of a shift, stopping negative thoughts and believing that everything has a mysterious way of working out.

 

 

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