At this season in my life, I have felt defeated, betrayed, depressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. My life has been anything but a walk in the park lately, but I am still standing and slowly digging myself out of this mess. I credit majority of my mental health still being somewhat in tack to the practice of meditation.
In the middle of an argument with my wife or trying to remain calm while asking my son to come brush his teeth for the eleventh thousand time, my chest would usually begin tightening up, head feels like someone is squeezing it from both sides of my temples. Oh and that’s just the beginning of what eventually becomes a full on anxiety attack. It’s been so bad some days that I couldn’t see or all I could do was lay still with the lights and tv off while hiding under the covers. Sometimes, I would cry in the shower because I was so overwhelmed from the stress in my life. (I am sure almost every mom could relate to crying in the shower.)
Something had to give. It started to affect my performance at my full-time job. I would show up but couldn’t perform at my optimal level. All I could do was stare at the computer screen and listen to my thoughts of how I wasn’t enough and was terrible in every area of my life.
I couldn’t keep operating in this fashion. I wasn’t myself. I could no longer control my emotions about certain situations, focus on tasks, stay as patience as I could possibly stay while arguing with my four -year-old, everything pissed me off or got under my skin. I was losing my shit (excuse my French) and I was unraveling at the seams… fast. I needed to get control of myself again and sooner rather than later before I took a turn for the worse. In other words, I was probably two seconds away from ending up in a straight-jacket or at least that’s how it felt.
Before life grabbed a hold of me and refused to let go, I meditated. I meditated at least twice a day. Now I had new responsibilities at work, the never-ending tasks of parenting , and my wife and I were always at odds. I felt like it was time to start meditating again.
In the past, meditating has calmed my mind enough for me to get a brief mental break. Focusing on my breath would calm my anxiety so I could finally drop my shoulders from my ears while sitting up straight and holding my head high. It allowed me to acknowledge my emotions (good and bad) and release them to the universe. For at least ten minutes, I could forget about my martial problems, struggles of being a mom, the feeling of never being enough for anyone, sometimes feeling alone, and the overwhelming feeling of failing at all the roles I played. It was time to get back to controlling my emotions, realize my worth, and finding my calm during the many storms I was sailing through.
I’ve been meditating for over six weeks now. At the beginning, I was either crying, very moody, impatient, suffering from migraines and anxiety attacks, and feeling overly exhausted. Since I started meditating again, I’ve gained control over my anxiety attacks by using the breathing techniques from meditating. It has help me push thoughts out when I need to be focused on a task especially at work. If I am in the middle of completing a task, I acknowledge the thought (either by writing it down if its another task or something I need to remember) or pushing it out completely.
Meditation has become an essential part of my daily routine. I can’t go too many days without meditating even if it’s not the “traditional” style of meditating. To keep my sanity and stress levels low, I meditate almost every day now whether it’s in the shower, on my train ride to and from work, before bed, while my son is in the bath tub, or while everyone is sleep and I’m still woke. Sometimes it may be for five or ten minutes. It doesn’t matter the amount of time, I have to take a few minutes to quiet my mind to feel balanced, calm, and focused.
How do you deal with your anxiety? Do you meditate? Tell us about your experience or technique to maintain your anxiety and meditation techniques in the comments.