How Meditation Helped My Anxiety & Overall Wellness

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on this matter. I am simply somebody who has dealt with anxiety for about 15 years now and have found meditation a near cure for my symptoms. If you’re currently on a path that works for you, I suggest simply adding meditation to your daily routine to see where it takes you.

sitting on the lake

I’m extremely happy to report that I’ve been meditating daily since August 11, 2014, when I began the Oprah/Deepak Meditation Experience, and I really feel incredible because of it.

It’s been about two months now, so not super long, but most definitely long enough to have noticed a huge difference in the way my brain works, or better yet, the way my mind works floating somewhere inside my brain, and though I haven’t noticed changes anywhere else, according to this article Harvard Yoga Scientists Find Proof of Meditation Benefit, meditation has even affected my body.

Guided meditations were most definitely what I needed {and still need} to meditate effectively at this point, because I’m not disciplined enough to do it on my own, but I really enjoy the guided versions.

Although I fell a few days behind somewhere in the middle of the Oprah & Deepak 21 Day Meditation challenge, I continued on and meditated every day after. Since the meditations in the program were available for 5 days after going live, I didn’t miss a single one. And I truly loved it. Like I said, I found that it was much easier to mediate with a guided meditation vs just going into a room and sitting quietly alone and focusing on my breathing. If you’ve been trying to incorporate meditation into your life but haven’t found your rhythm, try a 15-20 minute guided one instead.

I specifically LOVE Deepak’s meditations as they each begin with a few minutes of positive words from Oprah & then Deepak, which lead to a centering thought for the day {like Happiness is my true nature}, then offering a mantra {like ananda hum} to repeat during the meditation, and finally leaving the listener with a calming musical background to focus on the mantra and the meditation. It not only made it so much easier to focus and meditate, it really made me look forward to each day’s meditations.

I feel like this sounds a little cheesy, but in all honesty, it’s amazing… and I completely recommend it to anyone specifically struggling with anxiety and/or any other mental dis-ease.

What took me so long to begin meditating daily was that no matter how many times I read or heard about its amazing benefits, once I began {and would maybe go for 3 days straight}, I didn’t get an immediate result that I could physically see or feel {meaning, my anxiety didn’t disappear immediately, etc.} and so making it a habit was quite difficult. It’s not like taking a Xanax, for instance when you feel like you’re spiraling out of control, and it levels you down in a way, but over time, when it finally does kick in, it works far better than a Xanax does.

But like beginning a healthy diet or workout regimen, it takes patience to see the results from meditation, and sometimes that’s the most difficult part. The 21 day challenge motivated me to do it daily and thus helped create the habit that I now look forward to every day. Seriously

The present moment is eternal because it endlessly renews itself. ~ Deepak Chopra

I can’t really put my finger on exactly what has changed within, but it was somewhere at the beginning of month two and it has something to do with clarity of mind, feeling like there is quiet in the space in between the thoughts, and less {or NO} overall rapid negative and fearful streaming thoughts… the ones that cause anxiety and worry and lead to more fearful thoughts that lead to more anxiety as well as the ones that keep me up at night.

There’s room now for balance in a way I can’t even really explain. The constant and overall fear that went with me everywhere was just suddenly not there. It was something that just happened over time and then one day I noticed that I wasn’t making decisions {small and large} based on fear anymore and it felt truly amazing. Honestly, it’s been over ten years since I’ve had this kind of clarity within, this quiet, this balance, and I have to give all the credit to meditation.

I’ve had a few moments where my old programming and swirling negative thoughts have crept back in in a moment of weakness and rather than allowing my mind to quickly spin out of control as I would have in the past, feeding the negativity with more fear and then worrying about anxiety or being anxious about something, I seemingly have had a whole new bag of tools and vocabulary that immediately flood in and calm me down without much effort at all. I am surprised by it every day.

But meditation’s slow like honey approach didn’t make all of this happen overnight, yet it’s only been two months and somehow I am free from the grip of the overall fear and the fear of anxiety itself. I worry that even talking about it like this will somehow jinx it into not working anymore and it’s so incredible that I don’t even want to go one day without it.

It has also kept me more level-headed during events that would normally fire me up or make me angry… I find myself calm, level-headed, and far less emotional overall.

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. ~ Deepak Chopra

Since the free meditations ended though, I’ve been on the hunt for more by Deepak, with only a little luck. I’ve found a few great ones on Youtube, but the other day finally broke down and bought 2 different Oprah/Deepak Meditations to download to my phone {Expanding Your Happiness and Perfect Health both $49.99ea}, and downloaded the free Meditation Experience app so that I could access them any time I wanted to… and even though I did it reluctantly, I’m so happy with them I kick myself for not doing it sooner.

Generally I meditate as soon as I wake up, while I’m still in bed, cozy and relaxed. If I have to get up in a hurry and don’t have time, I’ll usually meditate sometime around lunchtime, and sometimes I take 15 mins in the morning and 15 more at lunch… but I never miss it now. I also found this 46minute video The Secret of Healing – Meditations For Transformation and Higher Consciousness on Youtube which I put on and stretch/do yoga to at night to relax before bedtime. Stretching before bed is something I’ve done since I was about 18 years old, but my commitment to it hasn’t been at full capacity for years and I get lazy. I rarely skip a night now that I have this to accompany it. It’s so soothing, completely free and fabulous. In fact, sometimes if I’m having trouble sleeping at night, I listen to it on my iPhone in bed.

Free Deepak 10-20 Minute Meditations on Youtube…

These may help you decide if you like his style and find him as helpful as I did. I really tried a few others I found too, from different people, but none of them resonated with me the way his did.

* Deepak Chopra – The secret of Attraction meditation about 12mins
* Oprah/Deepak 21 Meditation the whole thing free on youtube!
* Random Meditations with Deepak and a few more.

To begin, all he says is make yourself comfortable and close your eyes… and for me, this means I don’t have to sit in any particular way to meditate as I thought prior. In fact, unless I’m stretching through it at night, I lay flat on my back, and that seems to work for me just fine.

Try it… I’m telling you, it’s kind of incredible!

 

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at ...love Maegan.com sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.

6 Comments

  • CAthy

    October 9, 2014 | Reply

    Thank you for sharing this Maegan! I really needed this, I’m going to try some of these guided meditations.
    xoxo
    Cathy

  • Amanda Rose Zampelli

    October 9, 2014 | Reply

    Amen, sister! <3 <3 Thanks for sharing!

    I started this with you August 11th after you posted about it days earlier, and I completely understand what you mean. I wrote about my experience here:
    http://amandaroseblog.typepad.com/my_blog/2014/09/oprah-deepaks-21-day-meditation-experience.html

    I am a long-time, 15-ish-year struggler with anxiety too, and I have also felt calmer and more capable of doing things without fear since I started meditating daily. Like you said, it gave me a vocabulary and a set of strategies, and it is pretty amazing.

    I know what you mean about worrying that even talking about it will somehow jinx it into not working anymore…I feel the same exact. I’ve had a few moments where my old programming and swirling negative thoughts have crept back in, and I've been using meditation 'tools' to calm me down, but I'm anxious I'll 'lose' the benefit I gained.

    I suppose I'll just keep meditating. Keep reminding myself my core state of being is one of calm.

    This video oddly helps me too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln9RBTsjTmU 🙂

    • Maegan Tintari

      October 10, 2014 | Reply

      I remember reading that post!! I’m so glad it worked for you too. Keep doing it. I think it really really is incredible in dealing with anxiety… but before the anxiety rises. I think when I do it daily, the anxiety is less of an overall worry instead of at the forefront of my mind. xox <3

  • Fashion Musings Diary

    October 9, 2014 | Reply

    I should try it to sleep better!
    XO
    Jeanne
    http://fashionmusingsdiary.com

  • Mikala

    October 12, 2014 | Reply

    The Headspace app is pretty great too, my sleep problems are a thing of the past! The first ten days are free to try. The very first night I fell asleep so easily!

  • Bre

    October 14, 2014 | Reply

    That’s so great that you’ve stayed with it for several weeks now. I’ve wanted to meditate for so long and, like you said previously, just never seem to make the time for it. This is great motivation to try it out and see where it takes me. Thanks for sharing!

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