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Mental Health

Meditation vs Anxiety

What springs into your mind when you think of meditation?

Wrong! It’s meditation, you shouldn’t be thinking.

Most of us, at some point, have downloaded an app on our phones or tablets, plugged our earphones in (our earbuds, if you’re bougie) and listened to a guided mediation. This practise has dated back thousands of years (the mediation bit, not the earbud part) with good ol’ Buddha himself being chief advocate. Often, the word ‘mindfulness’ is paired up with meditation, and big CEOs (white, old men) now praise the practise with their success.

Photo by Chris Ensey

Meditation vs Me

If you have been battling mental illnesses, you may have already been told that mindfulness mediation would be a great activity to do. The idea that by concentrating on the breath, we can let our minds escape the world for a few moments. Sounds like bliss…right?

Let me slip some tea that you should know – NOT EVERYBODY IS SUITABLE FOR MEDITATION

(wow…that was loud)

That’s right, some people (like me) can really, really, really struggle to meditate. I have tried countless apps and including meditation into my Self Care Experiment, and I got nada out of it. Fortunately, I was able to mention this to my therapist back in February, who told me what I had never heard before “Mindfulness mediation does not work for everybody.”

Now, I know that there have been studies into why meditation can cause a positive impact on the brain – but what about those of us who can’t? Personally, I find that my mind gets bored, I can’t connect with the guide, and that it’s hard to let go of my thoughts.

Photo by Katee Lue

Mindfulness

However, let’s be clear – I do practise mindfulness (paradox?). Mindfulness is wonderful, and I believe it has helped me to tune in and out of my thoughts; I just simply do not meditate. I have found that activities like yoga and painting can induce a mindfulness state, without me listening to a stranger maunder on about ethics and the universe.

So, if you’re now sitting here thinking, “Damn, I think that’s me!”, then welcome to the club! You can still find your own mindfulness, and I even implore you to try. For the meditation lovers, leave me a comment and share how meditation has helped you.

Neither side is wrong or right, it is simply about following our own path.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I will see you again soon.

J x

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