My anxiety is a long, windy thing, and it is not something I’ve ever taken lightly. It’s something I actively try to aid so I can function to the best of my ability. But I think anyone who has ever dealt with anxiety in any capacity knows it can be something that cements your feet to the ground and it won’t let you take steps forward. Anxiety, at its best, can be debilitating.
In my version of the world, medications aren’t something in my immediate circle of choices and as much as I would love it to be as easy as taking one pill to make all my worries go away, that’s not possible for me.
I am not a meditation, mental health, or selfcare expert; however, meditation is something I’ve been very passionate about in my journey of aiding my mental state and personal life. Thus, my mission for alternative solutions to fix this hurricane brain of mine commenced, and one of the few things I found that can put the stormy conditions away is meditation – not the kind of meditation where you sit crisscross applesauce and say, “Om,” until you feel enlightened, although the sitting criss-cross may apply depending on what I need.
I find myself needing times of the day where I can just be still and in the present moment, time where I can focus on what is happening in that exact moment without distraction and have this moment act as a moment of meditation. If I have the time, a more traditional meditation approach is helpful. I’ll sit on the floor and work on being present with my breathing so I can break away from the bad vibes, but more often than not, the private moment to be present is something that works better with my schedule as a full-time student.
In my experience, meditation and feeling the effects of meditation is about finding a part of your day where you can just focus on one thing and shut out everything else. If you enjoy cooking or baking, put on your favorite podcast or music and focus on only putting together the ingredients one step at a time. If you have a skincare routine, whether it be a simple or elaborate process, take the time to be present with your face and your body and take care of your skin. Being mindful of the steps you’re taking could surprisingly take your mind off the stress of the day.
When I take this type of approach to meditation, I like to do some of my silly, little positive affirmations that can help me step into or out of my day with a comfortable and peaceful mindset. I also like to remind myself that this body is the only body I’m going to get in this life and I should respect her because she is protecting me and keeping me alive. It allows me to build a stronger bond with my body even when my emotions and my brain decide to take a downturn in energy.
Although meditation and similar practices are things that work for me and my mental health, it does not mean it works for everybody. Again, I am not an expert in mental health care or meditation, but if I ever find myself in an advice-giving scenario, my go-to point is to find a point in your day that you can just be still and take a break. A simple series of deep breaths at your desk might do the trick.
Mental health is a growing topic of conversation in our society, and taking care of our brain and tending to our emotions is just as important to our bodies as our physical health. Take care of yourselves!
Abby Provencal can be contacted at