Disclaimer: (I believe) As inherent to our existence and purpose as humans, we all have 'good' and 'bad' within ourselves. There is beauty and meaning behind the dichotomy. In this knowing, exists patience to be cultivated and lessons to live through. We cannot completely eradicate the darkness within, and we would suffer invariably should we try to. With all of that being said, we do not have to live as victims to the darkness. We can hold hands and walk with it. We can befriend our shadow.
Please reach out for help if you need it. There are countless organizations across the US and globally that have free resources to help people:
[Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message. We're here for everything: anxiety, depression, suicide, school. Text HOME to 741741.]
[SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357)]
I am kind of at a loss for how to start this off. Anxiety is no stranger to me.
The reason that I began meditating was that I felt overcome by anxious thoughts. I was a new transfer at a college out of state, and I was seriously feeling the effects of being uprooted and in a brand new environment. I felt anxiety around going to class, interacting, socializing, and the like.
Anxiety had taken a complete hold on me before I healed it. I felt really hopeless, tired, sad, but most importantly I didn't feel like myself.
Meditation gave me the tools to know how to release anxious energy and anxious thoughts. I learned how to be gentle with myself, and speak lovingly to myself when intrusive thoughts would come in.
Affirmations and mantras helped me in exact moments that I needed calm. I would often recite "I am always in the right place at the right time" while walking to a lecture.
I also greatly benefited from visualization meditation and Loving Friendliness (or Metta) meditation. I would visualize healing energy surrounding me and filling me, cleaning and cleansing me of anxiety. I also like to visualize a protective bubble of light around my body, keeping love and joy in, and bad energy out. I've written about Metta Meditation before, but in short, it's the practice of meditating on love. Being centered in your heart space, and sending love to yourself, and out to the unseen interconnected web of all living beings.
Throughout this journey, I have changed how I view anxiety. And I have changed how I respond- when it comes up for me. It's interesting to look back on it now because it's been such a detailed journey. Low lows and transcendental highs. I can trace my journey with social anxiety back further than college. In high school, I usually always had nerves when it came to class presentations. Battling anxious thoughts definitely isn't a walk in the park.
It is important to note that, in my opinion, probably over 75% of the general population suffers from anxious and depressive thoughts, on a daily basis, and don't have the proper mental awareness or tools to overcome them. I believe this percentage to be so high because we are bombarded by the noise of the world, and the noise of mainstream fiction media, which is incredibly violent.
I think most people live in flight or fight response, unknowingly, always on the watch for something to happen. This is bad for your overall health to be on high alert, and it weakens your immune system.
That's why I'm so motivated to share meditation and its benefits with as many people as I can reach. You can learn it at any age, and it's so good for you! Mind, body, heart, and spirit! Whatever you do in life, a meditation practice will make you better at it. It increases your focus, mental capacity, love, vibrancy for life, and much more.
You deserve to be radically healed.