I tried a new meditation technique this morning and once I was done, I realized it’d make for a great blog post for a few reasons.
First, I’ll tell you about my experience and why I’ve been getting more and more into meditation in the first place.
Not many people know this, but I struggle with severe anxiety, often to the level that it cripples my day-to-day life. I was doing good with it for a few years, but after my husband left the Navy, I started to experience more and more episodes that I couldn’t shake with my normal breathing exercises.
After one of my most recent episodes, I stumbled across a wellness page that was discussing the benefits of meditation and I made a mental note about how I had always wanted to try it out, not just for anxiety reasons, but because I find it incredibly intriguing. I love anything that involves personal development.
Anyway, I realized the connection between my breathing exercises I use to combat my issue and the techniques used in meditation, and I thought it’d be something to try out to see if it helped. I hate taking medication (leaves me foggy, no good for writing!) so anything that helps that isn’t in pill form is perfect, in my opinion.
Back to this morning – I was lazily surfing the web and came across a technique I’d never heard of before called Vipassana meditation. Intrigued, I gave it a shot, starting small with five minutes to begin with. It doesn’t seem like much time to accomplish anything, but the whole point of this particular technique is to focus on your breathing and nothing else. If your mind wanders, which it will, you just bring it right back to focusing on breathing. I figured five minutes was a good point for me to start at without overwhelming myself.
I’ll admit, I had a heck of a time staying focused, but after just five minutes, I felt calm. It might sound silly to some, but I really liked the challenge and the feeling of peace (and accomplishment) once the timer went off. I read that one of the key principles of Vipassana is to be able to focus even when there are distractions all around, and this is something that I think will be especially useful for me as I move forward.
SO, what does this have to do with writing? Well, many things. I often struggle to stay focused in general, and my self-discipline straight up sucks. The focus required for meditation trains us to block out distractions and, in my opinion, helps me to reinforce and build on my weak foundation of self-discipline.
As a writer, I have found that when I can meditate for a few minutes, not only does it help lessen writer’s block, but it acts as a sort of brain dump, if you will, and sets me back on track for success. My mind is at peace and is clear to accomplish the work before me.
It also helps in my daily life, too. I have two little ones at home, so taking a few minutes to chant an affirmation in my head, follow an orb in my mind, or focus on my breathing and only my breathing, helps me to realign my mind and recharge. I’ve only begun with a few of the different methods, but I’ve enjoyed the benefits so far. And in this crazy day and age, it’s nice to block everything out and train my brain to be at peace.
I’m excited to see how this pans out as I continue to pencil in a daily session, if only for a few minutes, and I look forward to seeing the benefits it has for my anxiety and my life in general.
That said, do any of you meditate? I’d love to hear about your experience if you do!
If you don’t and want to try it out, here is a great link that explains Vipassana meditation and how it works:
‘Til next time.