It was in 2017 that I first attempted meditation. My anxiety levels were all time high and I was barely able to sleep in the night. I got to know about the Headspace app and thought it would be a good way to calm my mind. Little did I know that an overactive mind when given ample amount of time and silence, can churn out most horrible imageries of the future. I ruminated over the past experiences and worried about what might become of the future during the meditation time. Needless to say it did more harm than good and I was a wreck for weeks. Thus ended my first attempt at meditation.
Around the first week of August, when we were still trying to make sense of the looming pandemic, chicken pox attacked me. It was a blessing in disguise. I was having panic attacks because of work stress and I all I wanted was to take a break. So when the blisters started coming out, I was relieved. It gave me a two weeks of time to reflect upon how I fared through the last few months and how I want to tackle the next few months of 2020. I was also becoming active in medium and it gave me a ton of essays on the benefits of meditation. I thought it would be worth to give meditation another try.
First thing I wanted to acknowledge is that I am much more comfortable with the person I am than I was three years ago. So even though I was having panic attacks, I knew that it is just a phase. I was more accepting of my issues than I was ever before. I believe that it is an important aspect to consider if you want to start meditation.
I downloaded Headspace again as I read that it is the best meditation app even now. I tried the trial version for a week. I understood that I was trying to get rid of my thoughts when I first tried meditation. And was rather too harsh on myself at that time. This time around I was patient with myself and I was able to recognize whenever my mind wandered off. Unlike last time, I was not swept away by my own thoughts. The thoughts came and went as I concentrated in my breath. It is a liberating feeling to not to be trapped in my own head. I user the sleep casts and sleep meditation at night to make myself sleep better. So after one week of trial, I directly opted for an year's subscription.
It's been 90 days since I started meditation. I cannot say that my life has changed drastically. But it has definitely enabled me to pay close attention to the here and now. I am more aware of the triggers that cause me distress and my rumination has reduced considerably. That doesn't mean that I feel peaceful all the time. It is the wrong kind of expectation everyone has from meditation. I am writing this after 15 minutes of meditation to relieve the anxiety about a deadline I am facing at work. So please don't have unrealistic expectations.
If you are a worry wort like me and already having a plate full of issues that you don't know how to handle, you will feel better if you are getting some help from someone who is a trainer. But trying meditation with an app when you yourself is not in control of your thoughts is not a very good idea. I came to meditation after an year of daily journaling and yoga practice. Both has helped me to have a better grip on my mind. I believe that it is all these small actions together that can help us to have some sort of calmness in this terrible world. We cannot expect wonders from meditation alone.