My mind was my worst enemy. It was always holding me hostage, keeping me in dread of what may happen—making me worry about everything.
My mind was a terrible place to live. Perhaps it was damaged. I don't know, but it's better now.
Meditation changes me. It changes my mind for the better. Meditation is the habitual practice of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. I first tried to meditate in 2012. It was awkward. I had crushing anxiety. Doctors found Lymphoma in my chest, head and neck. The stress was driving me nuts. I read about meditation and how it can reduce stress, so I sat down to try it. Closing my eyes, I sat on the floor. My mind was racing. It seemed the more I tried to quiet my thoughts, the more they raced. I couldn't stop thinking. I thought meditation is impossible for me. I kept trying each day. I sat and closed my eyes and intentionally tried to meditate each day for 10 minutes. Most of the time, it was less than 10 minutes before I quit. It seemed like an eternity to try and be calm for just a few minutes.
I started to notice that I felt just a little better each time after meditation. The stress vibrations I was reacting to began to chill out. In the body, stress causes an increase in cortisol, which is a stress hormone that releases inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. I had a run-in with cytokines from a cancer treatment I endured in the hospital, but that's another story. These are bad boys, causing depression, anxiety, increased blood pressure, disrupted sleep patterns, elevated body temperature, fatigue, anemia, clouded thinking, and more. My research and the research of the scientific community have proven that meditation reduces the cytokine response, which reduces inflammation, reducing all the ailments mentioned above along with other benefits.
With continued practice, I learned to quiet my mind during meditation. During quiet time, as I call it, there is a stillness that can strip your ego down to its core. I felt a natural progression towards self-awareness, which is something that was eluding me. Mindfulness began to set in. Mindfulness is where you are focused on the here and now. Your mind becomes clear. Before I learned to meditate, a lot of my mental energy was scattered and fragmented. I thought if I could just put away the scary stuff and bring the joy and reduce the fear, I'll be good. That's what meditation does for me.
Greater self-awareness of my mental and physical habits began to set in, which gave me a greater belief in myself and my ability to overcome challenges. A kindness, a real feeling of empathy, began to emerge during meditation. It made me cry. Emotions of love for myself and others swelled suddenly. Studies of people meditating have proven that meditating three times a week improved positive emotions, interpersonal interactions, and understanding of self and others.
Meditation improved my sleep tremendously. I had been struggling with insomnia because my racing thoughts wouldn't stop at night. I had tried sleeping pills, but they had the opposite effect on me. They caused sleeplessness; it was crazy. The quiet time I had developed started to spread over to other areas, including my sleep. I can go to sleep and stay asleep in my quiet time because now my mind can relax.
Naturally, my blood pressure dropped when I lost 100 pounds and started eating High Vibe Foods, but it was never 102/67 (which is perfect) until I began to meditate every day. Studies have shown that meditation helps control blood pressure by relaxing nerve signals that coordinate heart function, blood vessel tension, and the fight-or-flight response, which increases alertness and decreases fear in stressful situations.
Without spending lots of hours worrying about stuff, I have more energy to be more productive. I don't waste my time just sitting around ruminating about stuff. I used to do that all the time. I can achieve more in a day when I spend an hour on meditation than when I don't. I used to think sitting still, not doing anything, was a waste of time. But it's not.
I have learned a few things to facilitate meditation for me now. I will elaborate on what meditation techniques have worked for me here in my next blog post.
Meditation is a game-changer for me. I will never stop. If I get lazy, meditation will tell me and get me on the right track again.
Meditation is a deep pool. It's like a journey. There is a lot to learn and experience as you go along. Don't give up, and keep your VIBES HIGH !!!!