It’s 2:00 a.m. and I’m wide awake. I still haven’t finished that project that should have been done since last week. Now there are new projects piling up on my desk. How am I ever going to get everything done? Will I ever get everything done? I’m gonna get fired. And I should really clean my desk, but….where would I even begin…it’s such a mess. My life is a mess. Wait…did I pay that bill I was supposed to? Omg…I forgot to pay it. They’re gonna cut my phone off. How could I not remember? Btw…did I talk to my mother today? Shoot…I had planned to call her today. Hope she’s okay. Suppose she’s not okay though, I really should have called. She usually texts me on Wednesdays, but I didn’t hear from her, that’s not normal. Omg I should have called, something might be wrong. Wow, my heart is beating really fast, breathe Ali breathe. Is this normal? This doesn’t feel normal. Am I having a heart attack? Omg I’m having a heart attack……
Hi, my name is Alicia, and I suffer from anxiety. This is what the mind of an anxiety sufferer looks like (and that’s a mild case, believe me). Your mind is always working overtime…all the time. You worry about trivial things, about things that will probably never happen. You constantly live in the future, worried about what could happen next — and it’s never anything good, it’s always something horrible. There’s pain in your chest when you wake up and when you go to bed. Your mind is always uneasy, especially when things are going great, because something bad is bound to happen. Something bad is always waiting to happen.
There are of course ways to deal with anxiety – pills, self-help books, therapy (I’ve done all three), but what has helped me significantly is sitting for at least 10 minutes each day, just focusing on my breath. It quiets my mind, brings me back to the present, centers me. It has been a source of calm for me, a way to shut out the craziness for a little bit, and it truly makes a difference. It’s not unusual for your mind to wander the first few times you start meditating, but the beautiful thing about meditation is that you become aware. You become aware of your thoughts, and you slowly learn to filter those thoughts and eventually change them. It takes practice, but it works.
You should try meditation if:
- You’re going to bed night after night worrying about things that haven’t yet happened or obsessing over situations that will probably never happen.
- You’re snapping at everyone around you for no real reason. If one more person says good morning you might just explode. What’s so good about it?
- There’s trouble concentrating. Your brain seems so foggy lately, you can’t seem to retain any sort of information, and you’re tired all the time.
- Everything gets you down. You can’t even watch the news anymore, is there any good left in the world? Where is the humanity?
- You haven’t seen or spoken to your girlfriends in weeks. You’ve turned down every invitation to hang out. You’re just not in the mood…lately you’re never in the mood.