If you think You’re Too Anxious to Meditate? Think Again.
As a wise Buddhist monk once said, “If you’re too busy to meditate for an hour a day, meditate for two hours a day!”
As I like to say, “If you’re too anxious to meditate, then you definitely need to meditate!”
Every single person on the planet can meditate. Meditation—i.e. being present—is our natural state of being. And those who find it most difficult tend to need it the most—the least patient people, the most restless, the most anxious, and so on. These are all things meditation has been proven to help with.
There can be many different reasons why people may find it difficult to meditate
They Might Have A Wrong Perception
They’re doing it wrong. Meditation is more than just repeating a mantra or watching your breath.
Also, these days there are many different things that people call meditation but they are not really meditating and have no proven benefits. Having an experienced meditation teacher is the best way to make sure you are meditating properly.
Maybe The Motive Behind It Is Not Right
Expectations. Just because you cannot sit still or quiet your mind for an extended period of time does not mean that you cannot meditate. This is how it goes at the beginning for everyone.
Most of us have spent the majority of our lives training our minds to only be entertained by big-budget movies, TV shows, video games, and social media sites.
It is going to take some time before we can retrain our minds to be calm, relaxed, and find everlasting peace and joy in the stillness of the present moment.
Just be patient and start small. You don’t have to start at one hour. You can start with just one or two minutes and work your way up.
Maybe Its About Mind Over Matter
Believing your own stories. Usually, the last thought in someone’s mind before they quit meditating is, “I just can’t meditate!”
Whether you’re trying to run a marathon or get a master’s degree in organic chemistry, believing you can’t do it is a surefire way to not do it. Achieving anything requires not believing in our self-limiting, self-defeating thoughts.
Meditation is no different. As you will learn from meditation, thinking something doesn’t make it so and you do not have to be identified with your thoughts.
The more you meditate, the more you will notice that thoughts will come and go, but you are not your thoughts and they actually have no control over you. You are the awareness of your thoughts and it is that awareness that is always calm, still, and peaceful.
The more we become conscious and aware of our thought-patterns and the stories we tell ourselves, the more in control we become of our own lives and less controlled we become to whatever thought happens to pop into our head.
What Stories Does Your Mind Try To Make?
I just don’t have the time.
Then make time. Wake up earlier. Watch one less show. Jack Dorsey is the CEO of two publicly traded corporations and still meditates for two hours a day and walks over 10 miles a day to and from work.
My back hurts sitting on the ground.
Then sit in a chair. Or, try sitting on the floor while doing something besides meditation and see how you feel. For some people, the ego creates physical pain as a way to avoid meditation.
But I have ADD.
I have ADD! And take one guess what cured me of my ADD… yup, meditation.
I have kids and a job!
Then be a good parent and start meditating so you can be less anxious and more present around your children. You’re not the first working parent to make time to meditate.
It’s like the flight attendants always say, “Please put on your mask before assisting your children.” You are useless to your family and worse at your job if you don’t take care of yourself and your mental well-being first.
It’s too hard.
Do you know what’s even harder? Living with constant stress and anxiety. Do you know what’s awesome and easy? Living a relaxed, peaceful, joyful life.
It’s too boring.
That’s why you need it. You need to constantly be entertained is hurting you. Being constantly entertained leads to a dangerous dopamine rollercoaster where you constantly seek out that dopamine rush from food, drugs, sex, and high-tech entertainment devices, which is then always followed by a crash leading to more dopamine hunting.
Before you know it, you need more and more dopamine for the same rush, but your body is getting depleted of dopamine faster and faster and so you become more and more unhappy and unfulfilled.
Meditation is the opposite—it actually increases your body’s ability to produce dopamine, leading to greater and lasting happiness and bliss.
The Ego Says It All
All of these useless stories are created by the ego (i.e. the thinking mind) and don’t serve you or help you become happier. The reason the ego creates these stories is out of fear of losing its grip and control over you.
Ego is a wonderful tool for analytical purposes, but as the only thinking tool in your body, it wants to be in charge and stay in charge by creating the illusion that it is you. It is very clever indeed.
Why Do We Experience Anxiety?
Anxiety can be caused by a number of different factors in our lives. Death or separation in the family, an illness or medical condition, financial worries, trauma, and the state of world affairs can all cause anxiety. Or our personality may just be predisposed to anxiety.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is our general feeling of unease created in the mind. It’s our brain’s way of responding to stress. It can lead to panic attacks, restlessness, quicker heartbeat, lack of sleep, worry, and distress which can greatly interfere with our work and personal lives.
What Causes Anxiety?
While certain situations in our lives can put us at risk of experiencing anxiety, some people will experience greater anxiety than others. The root cause of all anxiety however is due to fear or worry of some imagined future based on some painful experience in the past.
A person fully present, simply observing the present moment with no judgment, and seeing clearly without a fog of thoughts clouding their vision, there can be no anxiety. For this, meditation is the cure.
How does Meditation help with Anxiety?
In meditation, we slowly train our minds to be present by observing our breath, our body, our thoughts, and our surroundings with no judgment or reaction to them.
We just let them be. We learn to accept whatever comes and let go of whatever doesn’t serve us. By observing what is happening around us and within us, we are training our mind to become present.
We aren’t watching a breath that just happened or a breath that is about to happen. We only see the breath as it currently is.
By doing this, we’re able to break free from the past and future and live in the eternal now. If we spend most of our life reliving the past or imagining the future, we essentially haven’t really lived at all.
Meditation helps us wake up from this dream, which causes nothing but needless suffering, and allows us to live more fully, more joyfully, and more peacefully.
So are you willing to dive into this ethereal experience of meditation and experience the benefits yourself? Let us know in the comments.