I’ve practiced meditation off and on for a few years now, but it was a recent bout of my anxiety getting progressively worse that pushed me to take it more seriously, to be more consistent. I’m glad I did.
Fast forward to Saturday when I completed Day 10 of meditation basics with the app Headspace. Every day, I put five minutes aside for some quiet, guided meditation. Five minutes doesn’t sound like much, but it’s simply serene to let go after busy day at a job you don’t particularly like.
Strengthening the mind takes time, as does becoming more in tune with yourself. However, I’ve already noticed a difference in my thoughts. So, here’s how I’m now realizing (and calming) my Anxious Black Girl.
Don’t fight it, just feel it.
Anxiety is self-compounding so the more you fight it, the worse it gets. With meditation, I’ve learned it’s actually best to let these feelings surface — rear their ugly heads if you will — rather than try everything in my power to relax. Letting my body feel and simply allow these emotions helps to make them pass faster. This goes for anxiety or any other negative emotions, or self-destructive thoughts.
It’s okay to “just be.”
Again, I’ve found total peace in simply letting myself be and living in the moment. Focusing on breathing and staying “grounded” in my surrounding for five minutes a day is a great way to unwind and give the mind a break. It’s also a great time for self-reflection, which I honestly haven’t become quite comfortable with yet.
It’s also okay NOT to be okay.
This one kind of goes back to my first point. Anxiety, angst, negative thoughts and emotions are normal, so stop forcing yourself to feel better. It’s how you react to and handle these feelings that can cause issues. Also, there’s really no power in faking it til you make it, trust me. So allow yourself the room to sulk, and then move on.
Becoming aware of your emotions isn’t such a bad thing.
I’ve always hated self-reflection. Writing my feelings down on paper, kind of like what I’m doing now, ironically. However, meditation has taught me that, though uncomfortable, becoming more in tune with my emotions isn’t all so bad in the long run. It helps you be less critical of yourself, as well as others. If you know me, you know this is something I’ve always struggled with.
Breathe. Stretch. Shake. Let it go.
This is the best part for me personally. Being able to let shit go that’s been weighing me down, racking my mind for the longest is the best feeling. I haven’t quite mastered this with everything that triggers my anxiety, but it’s coming along.
If meditation is in your practice, in what ways has it helped you? Feel free to share below.
With love always,