We have all heard it before, right? “You’re feeling anxious? Just do meditation.” Yeah…right. And guess what gal… It’s okay that it doesn’t work for you. If anyone tells you that you just tried the wrong thing, or that you didn’t have a great meditation teacher, you can totally thank them and walk away. Here’s why it’s not your fault that meditation won’t help your anxiety.
Others are wrong about meditation working for everyone.
I know that some people out there in the universe will completely disagree with me. But I’m going to keep things real right now. I don’t know how anyone with anxiety finds meditation to work. Maybe there is someone out there that will comment about how it totally helps them. I just don’t personally know anyone right now that can say that.
The idea of sitting in silence and repeating words and phrases instantly seems like nails on chalkboards to me. There is also that whole, listen to this trippy sitar music and be soothed with the sound of my voice meditations out there. Yep…I’ll pass. OH, and don’t forget the best meditations of all…sit quietly and focus your mind! HA! Do these people even know what the hell anxiety even is? You feel me?
I’m gonna say,
And before you go screaming and cussing about how I don’t know shit, let me explain something else.
There are too many types of anxiety to say meditation works.
For some of these meditation gurus, they label their work as helping those with social anxiety. Others focus on calming the minds of those with postpartum anxiety. Some relate theirs to assisting the massive PTSD community. And the niche list goes on.
But here’s the thing about anxiety…it’s not perfectly defined and labeled for everyone. So what works for one person in that group may find that it doesn’t work for someone in the same group. Why? Because there may be other factors to consider. Like does the person also have depression? What are their anxiety triggers? And even whether they are on medication or not.
While some that have anxiety may find that it is really easy to meditate, their anxiety is not the same as everyone else’s. And it definitely is not like mine or yours.
So, what’s my anxiety backstory?
It’s pretty simple actually. If I reflect back on my life, anxiety has always been around. There are some interesting research pieces out there that explain that while anxiety is often not diagnosed though until later in life for some, there are warning signs that appeared earlier in their lives. That’s exactly what happened to me.
I was not officially diagnosed until I was in my thirties. Thirty plus years of living a life where I thought excessive worrying, panicking over every little detail, writing and then rewriting because it wasn’t perfect. I thought that shit was normal.
I picked at my nails and cuticles to help me focus, but often I just made them bleed. Some nights it was this.
I didn’t sleep because I’d hyperfocus on the tests that were to come or the work I needed to get done. Looking back, I knew it was wrong. But, I just couldn’t help it. And I didn’t have anyone who seemed to understand that.
That’s when the signs were truly the worst I can remember as a child. But, back then, doctors didn’t want to label anyone that way because the stigma of anxiety was not understood.
The saddest part of this all is that I could have been diagnosed as early as 16. If I born in the twenty-first century instead of the twentieth.
Anxiety still isn’t understood, so how can meditation be?
I know. This is the part that makes me chuckle and cry a little. It’s the twenty-first century. When you talk to people about anxiety, some claim to have panic attacks but really just feel the rush of a fleeting moment of anxiety.
Then, there are corporations that still penalize you for missing work. There are insurance plans that don’t recognize anxiety as needing more than a few group meetings. Some places even pitch their “meditation” and “insurance coaches” to help you overcome your anxiety.
But the truth is this, that shit don’t work either.
So what’s wrong with meditation again?
If you’re a believer in meditation already, it’s likely that you are going to just continue to believe in it. Maybe your mind allows you the ability to calm itself and visualize your greatness. Props to you. And honestly, I’m happy for you. Really. I’m actually jealous that you can do it because there are some good ones out there by great people.
But, there are many of us out there that don’t have the fortunate ability to rely on meditation as a tool for managing our anxiety. Likely, you’re one of them and I’m sending you a high five through the computer right now!
Don’t stress over the fact that you can’t meditate. Instead, find creative ways that can work. Not sure how? Well, some of my other posts talk about this a bit. Check out this one for instant inspiration on the creative medium that helped me regain control of my life and my happiness.
And remember…being unable to meditate doesn’t mean you’re broken. It just means your mind funk anxiety needs something different because you’re special. I got your back any time anyone says otherwise.
Like meditation and think I'm wrong? Glad that someone finally said what you've been thinking all along? Share your thoughts below! I can't wait to hear them.