After 15 years of meditation, Ed Halliwell says he regularly draws on the practice to help maintain a healthy balance between work and life.

By  | August 24, 2015

One of my early motivations for learning to meditate was the hope it would help me manage anxiety. My tendency is to the free-floating, generalized kind of fear that lends a nervous edge to every thought, often accompanied by heart palpitations, gut churning, and a general jumpiness that makes it hard to rest.

At its worst, during my late twenties, I was caught in this anxious state for a number of years, despite the fact that outwardly my life looked safe, stable, and privileged. Since then, these episodes of inner hyper-restlessness have diminished, both in frequency and duration. In no small part, I think this is due to mindfulness practice—these days I’m more aware of the conditions that tend to trip the switch for anxiety for me (such as taking on more than I have resources to cope with, or personal, social and professional rejection). I’m also better equipped to deal with it—I’m more able to slow down, be gentle and patient with the symptoms, trust that the panic will pass, and engage with confidence-building activities that tend to restore steadiness.

The fear still comes to haunt me every now and then—but my relationship to it has changed. Earlier this year, a convergence of work pressures and family demands set my heart pounding, and the ferris wheel of catastrophe started whirling in my mind. I wasn’t sleeping at night, on top of which our two young children were waking well before dawn. Anxiety, fatigue, and a full schedule—not the loveliest of combinations…

In the past, this could easily have led to a spiralling down of mood and lots of reactivity, quickly shifting to a more pernicious worry about how anxiety itself was making everything worse, reducing my capacity to cope and making simple everyday tasks seem Herculean. Instead, seeing as sleep wasn’t coming at night, I decided to use the time for meditation. For several hours over several nights, I practised mindfulness of breathing, saying to myself gently: Breathing in confidence, breathing out, letting be. Sometimes, cultivating acceptance of what was happening while reaffirming my ability to cope confidently with it felt awkward, stupid, or pointless, but gently I continued regardless.

Some nights I was awake until one of our boys got up, while others I fell asleep during practice in the early hours. What seemed important was that I allowed the outcome not to matter—whether it helped or not, for now I just let meditation be something I did with the extra waking time. As it turned out, I noticed that sustained practice tended to lead to a settling of my mind and body, rather than the escalation of frustration I had encountered in previous similar situations.

Over a period of a few weeks, the phase of anxiety slowly dissolved. It hadn’t been very pleasant, but with mindfulness as an anchor, I learned some interesting and useful things. First, that I still have more to learn about maintaining a healthy balance between work, home, life and rest, and second, that consciously cultivating confidence and co-operation, along with mindful breathing, can gradually help me back to calm.

I was also reminded that a growing power seems to come from meditation over months and years. In the early days of practice, trying a similar approach during the onset of an episode used to have little effect—my mindfulness then was no match for the force of old habit patterns. Fortunately, I didn’t give up—mindfulness had already proved helpful in other ways and at other times. But now, after 15 years of regular practice, it seems there’s been some shift in the patterns of mind, brain and body that makes me susceptible to chronic jitters. So much so that some of the nervousness I felt was dissipated—over time—by simply inviting confidence with each breath. And that, of course, was a further boost to confidence and another antidote to anxiety.

This post was originally published on Mindful.org in May 2015.

http://www.mindful.org/how-meditation-helps-me-deal-with-anxiety/

Image result for meditation photos

Views: 58

Have questions?

Need help? Visit our Support Group for help from our friendly Admins and members!

Have you?

Become a Member
Invited Your Friends
Made new Friends
Read/ Written a Blog
Joined/ Created a Group
Read/ Posted a Discussion
Checked out the Chat
Looked at/Posted Videos
Made a donation this month
Followed us on Twitter
Followed us on Facebook

Donations

Please consider a donation to help with our continued growth and site costs

Connect

Visit The Temple
on Facebook:

....

Blog Posts

Love

Posted by Quingu on April 19, 2019 at 12:04pm 2 Comments

Game changers

Posted by David John Johnstone on April 17, 2019 at 6:20pm 1 Comment

Rivers of Belief

Posted by Luna on April 16, 2019 at 10:00am 0 Comments

The Hunter

Posted by Quingu on April 15, 2019 at 10:00am 0 Comments

If You Must

Posted by savlove on April 13, 2019 at 2:59am 1 Comment

Windows - AGAIN!?

Posted by William J. Coblentz on April 12, 2019 at 2:38pm 1 Comment

The Serpent Cherub

Posted by Quingu on April 7, 2019 at 1:00pm 0 Comments

Elevated Thought

Posted by Quingu on April 5, 2019 at 7:00am 0 Comments

A prank for April 1st

Posted by Karen Black on April 1, 2019 at 1:00am 4 Comments

Expendably Yours

Posted by savlove on March 31, 2019 at 11:19pm 8 Comments

THE 4 KINGS OF HELL

Posted by Quingu on March 27, 2019 at 5:30pm 0 Comments

Plumed Serpent

Posted by Quingu on March 22, 2019 at 6:00pm 3 Comments

Iblis & Jinn

Posted by Quingu on March 22, 2019 at 3:52pm 2 Comments

The Pleiadian Agenda (Aryan Logic)

Posted by Quingu on March 20, 2019 at 1:00pm 3 Comments

THE (EVOL)VING ARYAN (CHERUB) & 7/(11)

Posted by Quingu on March 20, 2019 at 8:30am 1 Comment

How to write english essay pt3 example

Posted by Amy on March 19, 2019 at 4:00am 0 Comments

Descendent of War

Posted by Quingu on March 13, 2019 at 12:00pm 0 Comments

KING BA(EL)

Posted by Quingu on March 12, 2019 at 2:30pm 0 Comments

Posted by Priestess Maighread Birdsong on March 12, 2019 at 1:18pm 0 Comments

APRIL'S AWARENESS

Image result for february awareness month 2019

Image result for april awareness and causes

Image result for april awareness and causes

Image result for april awareness and causes

Image result for april awareness and causes

Image result for april awareness and causes

Image result for april awareness and causes

Image result for april awareness and causes

Image result for april awareness and causes

Image result for april awareness and causes

Image result for april awareness and causes

Image result for april awareness and causes

Image result for april awareness and causes

 

 Image result for april awareness and causes

 

 Image result for april awareness and causes

 

 

 

 Related image

 

 

 

© 2019   Created by Bryan   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service