What To Do When Worry and Anxiety Creep In
For most of my life, meditation was this somewhat obscure thing that only hippies did.
I didn't understand how sitting still and thinking about nothing would help me in any way whatsoever. So, for 20-something years I just shrugged it off; "not for me".
As a 90's kid, I grew up around Nickelodeon cartoons, Super Mario Gameboy, playing tag in the yard and, since my mother never purchased these, doing my best to barter on the "Lunch Room Trading Floor" to get my hands on the ever coveted rainbow sprinkle Dunkaroo's. I was mostly unsuccessful. Despite my lack of sugar-infused package snacks, life was pretty good.
When I look at things now, I feel like everything has changed. I don't play video games, I have zero desire to eat Dunkaroo's and I can't even remember the last time I played tag. While in general, my life has evolved for the better over the years, I started to notice that something fundamental had changed for me. I didn't take on new things with that happy go lucky demeanor I had as a kid. "Why?" I wondered to myself.
The answer I came up with: I had lost my ability to do without thinking.
As a kid, you often don't think too much about stuff, you just do it - and usually, you make mistakes and learn. I turned 28 this year, and just between us, I feel like I'm only now starting to get a hang of this "adulting" thing. I pay taxes, I own a business, I do laundry. But lately, I can't help but notice, a big dark rain cloud hovering over my head. It feels like, logically, I know I'm fine, more than fine even, but that darn cloud seems to always be there. I realized was getting so caught up in overthinking the details - my brain was becoming a massive tangled web of anxiety and worry, leaving little room for creativity, happiness, and exploration.
So at some point along the road, I started to discover yoga and meditation, which has been a total game-changer for me. I wandered into Strala Yoga, a studio in NYC, a couple years ago and that's when the benefits of yoga and meditation started to become more tangible for me. My Yoga Journey is a story I'll save for another day, but for now, I'll say that meditation has become a great one of many tools that I have learned to use to keep the great mess of Worry Webs and Anxiety Storm Clouds at bay. The hard parts of life are still around, I'm just learning to approach them in a way that doesn't keep me so paralyzed in thought.
To take the pressure off, I'll be glad to share with you that I didn't have some kind of grand, biblical awakening, it's all been kind of a slow process over the past few years, and I'm still happily in it. I don't meditate every day, but I do make time for it when I can feel the storm clouds and webs crawling their way in.
So now, I'll stop blabbing on and we can make our way to the main event!
This is one of my own personal favorite meditation practices. It’s one that was originally inspired by the meditation app, Headspace (which I highly recommend). I hope you enjoy this 5-ish minute meditation and use it to feel inspired and clear out any Anxiety Clouds that may have floated their way in.
Let's get started:
Thanks for listening! Once you've finished, feel free to have a stretch or move around a bit.
I love doing a quick version of this meditation when I’m on the train or out in the world. I’ve gotten into this habit on the subway where I imagine the “liquid sunlight” expanding to reach all of the people on the train and throughout the subway car. It's like my secret way of wishing them all a great day. It also feels good to practice if there is someone in your life who is going through some hard stuff or is in pain or sick or just in need of some support and healing thoughts. I’ve started to call this my Infinite Possibilities meditation because it helps me to remember just that, everything is going to be ok and the world has so much to offer once you can put a leash on those Worry Webs.
Sending you all some liquid sunlight and wishing you a great week ahead!