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Meditation gave me the gift of stillness

I suppose what lead me to Headspace was my car accident in 2012. I always considered myself a nervous person and had experienced many panic attacks during my teens, but nothing comparable to the way my mental state turned for the worst after that accident. I was having a panic attack while driving when it happened, so naturally I started to associate driving with sheer fear. Instead of dealing with my anxiety and driving I completely ignored it and made excuses to myself and those around me. Because I was ignoring anxiety in one aspect of my life, it began to quickly creep into other parts as well. It became a pattern that whenever panic/anxiety would pop up in one part of my life, I would resist it and then immediately avoid it afterwards. It got so bad that there was a time I could barely leave the house to walk to the mailbox down the street with fear of having a major panic attack (I was basically an agoraphobic). Panic attacks and anxiety had clouded over everything in my life; there wasn’t a moment that wasn’t used to anticipate every outcome or to argue with my own thoughts and feelings. I walked around in a fog of anxiety, completely at the mercy of my thoughts and feelings. It was exhausting.

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I suppose what lead me to Headspace was my car accident in 2012. I always considered myself a nervous person and had experienced many panic attacks during my teens, but nothing comparable to the way my mental state turned for the worst after that accident. I was having a panic attack while driving when it happened, so naturally I started to associate driving with sheer fear. Instead of dealing with my anxiety and driving I completely ignored it and made excuses to myself and those around me. Because I was ignoring anxiety in one aspect of my life, it began to quickly creep into other parts as well. It became a pattern that whenever panic/anxiety would pop up in one part of my life, I would resist it and then immediately avoid it afterwards. It got so bad that there was a time I could barely leave the house to walk to the mailbox down the street with fear of having a major panic attack (I was basically an agoraphobic). Panic attacks and anxiety had clouded over everything in my life; there wasn’t a moment that wasn’t used to anticipate every outcome or to argue with my own thoughts and feelings. I walked around in a fog of anxiety, completely at the mercy of my thoughts and feelings. It was exhausting.

I finally decided to get help and went to see a psychologist who encouraged me to try a technique called CBT. I told myself that this must work considering it came from a professional; however I couldn’t shake the feeling that I couldn’t be completely free from my anxiety if I had to analyze each thought. Although CBT was giving me some relief, I knew this couldn’t be the only way. I then introduced yoga to my routine. At first I thought yoga was helping me only because it is considered a relaxation exercise, but it wasn’t until after a few classes that I realized it was the only time I was actually in the present moment. The present moment felt alien and familiar to me at the same time. It was like an old friend and I couldn’t remember why we ever lost touch in the first place. I knew I had to rekindle this friendship immediately. That is when I found Andy’s TED talk.

Meditating was definitely difficult at first, and I had moments where I wanted to quit thinking I had not improved, but when I look back on my Headspace Journey I realize I have come further than I ever thought possible. Meditation has given me the gift of stillness in my life. It influenced my life so much that I went from never leaving the house to moving to another continent on my own after only a year and a half of starting Headspace. I have now been meditating for almost two years and have realized for the first time in my life that I am no longer doing things to make sure I will be “all better” one day. I am okay the way I am today, in the present moment.

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I finally decided to get help and went to see a psychologist who encouraged me to try a technique called CBT. I told myself that this must work considering it came from a professional; however I couldn’t shake the feeling that I couldn’t be completely free from my anxiety if I had to analyze each thought. Although CBT was giving me some relief, I knew this couldn’t be the only way. I then introduced yoga to my routine. At first I thought yoga was helping me only because it is considered a relaxation exercise, but it wasn’t until after a few classes that I realized it was the only time I was actually in the present moment. The present moment felt alien and familiar to me at the same time. It was like an old friend and I couldn’t remember why we ever lost touch in the first place. I knew I had to rekindle this friendship immediately. That is when I found Andy’s TED talk.

Meditating was definitely difficult at first, and I had moments where I wanted to quit thinking I had not improved, but when I look back on my Headspace Journey I realize I have come further than I ever thought possible. Meditation has given me the gift of stillness in my life. It influenced my life so much that I went from never leaving the house to moving to another continent on my own after only a year and a half of starting Headspace. I have now been meditating for almost two years and have realized for the first time in my life that I am no longer doing things to make sure I will be “all better” one day. I am okay the way I am today, in the present moment.

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There was a time I could barely leave the house to walk to the mailbox down the street with fear of having a major panic attack.

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