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Meditation gave me the gift of stillness

by User Stories

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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.

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 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.

The author of this post is an editorial contributor to Headspace. These are their views, experiences and results and theirs alone. This contributor was not paid for their writing.

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