More Meditation, Less Medication

0

In this day and age, there seems to be a pill for everything.  Not only are people running to their doctors for relief, the providers themselves are over-prescribing, patients are misusing their prescriptions, and often times, they become addicted to their medication.

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common disorders, which are treated by a variety of medications- some addictive, some not.  Although antidepressants and anti-anxiety pills can be helpful, they don’t solve the biggest problem- the root cause of the discomfort.

Researchers and a growing number health care professionals are encouraging patients to practice meditation in addition to their medical treatment and therapy.  Although many disorders are a chemical imbalance, most don’t consider how meditation can help re-wire their brain.

What if treatment facilities and doctors prescribed more meditation, and less medication?

I’ve had anxiety throughout my life, which is something I’ve never been treated for.  My social anxiety was so terrible growing up that it caused me to eat lunch in the library when I didn’t know who to sit with, skip classes or school events, and, as soon as I began college, I started drinking heavily to self medicate.  I may not have taken pills to relieve my discomfort, but I drank my worries away so I wasn’t aware of my surroundings.

I eventually went to therapy and tried antidepressants to keep my depression in check.  I didn’t take the medicine long enough to know whether or not it helped me- life situations had improved and I was abstinent from alcohol- but I also added something else to my life:

Mindfulness and meditation.

Between therapy, group support, and meditation, my anxiety and depression have been alleviated. I learned that spending more time inward was the solution to my issues.  If you break down depression and anxiety, it’s quite simple:

Depression is living in the past, and anxiety is living in the future.

Living in the present is being happy.

Whether you choose to medicate or not, consider adding meditation to your daily routine.  There are many apps that can get you started if you’re a newbie to the practice, such as Calm and Headspace, and even a variety of YouTube videos to guide you along your way.  Meditation has changed my life, and I know it can change yours, too.

photo-46

Raise Your Vibration!

img_8594

In a world full of so many distractions, it can become difficult to stay conscious of your mind, body, and spirit.  Constant running, going and doing has left us feeling irritated, incomplete, flustered and alone.

This morning I saw a post by the inspirational April Adams, who has helped me over the past several months through her book, online advice, and messages of hope.

“If you’re tired of being overwhelmed by feeling other people’s stuff, clear your own stuff (traumas, fears, triggers…). Then you won’t resonate with the lower frequencies anymore and it won’t bother you like it did. Go forth and be free.”

This got me thinking; how can we be free?

Raising your vibration is the first step to clearing your mind and connecting with your higher self.  Enlightenment and connecting with my own spirituality has completely changed my life, perspective, and overall happiness.  This is a new concept for many people, but in a world of hustle and bustle, it’s important for me to share the simple ways that you, too, can live a more peaceful, free life.

Live beautifully.  Enjoying the simple things in the world around me has made my life so much fuller.  I started becoming more conscious of my surroundings while living in New York City, where life seemed to pass by quicker than I could enjoy it.  Amidst getting pushed through the city sidewalks and squeezing into a sweaty subway, I found solace in Central Park, beauty in buildings, and peace by the river.  Slowing down and observing the world may be difficult, but there is beauty all around us.

Become conscious of your thoughts.  I can easily fall into old thinking patterns.  When someone annoys me or life doesn’t go my way, I become grouchy, negative and selfish.  It has become much easier for me to catch myself when I’m thinking negatively about other people and situations; instead, I try and think with compassion.  This is not easy, but there’s a power in positive thinking.  If you continue to think negatively, negative things will come your way.  If you think, “today will be horrible” or “I’m going to miss the train,” chances are, those things will happen to you.  Alternatively, if you start your day with a positive mind, positive things will come your way.

Meditate.  This one can be difficult, but once you are able to sit still and focus on your breath, you’ll discover that the benefits are huge.  I never understood meditation or why I should do it until the first time I felt the “tinglies.”  This can be a bit tricky to explain!  I used to look to people, chemicals, or activities to feel a physical and mental sense of peace, but once I found it in meditation and a connection to my higher self, I didn’t want to stop!  Once I truly learned how to meditate, an overwhelming sense of warmth and comfort came over me.  I finally understood what it meant to connect to my higher self!  Meditation is how I start every day, but I often meditate before bed, at the park during lunch, or sometimes I simply close my eyes on the train to re-center myself on my daily commute.

Make a gratitude list.  I never go a day without writing down what I am grateful for.  I’ve had many stressful situations over the past couple of weeks; I’m looking for a new apartment, I’ve experienced job changes, and to top it off, I have my own personal issues.  Sometimes it feels like the walls are crashing down on me.  However, there’s much more to be grateful for than to be upset about.  I write down simple joys, from my morning coffee to a meaningful conversation that I had with a friend.  Once you start writing down your gratitudes, you’ll realize there’s much more to be thankful for than to be discouraged about.

Focus on physical health.  This includes eating right, drinking plenty of water, avoiding toxins and staying active.  I didn’t realize how negatively alcohol, caffeine, lack of sleep, and diet impacted my life.  I used to “push through” the day, not listening to my body when I was hungry and jittery.  The first step to being mindful is to pay attention to what your body is telling you!

If you want to read more about awakening, enlightenment and consciousness, I recommend taking a look at Conscious Life News.  There are some wonderful resources to help guide you along your own spiritual journey!

20915334_10105552652511868_1712214882024910056_n

Live the life you want

Another year has passed; a year of memories, ups and downs. As we put 2016 behind us and reflect on the past, we visualize the upcoming year and the life we hope to live.

In order to manifest your desires in the New Year, putting positive energy out to the universe is the first step to achieving a happy and prosperous 2017. So, how do you materialize your hopes and dreams?

unnamed-13

Write it Down

Make a plan! When you write down exactly what you’re working towards, you’re one step closer to making it happen. Be sure to be specific- before moving to Boston, I made a four-page plan listing what type of career I wanted, where I wanted to live, and even drew pictures to create visuals. My plan soon became a “to-do” list, complete with objectives, dates, and check-boxes.

Set Goals

Once you’ve written down what you want, set goals! There’s no need to rush, so start small- give yourself a time frame to meet your goals and focus on one thing at a time. Be realistic with yourself!

Make a Vision Board

Grab a stack of old magazines, scissors, poster board, markers and glue to create your dream year! I made this vision board on New Year’s Eve to focus on my priorities for 2017, which include mindfulness, self-care, learning and being content in the present moment. Keep your vision board somewhere you will see it each day as a reminder that you’re one day closer to the life you want.

unnamed

Post-It Notes

Write down positive affirmations to stick on your mirror or desk. A message as simple as “I am beautiful” or “I can do it!” can act as motivation to get your through the day or to start your morning off on the right foot.

Simple Reminders

I love jewelry that has meaning; particularly my Alex and Ani “What’s for you will not pass you” bracelet. It’s a wonderful reminder to slow down and to stay aware of your surroundings; since I can’t control everything, I will make the most of what I have at this moment.

If you want to have an amazing year, it starts with a positive attitude! The more you believe that good things are on their way, the sooner you’ll be aware of them.

15740854_10104617062297158_3444176264253567396_n