Conflict is Exhausting

“Please don’t disturb my peace if you’re at war with yourself.”

Some people enjoy being angry for the sake of being angry.

Don’t get me wrong; I can understand this.  I’ve been there too.

However, today I’m no longer willing to take on the garbage that others try to project onto me.

It’s natural to want to be right, to prove a point, or argue your side of the story.  But does it really matter?

Today I’d rather be listen to my tunes, stroll down the street, and be peaceful.

Not So Glamorous

Marcel Broodthaers Preview at MoMA in New York, 2016

I can’t lie- I loved drinking.  It did something to me that made me feel invincible, interesting, and sophisticated.  Little did I know, it actually did quite the opposite.

As much as I loved a rooftop bar, museum opening, or fashion event, I also loved a good dive- and all the debauchery it brought.

If I hadn’t loved drinking (or at least the chaotic lifestyle), I wouldn’t have gone back to it repeatedly despite the negative effects it had on my life, my relationships, my sanity, and my health.

People suggest, “just have one!” yet quickly realize I do terrible, uncharacteristic things after one- because one always leads to eleven or twelve.

As I began to grow spiritually, I realized alcohol didn’t have the same place in my life.  It blocked my intuition, my connection to my higher self, and stripped me of all my inner peace.  Alcohol leaves me wanting more, hopelessly aware of the emptiness inside of me that a healthy spiritual condition fills.

Do I wish I was that person who could just have one?  Of course.  I never would, and I never will, though.  I’ve accepted that reality.

Instead of drinking to fit in or make others around me feel more comfortable, I’m happy with my carbonated water or Diet Coke today.  It certainly helps me remain centered, mindful, and grateful for the moment.

More Meditation, Less Medication

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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.

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