OMG, I just want to feel better — is that too much to ask? I’m exhausted, tired, and overwhelmed. I need some relief! So tired of being tired. Please help me! Waaahhh!!!!
This is the story that plays over and over in my head when I’m really sick, having a flare, or at a low point in my life.
Recently, I got sick which ended up pushing me into a RA flare. I haven’t had a flare in 3 or 4 years. I’d almost forgotten how shitty all the pain and swelling makes you feel.
You don’t know pain until you’re staring at yourself in the mirror with tears streaming down your face. You’re begging yourself to hold on and stay strong. That’s pain!
Feeling crappy makes me appreciate the little things in life — long walks in the fresh spring air, fixing a romantic dinner for my sweetie, and having the energy and desire to be creative and write.
On those days I just want to crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head, there is one thing I do that saves my sanity. Meditation!
Meditation can help you figure out where in yourself you feel out of balance and get clear about what you’re looking for. For me, the stress and anxiety about being sick were why I needed meditation.
It can help change your relationship with that negative stimulus in your life. You can decide how to respond to the negative stuff and start breaking free from all the toxic crap in your life.
Meditation can help clear your mind and stay in the present moment. A recent Yale study showed that even 10 minutes of mindful meditation can improve attention in newbies.
Meditation helps you focus on what can be controlled and let go of what can’t be controlled. The good things in life don’t usually cause anxiety — mostly it’s the bad stuff! Acceptance helps us focus on what’s awesome in our world and not take everything so personally.
But, just because you accept how things are, doesn’t mean you have to like it. Meditation helps us let stuff go so we can appreciate what’s positive in life.
Meditation helps you connect with that part of you that can’t be threatened by external events like job loss, or being dumped by your deadbeat boyfriend. It’s like you’re peeling away the layers of an onion to get to the real you.
When first starting with meditation, it’s key to find a teacher you feel a connection with so you’ll stay consistent. It can be hard in the beginning to get your monkey mind to just shut up for a minute and relax. You need someone who can help create something like a “container” or safe place you can relax into when you practice.
A good teacher can also help keep you accountable. Accountability is so important in the beginning while you’re still building the strength of that container. You can practice with a teacher locally in person or find an online resource.
One online option I really like is Gabby Bernstein’s Miracle Membership. It’s a paid monthly membership — about $20–and has years and years of meditations that can be accessed on demand. It’s kinda like “Netflix for Spirituality.”
She also offers 21 Meditation Challenges periodically which are really helpful, especially for new meditators. Another awesome choice is Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Experience.
This series is free — just sign up and you’ll get a daily e-mail for 21 days with a link to the meditation. There’s also a phone app that makes it really easy to meditate on a busy day when you a free moment. I highly recommend these 3 programs.
Just because you meditate may not mean you’ll necessarily be your best self. But, it will help you recognize when you’re heading to the dark side so you can put on the brakes, slow down, and feel better. Deep down, feeling good is what we all want. Meditation may just help you get to that place.