F*ck I Just Want to Feel Better & Why Meditating Isn’t Working For Me?
Is this how you’re feeling right now? So many people are saying so many things.
Let’s face it. We’re all in shock. We’re all going through drastic changes from how our daily routines and life used to look like. These radical changes in our lives are a shock to our systems: mentally, physically and emotionally. Now more than ever, we’re stuck in a place where we have fewer outlets/distractions to channel all these frustration and energy out. If anything, we’re put in positions where we’re draining our limited resource of energy as we’re required to put on multiple hats whether it’s from being a parent, caregiver, employer, employee, lover, entertainer, friend, teacher, yoga instructor and that list seems to grow by the minute.
So how are we taking care of ourselves? How are we recharging? You may have read/heard from social media or celebrities such as Selena Gomez who shared that the key is meditation and that’s what they do. So why the F*CK isn’t it working for me?
First of all, if you’ve never meditated before, there are no pre-existing physical/mental memory to fall back on. What I mean is your brain hasn’t built those neural pathways to make meditation feel natural and effective. Meditation can be quite the challenging task. So, if you’re new at it, you’re just adding onto that feeling of being overwhelmed with all the “NEW” things and changes happening in your life, which is less than helpful.
Think of our brain this way: Anything we’re practiced or used to doing is like a highway system. Anything new (behaviors, habits or actions) we’re engaged in are like dirt roads. Given the choice between the two, most likely we would take the smoother and faster route and that’s exactly how our brain works. It likes to use those highways instead of venturing off onto dirt roads.
So, I’m going to assume when you attempted any form of mindfulness or meditation into your life, it might have looked like this:
You tried to imitate the most common model of meditation: you sat down in total silence, did your best to focus on your breathing and strangled out any worrying thoughts, realized your mind wouldn’t STFU for longer than a couple of seconds, and finally decided meditation must be a load of BS.
You followed a book on mindfulness: you picked up the raisin, you looked at the raisin, felt the textures, smelled it, put it in your mouth without chewing the damn thing, then ate it – swallowed it and felt nothing! As a result, you ultimately decided that mindfulness is a load of BS.
Perhaps you’re a bit more patient than that. Maybe you tried it a few times and still didn’t see any real results. Another failure. Let me assure you: YOU’RE NOT ALONE BY THINKING OR FEELING THIS WAY AND YOU’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG!!!
There are benefits to creating “Zen” moments. When we engage in mindful practices or meditation, it alters our brain to create energy flow that are in alpha-theta states and increases our Gemma energy. When we’re in the alpha states, it allows us access to our thoughts and memories. In theta states, we create energy for internal awareness, learning and memory. The flow of energy from the front to the back of our brain, in the form of gamma waves, increases our insight, creativity, learning and memories. All that produces neural chemical changes and energy flow that allows our brain to heal, which in turn boosts our immune system.
All that sounds wonderful, yet you may ask, “How does this help me when I tried meditating… If anything, I’m more frustrated than when I started!”
First of all, reframe your mind on how you see mindfulness and meditation. In its basic form, it’s really about focusing. We all know how to do that and have practiced it. Whether it is carefully following a recipe when baking, following dotted lines we are to cut along, or reading a good book. All that takes focus, as we’re allowing all other noises in our head to fade away and our environmental distractions to dissolve away.
Know that anyone is capable of meditation and mindfulness. However, this doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, taking control of our mind and our thoughts is going to take some effort (much like driving on that dirt road). The good news is that it isn’t impossible. It honestly just takes some people longer to grasp than others and the realization that there’s truly no right or wrong way of doing it. The long-term benefits of meditation simply are worth the commitment it requires to practice consistency, letting go of expectations and exercising patience.
If you feel like you’re “failing” at meditating and mindfulness, I can assure you that’s not possible. I have some good news for you, there are coping skills and neurological routes you have already formed in your brain and have been utilizing all this time, even perhaps without you realizing it. To find out more, please stay tuned for the next blog post for those tips and tools to make meditation/mindfulness a success.
*If you’re interested to join a meditation/mindfulness group with guided sessions, I host FREE weekly Thurs sessions. To find out more please click on the following link: FIND YOUR PEACE WEEKLY