But, I think I’ve Found The Solution To Anxiety: Meditation
I’m in my late 20s and have held a secret for as long as I can remember: I have anxiety. Rather than regular STD checkups, physicals, and dental visits, I don’t like to visit the doctor’s office. I mean, does anyone like frequenting their doctor?! Even my sexy dentist I only like seeing twice a year!
In my late teens, I would learn to conquer my fear of anxiety. I got myself out of a toxic relationship and friendships and moved halfway across the country to where there were palm trees and typically blue skies. I believed my move had cured my anxiety and I would never suffer again. Boy, was I wrong.
Now into adulthood, I’ve realized life can get more hectic and stressful when you’re on your own doing, your own thing. Carrie Bradshaw was really correct, “seasons change, people come and go…” I’m sure you know the line. This started weighing heavily on my mind after my birthday last month: Most of the people in my adult life have either moved away or are back at home happy in their heterosexual lives with families and the like. Here I was, gay, recently single, in my late 20s, and am only starting to blossom in the entertainment industry with various projects and careers. It started to drive me a little insane.
Over the last month, I’ve been calling in sick to work. Not because I’m physically sick, but because I was too anxious to leave my apartment for the day. I’d go missing in action, phone off, black out curtains closed, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit replaying on my television. Not only was my anxiety affecting me emotionally, it began to affect my career. It was time to get my act together.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, between thirty and sixty percent of the LGBTQ community are affected by anxiety or depression. Through my research, I discovered this is typically from people who are trying to discover their sexuality or come out of the closet. Being gay is the least of my problems. Hell, I think being gay has landed me every job I’ve ever worked and has made me connect with every friend I have. Anxiety, like nature, equalizes us all. I was a little disappointed to find that not many articles focused on the literal gas being sucked out of the room during a panic attack. You don’t need a reason to have anxiety, it just exists.
I began hunting for a solution. I talked to mental health counselors, who are some of the bravest people in the world, and was sent a handful of options. Low budget therapy, group therapy, doctors within my insurance policy, the list went on. One thing a particular person had mentioned was meditation, exercise, etc. I spoke with an office colleague of mine who had taken this journey herself. We went to a meditation class and I was blown away.
If you’ve read my past articles on Instinct Magazine, I sometimes come across as cynical or reckless in thinking. I watched a few meditation videos and did my research, hoping to prepare myself. I didn’t believe I would be able to escape my mind and experience this mini journey. With an eyeroll, I went to The Den, located in West Hollywood. I tried something called Yoga Nidra. You lay down basically and just focus on breathing and your body.
My experience: In walks this, virtually hippie-guru type of woman as the instructor, along with some of the hottest men I’ve ever seen (in sweatpants!). My heart was racing incredibly fast, I knew this wasn’t going to work. Five minutes into the session, I was got! My thought process was bamboozled! I listened to the instructor and sunk right in. Me, someone who was a complete non-believer, was turned within minutes. I wish I could describe exactly how I felt. All I can tell you is I believe I was consciously sleeping, peacefully, while still awake. What was thirty minutes seemed like hours of bliss. I’ve not only had a smile on my face since, but my heart hasn’t palpitated, and I haven’t stressed for no reason in a week.
Mental health is incredibly important at any age. We should all be taking steps to make sure we’re waking up smiling and not panicking. What if you call off of work, but on your way there, you were supposed to meet your soulmate? These questions of positivity are what have me making moves outside of my bedroom. I feel like anxiety has been making me miss out on a lot. I cannot wait to explore more of meditation and my journey to kick anxiety’s butt.
If you’re experiencing anxiety, please visit WikiHow to learn how you can find the best solution for you. And, if you’re a nervous wreck about finding that solution as I was, I recommend you check out the video below while you sleep tonight. Trust me: You don’t know what you’ve been missing out on!
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of fellow contributors or Instinct Magazine itself.