When I ask why people want to meditate, the number one answer is… to relieve my stress and anxiety.
If you have worries about money, career, parenting, health, relationships, overwhelm or anything I’ve missed – then you aren’t alone.
We all have burdens to bear and things that can keep us up at night!
Some people have become so chronically stressed that they self-medicate with alcohol or pills. Others deny what is going on, and suppress their feelings. Some turn to distractions like gambling or shopping to numb their pain and silence their constantly anxious inner voices.
The common desire is: relief from a racing mind.
When you think about the problems you’re facing, what do you do? You worry. You start to ruminate about the problem and desperately dig into your inner resources to solve it.
The problem is, though, that you’re stuck in certain thought patterns that prevent a solution: these patterns are so problem-oriented that your natural problem-solving capacity becomes paralyzed due to fear.
Worry is a habit. A terribly destructive habit. You have literally trained yourself, over the years, to focus on what’s going wrong, and so you naturally react with anxiety.
Chronic worriers will be triggered by the smallest thing, and cause it to snowball into a horrible, insurmountable (and yet imaginary) problem.
There is a powerful physical effect to chronic anxiety, that only makes things worse. Even if you’ve gotten used to feeling anxious and worrying about everything, you probably suffer from insomnia, fatigue, muscle tension, headaches, rashes, digestive problems, irritability and more.
When anticipating the worst has become a habit even when you’re faced with imaginary threats, how you approach work and family changes, and not for the better.
The good news is you can retrain your mind so that your worry subsides and is replaced by a normal balanced mood. The very reason why people want to meditate has become accepted by all generations in the last two decades. The digital age we now live in has come at a price, we’re now realizing. Our minds have never worked so hard in all of human history.
When racing thoughts won’t go away, this is the number one reason why people want to meditate.
Quieting your overactive imagination is key to inner peace. Instead of getting caught up in a torrent of fearful thoughts, you recognize that your imagination is running wild again, and that you have the power to direct it to a more pleasing potential outcome.
You can also learn to release expectations and attachments, in meditation. When we expect others to behave a certain way, or a situation to go according to our preconceived notions, we set ourselves up for worry, and potential disappointment.
Meditation helps you learn to relax and go with the flow of things, knowing that the experience can turn out absolutely delightfully even if completely differently than you expected.
Attachment to anything – people, outcomes, things, or states of being (like being respected or wanted) also creates anxiety. It all boils down to our instinctive fear of losing something we have, or not having something we need or desire.
When you can become non-attached, you become free.
In relationships, being non-attached means you can still enjoy someone’s presence and love them completely, but without any attachment to how you expect them to make you feel, you become happier and more free in your relationship. Being non-attached to outcomes makes any outcome okay because you’re more concerned with the journey.
Numbing your fear is temporary; suppressing it leads to inner conflict; and only being present, and non-attached, leads to inner peace and freedom.