Chronic illness warriors, raise your hands!
As one myself, I know the stress that comes with it. Like, the anxiousness you get from constantly feeling like a burden or when you have to cancel plans. The dread when you have to visit another doctor’s office or make an ER visit. Or how about the energy that you so wish you had to keep up with the fun everyone else seems to be having.
Here’s the catch 22; this stress can actually make us more sick! With certain chronic illnesses, stress increases your symptoms! I totally know that’s true for mine!
So let’s talk about meditation then. Meditation is a calming activity that can stimulate your vagus nerve, build focus and attention, reduce stress, and even build new synapses in your brain (new information processing connections).
So, that’s what meditation is, now let’s talk about what it isn’t.
Meditation is not “New Age” religion. It has been around for quite some time.
Meditation is not summoning spirits or demons (rolls eyes aggressively).
Meditation is not some trance state.
You are still completely present during meditation, you are just hyper focused on either your breathing, an affirmation or mantra, or just watching your thoughts come and go.
You can still be aware of the stimulus around you, you just actively choose to not give it your attention. I hope that simplifies it for you if you have never tried meditation.
So, why do you need to meditate if you have a chronic illness?
Well, we already acknowledged how stressful chronic illnesses are, and how stress can make some of them worse. Meditation can actively reduce stress!
Through deep breathing and slowing your mind, it brings a peaceful state to your mind. Honestly, if you have a chronic illness, it’s not often that you get to feel peace.
Meditation can also help with focus and clarity. When you first try meditation, your thoughts will be very very jumpy. In this media saturated world, it’s not used to stillness. It’s always consuming, always thinking. While it’s impossible to have a completely thoughtless mind, meditation guides you to acknowledge the thought, and simply observe it as it leaves, choosing not to entertain it.
Overtime, you will find this stillness to come easily to you, creating such a peaceful environment.
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Speaking of peaceful, meditation is also known to be amazing for your emotional wellness. Science is showing us over and over again that meditation can help with emotional issues like anxiety and depression. For chronic illness warriors, we often develop these emotional issues on top of our already stressful chronic illness. It’s like this vicious cycle of illness, stress, emotional issues, all making the others worse.
I use meditation to help interrupt that vicious cycle. The more calm and less stressed you are, well the less emotional issues you will have. The less emotional issues you have, the less you illness is directly affected or worsened by them. The less your illness is worsened, the more you can focus on things you love and your health!
So, how do you get started meditating?
There are many resources out there on meditation. But in all honesty, I wasn’t able to actually embrace it until I went to a guided meditation class by a yoga teacher. I really loved her, and if it wasn’t for my POT Syndrome, I would have been to every single one of her classes!
I know that going to things like that can be hard to do for people who have to save up enough energy to even shower. So that’s why I am opening my own Online Yoga Studio! I will have classes that are actually doable for people with chronic illnesses, and guided meditations weekly. You can save your energy by not even having to leave your own home to come to the studio!
I am so excited to launch this soon because it’s something that I personally would have loved to have when I first got into yoga. Like I said before, I LOVED my first yoga teacher, but getting to a class on someone else’s schedule just isn’t an easy task for a chronic illness warrior.
So if this is something that you would benefit from too, be on the lookout for my launch week where I will have tons of free classes available for you to check out!
If you want to get started right away, you can apply for private sessions!
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