Meditation as a Tool Against Anxiety

I had to do something I hate today — talking and meeting new people. Typically, those things aren’t supposed to go together. Meeting people and socializing is meant to be a fun endeavor, and it’s necessary for both social and business, right?

So what.

That doesn’t matter when your brain causes your body to sweat, and your nerves trigger an immediate shutdown of speech.

Then your voice starts to shake, and you can’t remember what you’re supposed to say. You played it all out in your head. And then you freeze. Deer in headlights style.

Luckily, only tiny bit of that happened to me today. And it’s thanks to mediation. As a part of my side business, I needed to pass out small flyers and invite people to a shake party at my nutrition club. It’s something that I (and others) dreaded. Yet I have been taking time out of my day to sit down, cross-legged, and listen to a guided meditation from anywhere to 5 to 15 minutes. Each meditation has a different focus, whether it’s to focus or relax or get motivated for what might be a long day.

I never thought meditation could work for someone who’s mind is as chaotic as my own — someone who literally thinks of what they had for lunch and the stupid things they said a week ago at the same time. Your mind will wander, no matter how much you fight it. What matters is returning to your breath.

I lost sight of the staring eyes and the angry faces that might come my way because they were all in my head. I hadn’t seen them yet. And when I went out to meet the people I demonized in my thoughts, they turned out to be very receptive to what I had to say. There was a small number who were not interested, yet there were no angry shouts to leave the building, no disgusted looks of disapproval that I might bother them for a mere minute out of their day.

It was all made up. And that’s not to say that it doesn’t happen, or that it never will. But even then what’s a moment to a milestone? I did something that is the watered down version of public speaking — I met with people I didn’t know. I talked to them as if I wanted to be their friend. And even if those flyers get tossed or nobody I invited shows up, I did the unspeakable. As an introvert, I think that’s just as good as winning a trophy.

So if somebody feels discouraged or anxious to accomplish something, try a meditation at least once before that nauseating event and see if your source of discomfort is truly beyond you or just a byproduct of all your thoughts.