How To Get Confidence, Eliminate Self-Criticism, and Destroy Anxiety

This is how meditation helped me feel free in my own skin

Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

As a young child growing up, I’ve always had a problem with relaxing. Staying still was not my thing.

I’m a pretty anxious person when it comes to anything in general, I tend to overthink everything, worry about the things I can’t control and always trying to please others.

Relaxation is seriously not my thing, I’m so go-go-go that sometimes I forget to eat.

I decided to undertake a challenge after watching Sam Harris interview talk about meditation on Youtube.

The suggestion of meditation as a way to reduce my anxiety was a bit absurd to me.

I couldn’t imagine anything more anxiety-inducing than sitting still for a long period of time trying to quiet my mind.

Even while I’m in the midst of a conversation with people, my brain is a non-stop reel of gibberish, kinda like Homer Simpson undivided attention when he’s talking to someone.

The struggle is real, and I know myself well enough to be certain that a sitting meditation was not going to be my jam. However, I tried the pranayama breathing meditation, which is an active meditation that involves so much focus on a particular breathing pattern that it actually makes my mind be quiet.

Here’s what happened during my three months-long commitment to meditation.

1. I Developed More Patience

As well as being bad at relaxing, I’m can also be pretty impatient.

But, as soon as I began to get more meditation days under my belt, the waiting became less bothersome to me. I started to understand that being present is actually is needed.

There’s no need to be in a hurry with everything that you do, focusing on one thing is better than doing two things at once.

Meditation taught me that no matter what happens, I actually do have the power to decide how to respond in all situations.

I can identify my emotions when they’re happening and no just latch onto them and let them drag me down the street.

2. My Sleeping Improved Greatly

Aside from being anxious all the time, I’m also not a good sleeper.

I tried almost everything to try to get to sleep, and I eventually just accepted that I might live my entire life and never sleep properly throughout the night.

However, one thing I didn’t expect when I started meditation was improved sleep quality. Once I began meditating regularly every day, I began to go to bed earlier and sleep more deeply.

I discovered that meditation can actually help you sleep better.

3. Enhance My Self-Awareness

After meditating for a month, I started to develop a stronger understanding of myself.

Meditation helped me grow in other aspects of my life, I’m more focused and compassionate towards other people and myself. I fully understood that my negative thoughts were not mine, they are just thoughts (meaning they are not real).

You don’t have to believe every negative thought about yourself, we have a negative bias as a result of being human.

Meditation taught me a greater understanding of myself and how to relate to the people around me. I became more aware of my self-defeating thoughts, habits and behaviours.

Learned how to change my thoughts and steer them towards more constructive patterns.

Final Words

Meditation isn’t about controlling your thoughts; it’s about stopping them from controlling you.

As they say: Master your mind and you’ll master your world. If you’re not convinced, no one is a bigger sceptic than me, but don’t take my word for it.

Try meditating for a month for yourself and see what happens. My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Pach Deng

Pach Deng


Exploring the intersection of resilience, fulfillment, and self-actualisation: