“The more regularly and the more deeply you meditate, the sooner you will find yourself acting always from a center of peace.”– J. Donald Walters
As an introvert, I have a deep love for meditation.
I started my very own meditation practice roughly half a year ago and I meditate at least three times a week, sometimes even daily, depending on the given circumstances. I have been meditating long before that every now and then, but I didn’t practice it regularly nor did I took it very seriously back then. I used to do it more for fun than for any real purpose, and I often forgot about it right away after doing it only once every few weeks. I always thought it was rather boring, hard to do, and nothing that I “really needed”.
Well… until the last semester of my study at university!
My starting point…
It was at the beginning of my last semester at university when I suddenly began to experience severe anxiety. The finals were approaching faster and faster every day. I also had to figure the topic for my bachelor thesis that I had to turn in a couple of months later. And time was just flying by so quickly! It all started to make me feel helpless while everybody around me seemed not to have the same problems with the situation, and I couldn’t stop pressuring myself. After all, I really wanted to be just as good as everybody else! Needless to say, this situation was becoming very stressful for me, and it showed: I started to have sleeping problems, an increase of severe migraine attacks, and I generally felt very uncomfortable in my body. I know something was off and that I should take a break, but I couldn’t.
I couldn’t… because even the thought of taking sometime off studying triggered major anxiety inside of me. I feared that I would fail my exams when I allowed myself time to rest, especially because I already needed a lot of time to regain energy after work and class to be able to continue studying and working again. Often, I would return back home and take a nap only to wake up to study until I had to go back to sleep again. In my head, there was no time left to use it for something different.
But being the very sensitive introvert that I am, there is just so much I could do until I had to realize that the way I lived was becoming unhealthy for me — physically and mentally. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize it until I fell down a hole. A hole that made me relive my worst fears until I was willing enough to give myself what I so desperately needed…
Meditation came to my rescue
You can imagine that I tried a lot of things during this time. I took pills, tried to force myself to exercise more (I thought it would help with the stress and anxiety), and tried my hardest to keep myself busy at all times. I thought of many supposedly “healthy ways” of fixing myself and my issues and followed different strategies. Thus, besides trying out all of these things, I didn’t see any improvement.
After weeks of being in this bad mental state, I realized that deep down, my soul desired something different. I didn’t need more pills, more exercising or more distractions. All I needed was to step back and take some time for myself — time to acknowledge my problems and to learn how to address and solve my issues in a new and more healthy way.
And that’s when I rediscovered meditation…
It was around October 2019 when I finally started to meditate again. This time more consciously and actively with the intention to ground and center myself during this very stressful time. (It was also when I found my way back to my spirituality — something that I thought I’ve lost during my teenage years — but this is a whole different story!) And almost immediately and with every following meditation, I started to see a general improvement!
Don’t get me wrong: Meditating didn’t make any of my problems dissolve into thin air, but it helped me re-calibrate myself and look at all of my issues from a new and more objective perspective. An objective perspective that helped me realize that all the pressure that I was putting on myself at that time wasn’t contributing to getting good results in any way and worked more like poison than motivating me to keep going. And with this realization, the stress almost instantly decreased to a more bearable and healthier level. With that I also became more focused, more solution-oriented, and most importantly, allowed myself to relax and breathe again — and I got better results than I imagined that I could have.
Because of all these positive effects that meditating had on my mental state, I quickly decided to incorporate this practice into my life. And I can tell you; it was the best decision I ever made. Especially when I realized how important it was for my introverted self who was looking for a way to process what’s going on inside of me!
This is what you need to know to start meditating today:
To start meditating today, you basically don’t need anything but yourself, a quiet place to sit down and maybe your phone and headphones. Also, make sure you won’t be disturbed in the next ten to fifteen minutes!
Now, you have two options: Either you choose to do a guided meditation, which is always good for beginners! Or you do it completely on your own with the help of your intuition and maybe a little bit of music (f.e. binaural sounds) and let your feelings guide you through it. This, in particular, is perfect for everyone who is very intuitive and wants to train their attention to focus on something different than just their own thoughts. But it’s also the more difficult way of meditating as it really needs you to fully focus and be present. Either way, both is awesome!
One thing that I want you to know before you start: There is no right or wrong. It’s completely natural and normal to struggle with your thoughts the first times that you’re practicing. But with every time it also gets easier. See it like training a muscle. The first time is always a little be exhausting, and you might feel tired from trying the first few times, but as you continue to train your muscle, the easier it gets. Don’t give up and always start small.
Also, meditation is not a competition! It really doesn’t matter if you meditate for 5 minutes or 20 minutes. The only thing that matters is how you feel afterward! Forcing yourself through a half an hour of meditation while you really don’t feel like it won’t be at all beneficial to you and will potentially be very frustrating as well. My recommendation is to always listen to your body and if your body only needs a quick 5-minute meditation, that’s totally fine! The intention behind your meditation is more important than the duration of it.
My personal recommendations for guided meditations:
- I personally love to use an App called “Insight Timer“. It’s a free App with tons of free guided meditations and also offers music, podcasts and even courses for everyone who wants to dive deeper.
- Another great resource is Youtube. One of my faves are “Master Sri Akarshana” and “Yoga with Adriene”. I did many of their meditations in the past and I for sure will continue to use them in my future as well.
You want to learn even more? Listen to my podcast episode!
Available on Spotify, Apple Podcast, and many other platforms.
I hope that this article inspired you to try out meditation for yourself. It’s such a wonderful practice that really helped me a lot in the past months and don’t want to miss on ever again.
You want to know how else you can start pursuing a more mindful way of living? >> Check out my blog post to start your own “intuitive journaling practice” today.