Day 17: Challenging Emotions

One of the main reasons I began a daily meditation practice and what mindfulness helps me quite a bit with is anxiety. Like a lot of people, I have some anxiety surrounding certain situations. Namely for me these anxiety-inducing situations are driving long distances and on narrow roads and bridges.

Recently I made the decision to become sober and eliminate my need for caffeine. I was in a cycle with alcohol and caffeine that caused my anxiety to escalate. Since I’ve done that my anxiety has been greatly reduced. But not completely eliminated. So this is where meditation and mindfulness has helped me get the rest of the way.

With today’s challenge I focused on my anxiety. It was not easy to be fully in the moment with my anxiety since it only manifests when I’m driving on certain roads under certain conditions. Not sitting comfortably in my room meditating. But I was able to imagine myself in one of those situations. It certainly didn’t have the same impact as being there in real life, in that moment but it did help me look a little closer at my anxiety.

I’ve attempted this before while actually in one of those moments with varying results. But with my new found sobriety and no longer using caffeine I’ve noticed a lot of improvement with dealing with these situations. I am more able to face these feelings and look at them with compassion and loving kindness so that I can more effectively live in them without a full on panic attack.

I know that meditation and mindfulness will greatly help me in healing my anxiety, it already has to some degree. I continue to use it as a source of calmness and strength during these difficult times. I also know I won’t be completely free of anxiety but with mindfulness and wisdom I know I can get through almost anything.