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Found 2 results

  1. Hi everyone I'm new to the forum. I'd like to share my story with you, and to show you why/how I've come so far in overcoming my depression and anxiety through meditation. About six years ago, I began having depression and anxiety. It was very sudden. No traumatic incident sparked it, and in fact, my life has been pretty devoid of trauma. I've had what most would call an easy life, looking at it from the outside. I have a supportive family who gave me pretty much whatever I wanted, and good friends. In 10th grade (I'm a senior in college now, about to graduate) I began having disturbing thoughts that wouldn't go away. My anxiety got to a point where I was making myself physically sick. There were nights where I stayed up all night just because I was so on edge. I felt like I was going crazy. It seriously felt like I was in Hell. The anxiety and depression went hand in hand. My anxiety put me into very dark moods, and I was exhausted all of the time from the mental stress. When I began to research anxiety and learn that I wasn't going crazy, that it's a pretty regular thing, that gave me a bit of relief. I found a website (Can't post it cause my last post got removed for websites) that gave me tips to deal with my anxiety. The best tip I got was to accept how I felt, to say "hey, I feel bad right now, and that's okay". When I stopped pushing away the feelings and accepted them, I felt somewhat better. But over the next few years, I dug myself an even deeper hole. I really didn't want to live anymore. It just didn't seem worth it. Sometimes when I was driving I thought about how easy it would be to just veer into traffic. But I would convince myself that I was okay, that it wasn't that bad, and keep going, somehow. I was so used to it that I didn't realize just how depressed I was. After many miserable years, I finally decided to see a therapist. I felt a bit awkward, because I didn't have any traumatic events to get off my chest or anything like that. I had generalized anxiety. I stressed over every little thing and constantly criticized myself. I was so lifeless and disconnected because of the toll anxiety and depression had on me. I just wanted to find some way to be happy, to "be in the present moment" as I told my therapist during our first visit. She gave me anxiety workbook, and this was helpful. The workbook contained exercises which trained you to catch thoughts as they come and to question them. To step outside of your mind and watch the thoughts coming in instead of reacting to them (ideas I realized were key to peace, and are the essence of meditation). After winter break, which was when I started seeing my therapist, a new semester of school started. I take a lot of philosophy classes in college, and I so I decided to try Asian philosophy. It was recommended by my advisor, who said it was the best course we have at our university. I'm so thankful that he recommended it. Taking this class changed everything for me. My professor took us through Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The last three all contain similar ideas, but the ideas of Buddhism stood out to me the most. My professor taught us about the mind through a Buddhist perspective. He woke me up the way we always live for the future, chasing desires and running from fears, never content with the present moment. I remember when he demonstrated this cycle (called samsara in Buddhism) and then asked us "doing this, are we really happy?" It made me realize just how deep into this cycle I was. It made me realize why I was so unhappy. We also learned about meditation and why it works. When you meditate, you focus on a neutral sensation like the breath, and when your mind takes your attention, you simply bring your focus back to your breath. Who would have known that the way to peace is actually to take focus off of thoughts by instead focusing on awareness? Most people try to either push the thoughts away or to think happy thoughts. But neither of these methods allows you to see the thoughts that are bothering you as they really are, for what they are - just thoughts. The thoughts themselves aren't the problem - the anxiety you feel from them comes from your judgement of those thoughts. Meditation trains our minds to be content in the present moment. It also trains us to watch our thoughts instead of reacting to them. We can watch the mind instead of being the mind. We've conditioned ourselves to constantly judge our thoughts and to say "that's good" and "that's bad", instead of just realizing that it's the nature of the mind to wander. Let it do its thing. You don't have to judge it. In my deep depression and anxiety, every thought that popped into my head made me worry. Thoughts of the past, thoughts of the future, thoughts of what other people thought of me, and so on. What would happen if I just watched that thought and accepted it? I don't have to evaluate and judge it. I can let it come, see it for what it is, and let it go. Learning this and meditating regularly, I can honestly say I've overcome my depression. I still feel anxiety here and there as most people do, but I let it go easily now and it no longer controls my life. I've found deep inner peace that a few years ago I could never even imagine was possible. I want to share this with everyone out there suffering with depression and anxiety. It's a matter of changing our habits when it comes to thoughts and feelings. It's about accepting them instead of judging them. And yes, this is a slow process. It takes practice. But even when you first start meditating, you already feel its benefit. I can't post a link to any videos or anything here yet, but do a bit of research and you'll find a lot of resources. The basis of the practice is to focus on the sensation of your breath, and when your mind takes your focus (and it will), to gently return your attention to the breath. You can choose to focus on any place where you feel the breath, your nostrils, upper lip, even your stomach rising and falling. When you get caught up in thoughts, you can say to yourself "thinking" and return to your breath. I thank you all for reading my story, and I wish you all peace. If anyone has any questions, feel free to reply or to message me!
  2. Hi everyone I'm new to the forum. I'd like to share my story with you, and to show you why/how I've come so far in overcoming my depression and anxiety through meditation. About six years ago, I began having depression and anxiety. It was very sudden. No traumatic incident sparked it, and in fact, my life has been pretty devoid of trauma. I've had what most would call an easy life, looking at it from the outside. I have a supportive family who gave me pretty much whatever I wanted, and good friends. In 10th grade (I'm a senior in college now, about to graduate) I began having disturbing thoughts that wouldn't go away. My anxiety got to a point where I was making myself physically sick. There were nights where I stayed up all night just because I was so on edge. I felt like I was going crazy. It seriously felt like I was in Hell. The anxiety and depression went hand in hand. My anxiety put me into very dark moods, and I was exhausted all of the time from the mental stress. When I began to research anxiety and learn that I wasn't going crazy, that it's a pretty regular thing, that gave me a bit of relief. I found a website (Can't post it cause my last post got removed for websites) that gave me tips to deal with my anxiety. The best tip I got was to accept how I felt, to say "hey, I feel bad right now, and that's okay". When I stopped pushing away the feelings and accepted them, I felt somewhat better. But over the next few years, I dug myself an even deeper hole. I really didn't want to live anymore. It just didn't seem worth it. Sometimes when I was driving I thought about how easy it would be to just veer into traffic. But I would convince myself that I was okay, that it wasn't that bad, and keep going, somehow. I was so used to it that I didn't realize just how depressed I was. After many miserable years, I finally decided to see a therapist. I felt a bit awkward, because I didn't have any traumatic events to get off my chest or anything like that. I had generalized anxiety. I stressed over every little thing and constantly criticized myself. I was so lifeless and disconnected because of the toll anxiety and depression had on me. I just wanted to find some way to be happy, to "be in the present moment" as I told my therapist during our first visit. She gave me anxiety workbook, and this was helpful. The workbook contained exercises which trained you to catch thoughts as they come and to question them. To step outside of your mind and watch the thoughts coming in instead of reacting to them (ideas I realized were key to peace, and are the essence of meditation). After winter break, which was when I started seeing my therapist, a new semester of school started. I take a lot of philosophy classes in college, and I so I decided to try Asian philosophy. It was recommended by my advisor, who said it was the best course we have at our university. I'm so thankful that he recommended it. Taking this class changed everything for me. My professor took us through Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The last three all contain similar ideas, but the ideas of Buddhism stood out to me the most. My professor taught us about the mind through a Buddhist perspective. He woke me up the way we always live for the future, chasing desires and running from fears, never content with the present moment. I remember when he demonstrated this cycle (called samsara in Buddhism) and then asked us "doing this, are we really happy?" It made me realize just how deep into this cycle I was. It made me realize why I was so unhappy. We also learned about meditation and why it works. When you meditate, you focus on a neutral sensation like the breath, and when your mind takes your attention, you simply bring your focus back to your breath. Who would have known that the way to peace is actually to take focus off of thoughts by instead focusing on awareness? Most people try to either push the thoughts away or to think happy thoughts. But neither of these methods allows you to see the thoughts that are bothering you as they really are, for what they are - just thoughts. The thoughts themselves aren't the problem - the anxiety you feel from them comes from your judgement of those thoughts. Meditation trains our minds to be content in the present moment. It also trains us to watch our thoughts instead of reacting to them. We can watch the mind instead of being the mind. We've conditioned ourselves to constantly judge our thoughts and to say "that's good" and "that's bad", instead of just realizing that it's the nature of the mind to wander. Let it do its thing. You don't have to judge it. In my deep depression and anxiety, every thought that popped into my head made me worry. Thoughts of the past, thoughts of the future, thoughts of what other people thought of me, and so on. What would happen if I just watched that thought and accepted it? I don't have to evaluate and judge it. I can let it come, see it for what it is, and let it go. Learning this and meditating regularly, I can honestly say I've overcome my depression. I still feel anxiety here and there as most people do, but I let it go easily now and it no longer controls my life. I've found deep inner peace that a few years ago I could never even imagine was possible. I want to share this with everyone out there suffering with depression and anxiety. It's a matter of changing our habits when it comes to thoughts and feelings. It's about accepting them instead of judging them. And yes, this is a slow process. It takes practice. But even when you first start meditating, you already feel its benefit. I can't post a link to any videos or anything here yet, but do a bit of research and you'll find a lot of resources. The basis of the practice is to focus on the sensation of your breath, and when your mind takes your focus (and it will), to gently return your attention to the breath. You can choose to focus on any place where you feel the breath, your nostrils, upper lip, even your stomach rising and falling. When you get caught up in thoughts, you can say to yourself "thinking" and return to your breath. I thank you all for reading my story, and I wish you all peace. If anyone has any questions, feel free to reply or to message me!