Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The other day I was discussing ways to relax with a good friend (and fellow anxiety and panic disorder sufferer*) and we started talking about yoga. I have become a huge yoga junkie- sometimes going to up to three classes in a weekend. She was commenting on the fact that I suddenly sound like a new-age hippie and asked what the benefits (besides amazing flexibility) were.
That's when I realized that the number one reason I do yoga so much is that I can not meditate. Yoga forces my brain to concentrate not only on breathing correctly, but on moving from pose to pose with each breath and getting those poses correct. There's very little room for mindless chatter.
Now, I know... it takes years to be able to meditate with any success. I know everyone says that they have a hard time quieting their brains. But if you have an anxiety disorder, you know that this is doubly difficult. I can usually silence my brain for all of about 30 seconds before it becomes that annoying friend (or coworker, or sibling) that just won't shut up. The following is a sampling of the kind of mental conversation that takes place each and every time I try to meditate:
"I'm bored. Why are we doing this? You aren't any good at this. I won't shut up. Why can't we just watch tv or something? This is boring. This sucks. Oooh...you know what would help you concentrate? Picture being at the top of a mountain with snow all around you. Peaceful, right? Oh, that's right...you aren't a cold-weather person. How about a beach? You like the sound of waves crashing. Oh, but that's not very peaceful. I know! Swimming with dolphins. Isn't that fun? Remember when you did that in the Keys? That was the best. Maybe we should go back there. No, nevermind. Too many memories with you-know-who. What the hell anyways? You two were perfect together. Everyone said so. And you made each other happy. Oops, not supposed to think about him. How much longer do we have to do this? What are you going to wear to work tomorrow? Are your new black pants clean? What top looks good with those? When can we turn the tv back on? House is on."**
And that's about at the point where I give up...usually a whole five minutes into my planned 30-minute meditation. Bugger.
Any of you have success with meditation?
*Suddenly, I'm no longer embarrassed to admit that I suffer from this. Maybe it's the fact that I found a support group that is really helping.
**I really wish I was exaggerating.