Meditation VS Medication
This can be a very challenging topic for many. In a moment of desperation where nothing seems to be working, the very first thing you would want to do is take the faster road. I’ve been there so I know. And honestly, that's okay. Acknowledge how you feel and listen to your spirit and body. But always remember that you have the power to heal within you. Yes you can! There’s more options to that than just taking medication. I am not a doctor but I am a person who went through really bad anxiety and depression in the past and both times when that has happened to me, I first follow the faster road and the second time I chose not to. So what is the answer to this dilemma?
The mind leads everything. It holds the power of imagination and is responsible for processing emotions that later on manifest into attitudes and actions. Oftentimes we act subconsciously, depending on our past trauma/experiences that the brain went through, resulting in situations that we don’t want to experience. But how do you learn to recognize your patterns and guide your mind before your mind guides you? How can you take control before it takes control over you?
According to the American Pharmacist Association, 25 million adults have been taking antidepressants for at least 2 years, with a 60% increase since 2010. Approximately 15.5 million individuals have been taking the drugs for at least 5 years, nearly doubling the rate since 2010. I was one of these people and even though it relieved the symptoms of depression, it didn’t heal them at all.
I will not say that meditation was the only source of my healing I did. Matter of fact, therapy also helped a lot. Imagine yourself trying to learn how to swim. The very first time you come across swimming, you have no clue what’s happening. You might even want to give up. In order for you to learn this new skill, there’s a process that needs to be learned. Therapy and Meditation will be that process for your brain. Wearing a life vest will be the medication. It’s going to help you stay above water but once you take it off, you will drown.
For years and years we follow the same pattern of thoughts, so changing that will take time. But it's absolutely worth it because once that pattern is replaced with a new skill, it will stay like that forever. If you or a loved one are struggling with depression and/or anxiety or any other mental health issue, there’s no shame in getting professional help and exploring your ways of healing. Ways such as meditation which is my skill and I can guide you through this practice.
Some people think of meditation as doing nothing, thinking of nothing, being quiet, concentrated, in order words, stop breathing and die. “Lol”. Some other people think meditation is bliss and happiness and flowers falling from the sky, being in paradise with the smell of all your favorite baking goods and just perfection. Well, no. This is not true either. That only exists in our dreams god damn it “lol”. I laugh because I know that this perception is not true and unrealistic. The secret behind meditation is actually the opposite of what some people’s perception of that is. Meditation teaches you to recognize what you feel with acceptance and no judgment, allowing you to nourish and love that thought and later on decide if this thought is true or not.
This idea of what meditation is supposed to feel, it’s the reason for confusion and what it actually does to you is push what is happening within you, without any acknowledgment from you. And this acknowledgement is something you are craving for and need in order for you to heal. That neglect is the complete opposite of what meditation is meant to do for you. With that, you’ll have absolutely no control of recognizing what is real and what is not. Your thoughts will create certain emotions that are not necessarily true. The reason this happens is because we don’t stop to observe and recognize what is real within these thoughts and what is a lie. Yes, your brain can actually lie to you. It is your brain’s defense mechanism to create scenarios that help process trauma and emotions because it’s what it thinks it has to do to survive.
What meditation really is is you learning your mind. The function of it, understanding your mind and also guiding your mind and training it. Meditation is more than just a simple sitting down with yourself. There is more work than needs to be done within the practice so when your mind speaks, you give it a job, by you becoming the captain and it the ship.
There are two responses we have when our mind speaks. We will either agree with it or disagree with it and the more we fight with it, the more it will persist to want to be heard. So how do you find a common ground with it? You don’t have to agree with it, you just have to become friends with it and becoming friends with it means you finding common ground around it by finding something that makes your mind and you happy. So when the mind creates a problem, here’s what you do during meditation.
This is the time for you to become the captain and lead the ship (your mind) by observing and acting accordingly on how to lead it. At the beginning, ease yourself through this experience so you don’t overwhelm your brain by practicing meditation for 15 minutes, before you want it to do the hard part. Train it little by little. Start trusting your brain and your brain will start trusting you. It will be a win-win situation. You become the captain and your ship will have a direction.
Meditation is recognizing your thoughts and who you are without any judgment or guilt, then accepting what is and nourishing that by understanding and compassion for yourself. Treat your mind by talking to it like you would talk to your best friend. We all have love and compassion within us, wisdom, awareness, clarity and capability.
If there are ten qualities you appreciate about your personality and one that you don’t, what does your mind do? Your mind will usually focus on that one thing, exaggerating the problem because it loves that. That’s your ego. It’s like your gossip neighbor creating scenarios when they just have no clue what they are talking about and are there to just create noise.
You are not your thoughts. The sooner you acknowledge that and take control, the faster you will become free.
Happy Meditating, my beautiful people.
Be easy on yourself.
Until next time. :-)
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