Meditation and I'm moving backwards?
February 27, 2014 7:51 AM Subscribe
I think my new mindfulness practice is causing me more anxiety - why is this and how do I handle it?
posted by chainsofreedom to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
For background, I'm a 29 year old female and I have been on 100mg of Zoloft for 3 and a half years.
My life improved immeasurably once I started antidepressants - it felt like my mind just went "Shhhhhhhhhh" and I had space to breathe. That, coupled with exercise and on-and-off therapy, has kept me on an even keel for the past 3+ years. Lately I have been feeling dissatisfied with my current state of mind: a little depressed, a little anxious, etc. I also want to eventually go off the Zoloft. And the yoga studio in town is offering a 5-week workshop on mindfulness meditation. So, I signed up.
It's been 2 weeks now. The in-class discussions and meditations are fine. In fact, the solo 5-minute meditations I've been doing upon waking up in the morning and right before I go to sleep are fine. I don't know that I'm 100% "successful" as I meditate but I'm working on focusing my attention and letting go of judgement and all of that and I suppose I'm getting better at it? It's hard to tell.
But the real issue is - in my everyday, non-meditating life, I am anxious as all get out. This anxiety has really come into full force this week, ever since I have got serious about doing short meditations twice a day as detailed above. I haven't been this anxious for a long, long time. Behaviors that I thought I had left behind (obsessive thoughts, nausea and the fear of nausea and vomiting, WebMd-ing) have come back full force. I am able to use my mindfulness strategies to a certain extent. Last night I woke up feeling awful and was able to let it go, telling myself to accept how my body was feeling and not try to judge or explain it, which helped a lot . . . but here I am at work feeling awful again.
I typed out a whole long paragraph detailing my current thought process, then realized it didn't matter. What I want to know is: Is this normal after starting a meditation practice? If it is, how long can I expect it to go on? And what can I do in the meantime so I don't feel like crawling into bed and hiding until it's over?