How to Meditate When All The Other Techniques Don’t Work
I suffered from GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) for more than 7 years, and the worst part is that I’ve found out about it in the last year. I’ve spent days and weeks of constant worrying and over thinking without realizing that I am “digging my own grave”.
I spent my nights reading articles to help me win at anxiety, and I spent my days trying to implement the advice I found. And you probably already know that in almost every article about mental disorders, meditation is a must-do.
And it’s true.
But in the beginning, it was so damn hard for me to meditate. I tried every possible technique that Google “knows”, but nothing helped. From counting breaths, to mantras and dancing meditation, but none of these helped me hold my focus for more than 10 seconds. Because of this I was forced to think of another technique. And I did.
If you ask me, I believe my focus was always lost because of one thing: my mind getting used to the technique. Or in other words, if I used the counting method, I would count to 5 and then my brain continued the counting automatically. The same goes for mantras; practicing meditation with mantras was useless because after 10 seconds my brain acted like it had a repeat button. That’s when I realized that I needed to “invent” something that will hold my focus for longer than 5 seconds.
If I had to name my meditation technique, it would be called Temporary Technique for a Better Focus.
My meditation technique requires ascending (and descending) counting of your inhale/exhale length.. Because I don’t know how to explain this vividly, let me give you an example:
You start with 1 second long inhale, followed by a 2 second long exhale; then you continue with inhaling for 2 seconds, and exhaling for 3 seconds. Or simply:
Inhale 1 second, Exhale 2 seconds; Inhale 2 seconds, Exhale 3 seconds; Inhale 3 seconds, Exhale 4 seconds; Inhale 4 seconds, Exhale 5 seconds; and now descending: Inhale 5 seconds, Exhale 4 seconds; Inhale 4 seconds, Exhale 3 seconds….
Got it? Counting the length of my breaths like this really helped me stay focused. I believe it’s because the number was always different and my mind couldn’t do it on “repeat”.
And after only a few days of practicing this meditation technique, my focus was improved and I was able to meditate in more common ways. And that’s what we all aim for, right?
I must mention that there is a reason for me sharing this technique. A friend of mine suffered from a deep stance of PTSD, and it helped her the way it helped me. That inspired me to write a book about this.
But then I remembered; I recovered from anxiety thanks to the like-minded people on DumbLittleMan and other sites, who shared their personal and inspirational stories in order to help others. And the chances to help others are indeed higher with sharing the technique here, than writing a book that only few will read, probably.
So please, let me know if this meditation technique is helping you when your focus isn’t. Or even better, share your own meditation technique and be one of those who helped others. Karma matters.
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Author: Nikola Serafimovski
Nikola overcome anxiety because he gave his trust to online communities. Now he spreads the experience of overcoming mental illness through his blog ZenHive.