The Calm Corner: meditate don’t medicate

Anxiety is fairly common. This is a fact: According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older.” It is important to crack down the healthiest and most recommended ways to deal with it.

It seems as though there is an endless supply and variety of anxiety medication. Healthline says, “Benzodiazepines help treat many kinds of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

“Examples of these drugs include: alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), diaz- epam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan).”

Healthline goes on to say, “Benzodiazepines are typically used for short-term treatment of anxiety. This is because they can increase drowsiness and cause problems with balance and memory. They can also be habit-forming. There’s an increasing epidemic of benzodiazepine misuse.” There is no doubt in my mind that whoever is reading this has heard of at least half of the medications listed. I doubt, however, that you knew about the side effects.

CBD (a chemical found in marijuana and hemp) seems to be all the rage recently as well. Mayo Clinic says, “Though it’s often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you are taking, such as blood thinners. Another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products.”

J. Cole once said in his song ‘FRIENDS’, “Meditate don’t medicate.” I think about this very often. Meditation is a practice that has been around for thousands of years. It is used in religious devotion, but that is not the only use for it. Many people use meditation simply for their relaxation and health benefits. Whatever your reason for meditating is, I have only ever heard of people having good reactions and/or things to say about it. According to mindful.org, “When we meditate, we inject far-reaching and long-lasting benefits into our lives. We lower our stress levels, we get to know our pain, we connect better, we improve our focus, and we’re kinder to ourselves.”

As for me, my morning and nightly routines were not the best. I am positively sure that many others can relate, but I used to begin and end my days by checking my social media. This, of course, brought down my vibrations. Social media can be extremely toxic, and I did not like the fact that I began and ended my day thinking about what others were doing, rather than checking in with myself. I now try to start my day with Alpha meditation. This is active rest, laying down with palms up. I end my day with regular, cross-legged meditation. I have been doing it for months and will never look back.

This is not to say that medications do not help, or that meditation is helpful to every single person who does it—I think it is at least worth a try—the goal is to choose the most helpful and healthy way to deal with anxiety for you.

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