I’m sure you read the title and thought that’s idiosyncratic. Yeah. You can’t be high-strung while you meditate, can you? It just doesn’t work. I tried meditation today for the first time in a while, hoping it would work as a relaxation technique. I followed the instructions (focus on your breathing or focus on the sounds), but I was tense the entire time.
Reason 1: My mind was racing the entire time. Each time, I tried to refocus by repeating (in my head) breathe in, breathe out. However, it just kept going. I thought about how I wanted to go back to work and whether or not my therapist would let me. I thought about the pros and cons of going back to work. Breathe in, Breathe out. I thought about what to write in this blog. About my trip to the inlaws’ house this past weekend and the favoritism toward Big Guy and how angry that made me. Breath in. Breathe out. I wondered if they got the letter I sent them telling them about myself because I’ve known them for almost 12 years I haven’t had the courage yet to actually talk to them about who I am. I thought about how nice they were to me, even though I was so scared they would judge me. Breathe in. Breathe out. I thought about Squeaker, and how he’s a good kid, and I don’t like people judging us for his behavior, because they don’t know what we go through with him. Breathe in. Breathe out. It just kept going.
Reason 2: There were no women with the group, and I’m extremely uncomfortable around men. Extremely. I trust my husband, and that’s about it. I don’t like being alone with men. But I am also a people-pleaser and don’t like to offend anyone, and I had come to this group to meditate and felt awkward about leaving, so I stayed. But every movement, every cough, every breath everyone else took, and I tensed up. I thought about what could happen to me, being alone with men. Horrible, unspeakable things. Breathe in, Breathe out.
In the end, meditation was not relaxing for me at all. It was an hour of me trying to focus on my breathing, but wishing it would hurry up and end. And when the three quiet bells sounded at the end and the doors opened, only then did I feel something resembling relaxation.
I understand it’s common for meditation not to work the first time, but I’ve never been able to shut off my brain. Does anyone have any tips on how to make that happen?