The Side Effect Of Meditation I Didn’t Expect

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by Flavia Simas
Everyone has their own reasons for meditating.

But unless someone is born into a community where the practice is as routine as getting dressed in the morning, they probably started meditating to improve a specific aspect of their life.

I did just that, and began meditating a few years ago after realizing the positive effect it could have on my mental health. I am not fully healed yet, but my practice has minimized my depression and anxiety. Witnessing that improvement has been enough for me to persevere through my (admittedly) imperfect practice without a tinge of hesitation.

But instead of focusing on how it helps me manage my mental health, I want to discuss an effect of meditation I didn’t expect: drastic improvement in my self-esteem.

I don’t know what caused my lack of confidence, but it must relate to my fear of—well, seemingly everything. I am convinced it’s in my genetic code. I may never become fully fearless, but by turning inward through meditation, I am no longer afraid of not being enough.

I used to be. My close friends in college even called me “Miss Zero Self-Esteem”—a reliable indication of my insecurity and lack of self-confidence in everything that I was. I feared feeling inadequate and hurting others so much that I started to dread every interaction with the outside world.

Do I still find it challenging to interact with people? I won’t lie, I do. I still even feel somewhat uncomfortable talking over the phone. But I don’t dread these interactions anymore. I am no longer terrified to speak my mind for fear of not appearing adequate.

And meditation has helped me beyond just interacting with others.

It helps me settle within myself. While sitting in silence, I feel no self-loathing. I am simply there, showing up for myself, opening a space inside to enjoy my own company. When I sit with mindfulness, a world of abundant love opens up, and I feel ready to pour it onto others.

As I progress, I notice how much my self-esteem relates to my willingness to be unguarded. I have made myself vulnerable in ways I could not have dreamed a few years ago, when I was a lot more insecure, a lot less mindful.

Recently, I noticed it in relation to my appearance……..

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Source: Elephant Journal


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