Meditate or Medicate?

Photo by: Giulia Bertelli

Ok, I am gonna say it. It is controversial and this might piss some people off. However, how many minds can we truly open if we don't disseminate or share information? I see a lot of people on my social media reporting that they are struggling with anxiety, believing they are doomed forever and that is normal.

Ready? Here it goes: I am living, breathing proof that it is possible have a thriving life without debilitating anxiety, medication free Not just me, but thousands of others who have decided to get back into the driver's seat of their life are also anxiety and (anxiety) med-free.

While I adore the increasing acceptance of neuro-diversity and mental health issues, I can't ignore the fact that people are over-normalizing the use of anxiolytic-meds to treat anxiety. More unnerving, some of them feel medication is their only choice or a permanent route. Anxiolytics are not a permanent solution.

I want to say that medication for anxiety is a temporary solution, and sometimes even serving as a life saving band-aid, but they are just that… a band-aid. If you are unsure of the root cause and struggling to identify healthy coping skills, then you might want to consult with a mental health counselor.

I do not want to insinuate that those treating anxiety with meds should feel shame. Instead, I want to empower you with hope and options through data and research. Data has always been my driving force and I educate my clients to empower them to make informed decisions. My clients pay to work with me, because of my transparency, authenticity, experience and knowledge. Over the last 30 years, the Heart Math Institute (HMI) has been doing profound research into the influence that the heart's activity (i.e., heart rate variability) has on brain functioning. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as heart-brain coherance. HMI explains their work:

"HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity (which accompany different emotional states) have distinct effects on cognitive and emotional function. During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive functions. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. (This helps explain why we may often act impulsively and unwisely when we’re under stress.) The heart’s input to the brain during stressful or negative emotions also has a profound effect on the brain’s emotional processes—actually serving to reinforce the emotional experience of stress" (Hearth Math Institute, 2021).

Photo by: Robina Weermeijer

Myself and other trauma and anxiety warriors have achieved mastery over our minds by repeatedly practicing changing our emotional and brain wave states (in addition to diet changes to increase consumption of nutrient-dense, whole and raw foods #foodmoodconnection). I see a lot of lay-people note the relationship between the amygdala and anxiety, but what I also want them to know is that you can turn down that part (the sympathetic nervous system: fight or flight response system) and increase the amount of time spent in the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) by practicing mindfulness and meditative exercises just a few minutes each day.

The mind-body connection strengthens as the brain starts to build new neural pathways and reconditions the body. In turn, individuals will spend more time in the parasympathetic nervous system (i.e., the restful state will then become their new norm). Understand, it takes work. Similar to how you stretch to improve your flexibility: meditation works best if done everyday. It isn't an easy journey, but it is your journey.

#heartmathinstitute #heartbraincoherence #meditation #brainchange #healingjourney #mysticism #neuroscience

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