Hey Y’all!

My name’s Joe and I'm a Mental Health Journalist based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Through my struggles with anxiety, depression, trauma and addiction, I wish to show others, that everyone is capable of improving their circumstances.

I'm sharing my story, as an experiment, to see if it is possible live a life of health, wellness, and happiness.

Meditation and Mood

It's funny when you look back at your life to see a habit or action that was working for you...but then you stopped. Later, we ask, "Why didn't I keep up with that? Why did I quit?" I've heard countless adults say they wish they didn't quit piano lessons, or painting, or the basketball team. Often these are the things we are most passionate about. For me, it's taken years to form the habit of meditating consistently, but now that I have (most days it's one of the first things I do when I wake up), the benefits are arriving in droves. It's part of a larger, holistic approach to living my life but I am happier than I've ever been, and I'm on my way to living my dreams as an author and entrepreneur, in spite of still dealing with bouts of anxiety.

This was an entry from an other blog I used to have regarding meditation, when I was just starting out.

Blog Entry at http://josephng-brainchanger.blogspot.ca/ from Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Meditation has been recommended to me as a method to help deal with depression and anxiety from many sources such as books, doctors and martial arts instructors. The "Anxiety and Phobia Workbook" written by Edmund J. Bourne, has been referred to me as "the Holy Bible for people with anxiety" by my family physician. I have been working through it since late summer and one of the chapters in it is on meditation.

I had tried meditation on its own but I could never stick with it for any significant period of time to truly see benefits. However, during the summer, I spent three weeks on a Minke Whale research trip on Cormorant Island in British Columbia with my brother, who is a high-school science teacher with a keen interest in Marine Biology. It is during this time that I truly got back in touch with nature. While there I journalled and meditated daily along a shoreline looking into the Pacific Ocean.

That is the first time I had utilized meditation consistently and began to reap its rewards. Coming back from that trip I felt galvanized, rejuvenated, loved, aware and in touch with people and the world around me.

However,when I got back to the real world, work and everyday life stresses caught up to me and I forgot about those healthy habits I had developed. I had continued dabbling, doing a bit here and there, but not with the daily ritualization I had taken on during that trip.

This past month, I have found myself looking for work again and have made it an almost daily ritual to meditate then make an entry in my gratitude journal.

I was surprised by the benefits I had forgotten about.

There are times while meditating that I can literally feel activity and blood working in different parts of my brain that aren't usually active- the same feeling one has when one exercises a muscle and experiences the soreness felt in the changing and growing muscle.

I then feel a sense of relaxation and thoughtlessness or mindlessness. It is very calming and peaceful

Another, positive change I have noticed is that my mood and spirit has lifted from the time I enter the mediation until the time I complete the meditation.

This is why I am so adamant about taking time to utilize this practice and am beginning to see it more as a daily necessity, as opposed to something I should or could do that might affect my mood. Now I know it does, and that is great knowledge I have gained.

How do you use meditation and how does it affect you? Do you use it for guidance, knowledge, to sharpen your intuition, or to change your mood?

Let me know. Thanks for reading.

Mental Exercise #3 - 5 Senses

Letting Things Go