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How Meditation Changed My Life

Angeli Sivaraman
Angeli Sivaraman
4 min read
Photo courtesy of Angeli Sivaraman (myself)
Photo courtesy of Angeli Sivaraman (myself)

Table of Contents

I was finishing up my pharmacy residency and found myself spiraling. I had just moved back to the east coast from Portland and was struggling with the move. I had a lot of time to reflect at that time. When I reviewed what had transpired over the past few years, there was drama, friendship breakups, a romantic breakup, trauma, and immense pain. There was also depression, anger, rage, insomnia, and anxiety. I had realized that this had been no coincidence. I also realized there was one common denominator: it was me. I was the problem! That was a hard realization, because my ego wanted to blame other people.  I knew that I had to make big changes if I wanted to be a happier person. Some people call this a Dark Night of the Soul. (In case you are not familiar, this lasts longer than one night).

A therapist I saw around this time recommended that I start mindfulness meditation. She was actually the second therapist to recommend it to me. So I downloaded the Headspace app, and started doing the free 10-day trial.  I liked it, but like anyone starting a new routine, it took a couple of tries to cultivate this into a daily practice.

Simultaneously, I started learning cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  CBT is a tool used in psychology to realign negatively distorted thoughts with more objective and rational thoughts. It teaches you to rewire your thinking, because your thoughts can affect your feelings. I used this tool first with insomnia and then moved onto CBT for depression. Learning that our thoughts affect our feelings, and that we don't have to believe or attach to our negative thoughts, really opened up my mind.

In the beginning, I didn’t see much change. And that makes sense, because I had been thinking the same things for a long time! But after a few months of meditating,  I was noticing the difference. I was feeling lighter and less focused on negativity. I was sleeping better. I was becoming more focused and present. Meditation became a daily practice. I started to feel boosts of endorphins whenever I did it. My depression and anxiety went way down! And a little over a year later, I reached my ‘aha’ moment. That point in meditation where your mind is completely still. It surprised me! It came out of the blue. I did not go into meditation with even an inkling of that intention. It came to me.

Shortly after that, I moved to Nashville for my job (in healthcare). I instantly fell in love with the city. It’s a great fit for me. I eventually bought a house here too! All that to say, magical things happen when you practice meditation. You feel more centered, more connected, more focused, and more positive. It’s like taking drugs without actually taking anything. It keeps me resilient and grounded. It has offered me a perspective I could have never considered had I not started. It wades through the negative and leads you to the positive. It also fosters and expands your intuition. It familiarizes you with your pain and helps you to heal it. That’s empowering. I believe that my intuition, strengthened by meditation, helped me find my way to Nashville and is helping me find my way to this platform as an online writer :)

Why Should You Meditate? Here are 5 Reasons:

  1. It connects you to your pain: historically, our society has encouraged people to numb out their less than stellar feelings, with substances, food, sex, or anything else you can reach for. Meditation teaches you to sit with your feelings and take responsibility. When we are energetically responsible, we ensure that we are responsible for emotions and pain. This helps us take back our power and leaves victimhood behind us.
  2. It boosts your endorphins: as an avid meditator, I can attest to this. I have been a longtime runner, and part of the reason I started meditation was because I was injured and couldn’t run. I always get a high from running, but now I always get a high from running AND meditation. Having multiple places to get your self-made endorphins absolutely rocks. Also many studies support these statements.
  3. It helps us be more authentic: Meditation helps to cultivate self-awareness. Rather than making a decision to people please or because societal or cultural norms told us to, we get to break barriers and be true to our authentic selves. Meditation helps us check in and honor our Selves, something many of us have forgotten after childhood.
  4. It strengthens our intuition: mini story - my first job out of residency was in Delaware because my boyfriend at the time wanted me to move back to the Philly area. I did not want to move out of Portland! I completely ignored my needs and what I wanted for the hopes of a “secure” relationship, one that ended before I even moved back. My gut was screaming at me the whole time I took the job and moved to Delaware. Not listening to your gut or intuition (however you connect) is unequivocally one of the worst feelings. I quickly learned that I need to honor myself and life is so much better when you trust yourself and what you need.
  5. When we are happier, others around us are happier: People start to notice when you are feeling lighter and more like yourself. It inspires others to do the same. That creates a wave of healthy self-esteem, positivity, introspection, and sharing. You start to attract all the right things into your life. Including people. At some points, you may feel alone because people don’t “get” you anymore. But, you will start to feel less alone because you hand select all of those who do end up gracing your life and staying. When I started to feel really alone after my shift, the universe provided me with a moon group (my meditation ladies) to meet up and celebrate the Full Moon each month. These ladies are also on a spiritual path. I really think it was divine intervention that did brought us together. I couldn’t be more delighted and grateful.
  6. Bonus: it increases your spirituality. It can’t not. Nuff said. More in future posts :)

I hope you enjoyed this first post of mine! Maybe you have also experienced the benefits of meditation! If you are a beginner, I encourage you to stick with it. It’s totally worth it, I promise!

Bye for now!


Quote:  “There is no such thing as a mistake. Everything happens in divine order. I am being guided to learn and grow” - Gabrielle Bernstein

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Angeli Sivaraman is a spiritualist, meditator, nature junkie, and dog mom. She is the creator of Sage Elephant, a blog about spirituality and wellness. She can be reached by email!