Mindfulness Meditation May Have Saved My Life

New York, N.Y. Twenty-five years ago, if you asked me what I would be doing today, I probably would have said, “Wall Street executive, real estate professional, or retired and working on my golf game.”

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I would never have thought that I would be a Mindfulness Meditation Instructor. But that is what I am doing now, and I really enjoy it.

It all started in April, 2003. The internet bubble popped and took the economy with it. I lost my job as a stock trader and my wife was pregnant with our first child.

With very few contacts and the job market shrinking, I felt completely helpless.

I started to obsess about the future. “How am I going to get another job? How am I going to pay the mortgage? Will I be able to support my family? If I can’t get another job, where will we live? Are we going to have to live on the street? Where will we get food?”

I was also pissed off about the past. “How come I got laid off? Why didn’t that other asshole get canned? What a jerk my boss was.”

These thoughts wouldn’t stop. They just kept coming, one after the other. My mind would race from one worrisome thought to the next. I would lie in bed at night and stare at the ceiling unable to fall asleep.

I started to drink a lot. This was my way of “checking out”. At the time, it seemed like the only way I could calm my mind.

Then one day, while sitting at my desk, my heart began to race uncontrollably. I started to feel numb on my left side. I began to sweat profusely. I didn’t know what was going on. “I think I am having a heart attack.”

As it turns out, I didn’t have a heart attack. I had suffered a severe anxiety attack. I questioned my ability to function with such acute anxiety. My confidence was shot, and I knew it showed in every conversation that I had.

I finally decided to take some action. I started going to therapy and taking prescription anxiety medication. This helped me sleep and many of my negative thoughts seemed a little less intense. However, I felt like this was just a small band-aid on a large gaping wound.

At about this time someone suggested I try Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Meditation. I had no idea what this was. I heard the term meditation and the first thing that popped into my mind was a vision of a bald man, wearing robes, sitting on a mountain while chanting. Regardless of my preconceived notions, I was ready to try anything at this point.

I went in with an open mind and practiced diligently every day. I found the practice to be transformative. Within a relatively short period of time, I stopped going to therapy and taking medication.

I have been practicing Mindfulness Meditation for over ten years now.

I founded The Mindful Advantage to teach others how mindfulness can improve their lives. Mindfulness helps:

  • Lower stress
  • Increase focus
  • Productivity
  • Decision making
  • Enhance creativity

Learn More at www.TheMindfulAdvantage.com.

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Jim Posner
I am a former Wall Street executive, turned personal and corporate Mindfulness Meditation coach. “I work with smart, passionate people and organizations that want to manage stress, boost strategic focus, enhance cognitive performance, promote emotional intelligence, and improve interpersonal relationships.”

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