If you read my blog, "A Story of Brave Hearts, Love, and a Tattoo," you might have guessed by now that I'm a proud mama. My daughter, Deanna James, has overcome tremendous hurdles to get where she is now - Successful business owner, award-winning tattoo artist, winner of Ink Master Angels-Dallas, and top 5 out of 24 contestants on Ink Master (sorry, I can't help it!).
But what you might not know is that Deanna has been suffering from severe anxiety since about 9th grade. Her most prominent fear is around her health. Her mind tends to go to worst-case-scenario when something pops up medically that she doesn't understand.
Teenage angst is common, and more so now due to the pandemic and the polarized state of our world. It is why we, at Live Free Yoga are so passionate about helping our youth develop social-emotional skills through mindfulness practices, and why the Dallas Independent School District's Physical Education and Health department has integrated our Mindfulness in Motion for PE program in their physical education curriculum for the last 4 years.
Deanna's medical fears aren't unwarranted. In fact, the ADAA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America) says, "Anxiety is one of the most common forms of mental illness. Anxiety can affect your health. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, research suggests that you may run a higher risk of experiencing physical health problems, too. So when you manage your anxiety, you’re also taking care of your physical health."
Deanna has utilized many tools over the years to help her manage her anxiety including counseling, exercise, and meditation. Meditation is a tool she just started practicing more recently to help steady her mind to prevent anxiety from getting the best of her.
I too suffer from anxiety, because my mind tends to default to the negative, which really is our brain trying to protect us and keep us safe. But if I don't manage it, I will go down the rabbit hole and get stuck in an anxious state.
Deanna and I talked about this recently, which we captured on video. Click HERE or on the image above to check out our conversation where Deanna opens up about her anxiety, and how meditation has helped both of us in powerful ways.
Also, you can get started with your own meditation practice by joining us for our virtual meditation retreat, "Unlock Your Wisdom Within," guided by Live Free Yoga's Co-founder and meditation master, Tida Chambers. Click HERE to register.
Author, Phyllis Smith, is the Co-founder and CEO of Live Free Yoga, which provides yoga and mindfulness programs for youth and adults who serve them. She is also the co-creator of Lighter Being, a transformative mindfulness video series to help you find more balance, self-love, and a lighter state of being.