“I’ve had problems sleeping since I was around 13 years old. I have no idea what caused it, but my entire school life was plagued by a lack of sleep. I was constantly falling asleep in class and I often felt too fatigued and braindead to do anything but watch TV.
As I got older this problem got worse and worse, and when combined with a party lifestyle and lots of drinking in my 20’s, my sleep problem became full-blown insomnia.
I tried all kinds of things to fix it; including calming nature sounds CD’s and special diets and restrictions on phone use but nothing worked except alcohol and strong sleeping pills.
Unfortunately, the drinking and pills brought their own problems. Although they helped me get to sleep, they made me feel groggy and depressed the next day.
Over time this problem got worse until eventually, I fell into a deep depression. My girlfriend moved out and I put on weight because I drank alcohol and ate junk food every night to make myself feel better. My performance at my job also suffered to the point where I was forced to leave.
I had played around with meditation over the years because I believed that a clear and calm mind would fix everything, but I hadn’t had any success so far. Out of desperation, I looked for a local teacher. I thought spending some money and putting myself in a class would force me to take it seriously.
I found a local teacher and booked onto her course. What I didn’t realise at the time was that the style of meditation she taught was completely different from everything else I had ever tried.
She taught Deep Meditation – an ancient style of meditation from the Himalayas which uses a Sanskrit mantra to calm the mind and soothe the nervous system. It’s completely different from mindfulness which involves focussing on breath or body sensations.
I was very skeptical, especially when I found myself standing in front of a picture of an Indian Guru dressed in robes, whilst the teacher sang a song in a foreign language and lit incense.
However, after the weird first 10 minutes, we got down to business and did the practical meditation training. In this style of meditation, we don’t focus or try hard. It’s very easy and gentle and soothing.
After the 4 day course, my insomnia was completely cured. In fact, I was going to bed at 10pm and sleeping so deeply that I was wide awake and ready to go at 5am. It was an incredible turnaround. This lasted for a few weeks and then things shifted into a more normal pattern.
As I continued the daily meditation practice (20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon), I found my life improved in all areas. I used to joke: “it’s like taking happy pills without the pills.” My depression was just a memory after a few weeks. I can’t promise it will work that well for everyone, but for me the transformation was massive and the scientific evidence is also very promising.
Eventually, I felt called to take the training and become a meditation teacher myself. Now I teach Deep Meditation over Zoom to people all over the world. Some come for mental health reasons, others for the spiritual journey into their consciousness.
We are so excited for our segment called Meet Mental Health Professionals , where you’ll hear about their journey and how they got to where they are now.
As well as this, we will have an Instagram Stories Takeover in the week of when their story goes up, with each professional where you will be able to ASK your mental health questions and get answers from professionals and generally, find out more about them, what they do and tips/advice they have for maintaining good mental health.
Jimmy will be doing an Instagram Story Takeover on the 17th of November on our Instagram account, so make sure to tune into our stories that day – and if you miss it, you will be able to catch up with it in our Highlights on Instagram.
Check out our ethically made, from 100% organic cotton – merchandise to help raise mental health awareness: https://kayska.teemill.com/