I started doing meditation about 9 years ago after I had a very public meltdown.
I used to work as a nurse and I worked very long hours and had to deal with a lot of people with serious medical conditions. I don't remember ever hating my job. Actually I liked it very much mostly, but somewhere along the road I must have started to get more and more stressed. I put on a lot of weight and I was tired a lot of the time. I started being very impatient and I was irritable quite a lot.
The problem was that I always had to keep a smile on my face for my hospital patients, but one day I just lost it. I'd been working all day for the 8th day in a row and I was very tired. One of my elderly patients started throwing all her things on the floor. I was trying to pick them all up for her and she just kept throwing them on the floor again!
All of a sudden I started yelling at her ? something I've never done ever before. I quickly realized what I'd done but it was too late. I shut my mouth and just stood there with my heart pounding and all my muscles quivering with anger. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember thinking something like, "This is how people end up having heart attacks. You're going
to end up as a patient in here if you don?t take care of yourself".
I guess that was my lightbulb moment. I went home early that day and just cried.
To cut a long story short, the next week I enrolled in a relaxation program near the hospital where I worked. At first we just learned basic breathing techniques, and then later we learned how to do meditation properly.
For the first two months, I cried a lot when I did meditation. I know they say that meditation is supposed to be very calming, and it is, but I did not expect that. I understand that I was just releasing lots of pent up anger and sadness.
But then after about 6 weeks or so I started to go into the most amazingly deep states of relaxation. I was really meditating quite deeply and I would completely lose track of time. The tears and sadness were replaced by feelings of intense joy and appreciation for my life. Over and over I would meditate and feel myself being overwhelmed by this feeling. Sometimes I would still cry, but it was not because I was sad, it was because I was so happy!
I've been meditating ever since and I will be for the rest of my life I suppose. I think that meditation is the healthiest thing I've ever done for myself, and it has definitely made me a more relaxed and happier person.