Wellness Wednesday: Vertigo, Anxiety, Meditation and the Mind by Jonathan Brewer

Vertigo, Anxiety, Meditation and the Changing of the Mind Set

Vertigo, Anxiety, Meditation and the Changing of the Mind Set
Photo by Jake Ingle on Unsplash

What is Vertigo and Dizziness?

Vertigo is a very unpleasant spinning sensation that people can feel even if they are not moving. Dizziness is a feeling of movement or motion a person might feel often described as feeling unsteady. There a many possible causes, most of them are associated with inner ear problems.

My name is Jonathan and I live in Florida, but I grew up in the U.K. 

For 25 years my life was full of fear, anxiety and dread.  I have Vertigo due to inner ear damage. For 29 years I have been battling with an enemy I can do nothing about or so I thought.

My world changed when meditation entered my life in a quite unexpected way.

It began in May 1990. I was 15 years old at that time and in my penultimate year at school. I had a virus that struck down me for 2 weeks. After the virus was gone, I was left with an awful feeling of dizziness and vertigo that I’ve had ever since.

My head constantly feels like it’s swimming, as if I’m bobbing up and down in the sea unable to stop. It is often accompanied by the most frightening attacks of vertigo that I can’t control.

At first, it was a hard battle getting my doctor to believe me. He put it down to anxiety and panic attacks.

Over the years, with the help of my parents, we pushed to see one specialist after another. All the time having to cope with dizziness and vertigo.

My Anxiety Was Ignored

Vertigo, Anxiety, Meditation and the Changing of the Mind Set

During that time something else was happening too. My anxiety increased tremendously.

It was 9 years before I was given a confirmed diagnosis. I was in my mid 20’s. By this time my anxiety had severely grown out of control. I was so busy perseverating about the vertigo. I neglected the anxiety. But anxiety is one of the biggest triggers of vertigo.

I was so determined to try and find a “cure” for the vertigo so badly, instead of accepting it and trying to live. Any treatments I had for it didn’t work. 

I tried to live my life the best way I could. I was still living with my parents and would for a long time.

I still had the vertigo, but the anxiety consumed me. I withdrew into a feeling of depression, self-pity and self- loathing. I was also carrying around so much anger and self-hate with me too. The thought of suicide had occasionally entered my mind. I’m not sure how long I felt like this and lived this way.

Then at the age of 40, something happened to me that would change my life forever.

I met my wife.

A Changing Life

It was Christmas 2015 and I had been playing an online game called Farmville 2: Country Escape for almost a year. In the game you can join what are called Co-ops. These are farming communities that you can join when you play the game.

Patti was another member of our Co-op. We made a strong connection while playing. You can text with other people in the game and we started to do that a lot.

I discovered that she lived in Florida while I was in the U.K. There is a 5-hour time difference between the two places. We would start to text chat when she got home from work even though it was after midnight for me.

Within a few months we were talking on the phone.

We discovered that we both had our own problems with anxiety.

Over time Patti taught me some things that would go on to help me. She taught me Transcendental meditation, how to live in the moment, to let go of my fear and not to be defined by my vertigo disability.

Each one of these things would help me immensely.

The Benefits of Meditation

The meditation was hard at first. But after continually doing it for a few weeks, I slowly started to notice a difference.

I became less anxious than usual. My heart palpitations got better. I felt calmer and more confident overall. The vertigo, although still frightening, was easier to cope with.

I began walking around with a spring in my step. The anxiety was still there, but I was able to cope with it much better too. 

I meditated twice a day for 20 minutes. Then I began to meditate when I felt anxious. I found this time so peaceful. All the noise and commentary in my head disappeared.  

I started to smile naturally, and my world of doom and gloom was fading. The anger that I had felt for so long also started to vanish.

Meditation was having a wonderful effect.  Even if I thought I had a bad meditation session Patti reminded me that all sessions are worth the time.

Changing my Mind Set

I also learned how to be mindful when I met Patti.  It reminds me of the saying, “Smell the flowers” or “Watch the butterfly”.  Being mindful meant paying attention to what was happening in front of me. 

My anxiety and vertigo were still there but it was under more control than ever before.

I’m calmer now, more at peace with myself. I still have anxiety and I probably always will as long as I have this vertigo. Vertigo can be very frightening but I know the worst spells will pass.

From feeling rock bottom to the top of the world in just a few years.

After 29 years I have a life now. I have a wife and a step daughter too. I am the happiest I have ever been.

I’m proof that life can change if you too are willing take control of it yourself.

Vertigo, Anxiety, Meditation and the Changing of the Mind Set
Photo by Indian Yogi (Yogi Madhav) on Unsplash

The benefits of meditation are numerous.

  • You feel calmer 
  • You feel at peace
  • More in control of yourself  
  • It helps to lower your blood pressure. 

Changing my mind set is also an important thing that I learned. Now I am mindful of what is happening in front of me. Being mindful helped me do things and visit places I never thought I would do.

Don’t think about the past. The past is gone. You can’t change it. 

Don’t worry about the future because it hasn’t happened yet. Just think about what is happening right now, at this present moment.

I’m so happy that Patti came into my life. My very well being has improved dramatically. 

I sometimes find myself contemplating the past. I ask myself, ‘did all of it really happen, was it all a dream and was I really like that?’

Changing my mind set and Meditation changed my life for the better. I hope my story helps you understand how meditating and practicing mindfulness can be a positive in your life.

About the Author

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my vertigo and me logo
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Jonathan Brewer and wife vertigo
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Jonathan Brewer is 44 years old and lives in Florida, but grew up in the U.K. He has had vertigo for 29 years. He writes a blog about vertigo and its effects and he wants to reach out and connect with others who also have live with vertigo and its effects.

Email-myvertigoandme@gmail.com

Website-www.myvertigoandme.com

Facebook page-https://www.facebook.com/MyVertigoandMe/

Facebook Vertigo support group-https://www.facebook.com/groups/207083523523874/

Twitter-https://twitter.com/vertigoandme

Instagram-https://www.instagram.com/myvertigoandme/

Pinterest-https://www.pinterest.com/myvertigoandme0148/pins/

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Additionally, If you have any #wellnesswednesday articles you’d like me to feature contact me at honeybunnytwee@gmail.com

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18 thoughts on “Wellness Wednesday: Vertigo, Anxiety, Meditation and the Mind by Jonathan Brewer

  1. Anxiety can be so stressful to deal with especially since it does often get ignored or not looked at as an actual medical condition (depression gets lumped in there too). I am glad everything was able to work out for you.

  2. The anxiety is bad enough but combined with Vertigo I can only imagine how terrible it felt. The vertigo leading to more anxiety and a bit of a vicious circle. Glad things are better.

  3. I’m so glad you over came these situations they can really take you down. I’m a number one lover of meditation it has helped me a lot.

  4. I suffered from vertigo once for a couple fo days and it was the most awful sensation. I can’t imagine what it must be like living with it permanently. Many chronic illness sufferers suffer from anxiety. It’s so good to know that meditation helps you.

  5. I’ve always known that meditation is a powerful thing but I didn’t realise that it could be so helpful with issues like anxiety and, especially, vertigo. I am so happy that in finding your partner you were also able to curb the issues you were dealing with. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story!

  6. What a mess. I am glad you were able to identify and overcome the anxiety issues instead of bandaiding it! Meditation does great things for the body and mind and I am glad to see you promoting it so others can find some relief!

  7. I am for sometime now planning to start meditation but have not been able to put it into practice. With si many benefit that it offers, I think I will no longer procrastinate. Lovely insights and thanks very much for sharing.

  8. I have some friends who suffer from vertigo and anxiety and they told me how helpful it is to just lay down and relax. Meditation offers many benefits for the body and for the mind.

  9. Today is the day for learning! I honestly thought vertigo and dizziness were the same thing. Like one was a medical term and the other was the basic “English” term kind of thing. I’m glad you explained it in such an easy to understand way. I also didn’t know that these went hand in hand with anxiety, nor would I have ever even considered the possibility of a link between them. You have definitely opened my eyes to both of these issues. I’m very excited to hear about how meditation has helped you through it all and you have a new perspective on life. It is kind of amazing how something can literally be life changing like that. I am headed to read more of your blog, as I’ve learned so much in this post alone.

  10. I suffer from vertigo every once in awhile. I never know when it will start or what triggers it. Thanks for these tips, I’ll try them out next time.

  11. I didn’t know meditation could be that effective to individuals with these problems. I have done meditations in the past too and it had really helped me too to focus on myself and on my surroundings.

  12. i have so many students who suffer from anxiety. I just downloaded the Calm app (it’s free for teachers) and hope to use it with them this year. It may not be true meditation, but I’m hoping the deep breathing and other exercises will help the kids focus and reduce their anxiety.

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