Once a week we hear from real Parsley Health members, in their own words, about how working with Parsley Health has changed their lives. This week we’re talking to Alexandra Demidova, an accountant and former student athlete who couldn’t find relief from her chronic stress.
As a young athlete who grew up in a health conscious family Alexandra has always tried to maintain good health through physical exercise and a health conscious diet.
“Getting through a jam packed schedule as a student-athlete in college and later a swift transition into a work intensive public accounting career I had not realized that in my quest for optimizing my overall health I had been neglecting a pretty significant area that is crucial to my well-being,” Alexandra said. “I have recently discovered, through working with Parsley Health and practicing with the Headspace app, that the area that had been neglected by me in my quest for optimal health was a pretty significant one: my mind.”
After going through her initial assessment at Parsley Health Alexandra couldn’t help but note that a lot of the symptoms she was experiencing and issues she wanted to address were in one way or another related to stress.
“Stress was one of the most common factors that was consistently interfering with the natural rhythm my body longed for and operated most ideally under,” she explained.
Alexandra was excited to learn that meditation could potentially address the root cause (stress) of what was causing so many of my symptoms. Her health coach Samara Zelniker helped guide her in the right direction in terms of the approach I had towards the practice.
“As opposed to approaching meditation as another chore that needed to be checked of the list, she recommended that I remain mindful of the reasons why I am actually doing the meditation. She prompted me to really be aware of the underlying concerns I was trying to address that are not always recognized through physical exercise and a healthy diet alone. The prompt to remain mindful through the meditation practice helped me redirect my expectations as I started navigating through my meditation practice,” Alexandra said.
“Accustomed to the physical changes I witness in my body through exercise and diet, I realized that the same type of changes were possible in my mind. Meditation is an exercising and toning for my mind.”
Quite simply, while in awe with the real benefits of this practice, Alexandra told us that she noticed two huge changes.
Clarity – After just a few sessions of the meditation practice I started to realize just how much “background noise” I was exposed to everyday. Things like ads, social media, email advertisements, information communicated to me via mass communication, friends and workplace. While some of it was vital and necessary I found that the majority of it wasn’t. Meditation helped me silence the information overload I was exposed to every day (which was much harder than I thought) and tune in to the channel and voice that matters the most: your own. I found that when honing into my inner self I was able to hear myself, and my own thoughts better. After listening to my own breathing and rhythms I also experienced an improvement in my communication with others. I was no longer wasting time trying to sift through all of the information that had been accumulating in my mind during the day. I was able to cut right to what I was thinking and meaning to say. It may not seem extraordinary but I found that I was able to say and relay more with less by being incredibly intentional with what I truly wanted to communicate. Meditation helped me minimize the space between what I was thinking and ultimately saying, more crisply.
Responsiveness – In the past I had a tendency to be reactive when things did not go exactly how I had envisioned them or things were not executed in my particular way. I learned that my reaction was an expression of disappointment in the outcome due to my own belief of how I thought things were meant to be and go, i.e. in my own subjective way. With meditation, I learned how to create space between myself, my thoughts and the external environment.