How meditation can help ease your anxiety

Anxiety can take a strong hold of your life, making it difficult to enjoy the experience of living fully. The basic joys of being human fall short with the constant sense of fear and tension that terrorizes the body. Anxious feelings make even the most normal life situations extremely challenging. You hesitate to embrace adventure with a debilitating feeling that something bad is going to happen.

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Meditation has long been a spiritual practice used in the Eastern Hemisphere. While you may not practice Buddhism, the practice of meditation has profound capabilities for centering you so you can deal with Western-world stress. The practice of finding a quiet place to center yourself and shut off the mind can invoke a change of thinking. It may be immediate, but even if it’s not, stay with the practice. It takes just a few moments a day and can dramatically change your frame of mind and relax the body.

Mantra meditation

Mantra meditation is best known for its calming abilities. The process involves repeating a calm word of your choice — or a mantra. Mantras are designed to create a vibration in your voice that’s deeply soothing. The repetition of your mantra is relaxing because you’re able to shut out all other thoughts. This quiets the mind and gives you an opportunity to just sit in the moment.

More: 5 Benefits of a 3-minute meditation

Mindful meditation

Mindful meditation has been recommended by the Mayo Clinic to still the mind, a key aspect to reducing anxiety. At the center of the practice is the goal that you should just “be.” Exist in the peace of the moment and don’t think backward or forward in time. Breathing techniques assist you in staying in the current moment. Deep breaths also help cleanse the body and relax the mind. There are no restrictions to doing this exercise, and variations are limitless. The lotus pose is the general pose for mindful meditation, but feel free to lie down, walk or even garden. Mindful meditation is simply a matter of being aware in your body and living in the moment.

Relaxation of the muscles

This practice focuses on your muscles by first tensing and then relaxing them. You will notice immediately how tense your body was and how calm it has become. Relaxing your body in this way will automatically calm the mind, leaving you feeling eased in body, mind and spirit. Focus on tensing and relaxing a few times. Breathe in as you tighten all of your muscles, breathe out when you let that tension go. You can tense body parts one by one to get the full effect. If you only have a moment, tense the whole body and release. This method of meditative practice is often recommended as a way to get to sleep quickly.

More: 5 Simple tips for becoming a meditation teacher


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