How to manage anxiety through meditation
Updated: Jun 1, 2020
The Secret to Meditation for Anxiety
I doubt I need to describe what anxiety feels like. I suspect you know already. You may have been suffering from anxiety every day for years, or your condition might be more recent.
Sometimes, life can become a little overwhelming and your anxiety levels increase. If you do not manage these, you could find that excessive worry develops into headaches and sleeping disorders, then on to panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and even worse.
Professional help – and acupuncture for anxiety and insomnia – can move you to a better place, but there are also plenty of ways in which you can self-manage anxiety. In this post, you’ll learn the secret to meditation for anxiety, and how it can help you manage the symptoms.
The Benefits of Meditation for Anxiety
Years ago, when I first started recommending meditation for anxiety, particularly as a management technique, I must admit that I used to be made to feel like a hippy!
Thankfully, there is much more awareness of the benefits of meditation today. Scientific research on mindfulness meditation has found that just one month of practising leads to an average:
· 58% reduction in anxiety levels
· 57% reduction in depression
· 40% reduction in stress
Consistent improvement in mental and emotional health has been found to be a contributor to improving physical health.
Don’t Be Deceived by The Meditation Misconception
If you’ve tried meditation and become discouraged quickly, I completely understand. I’ve been there. People think that the goal of meditation is to reach a perfect state of happiness. It’s not.
Meditation is not a drug that gives you a temporary (and false) sense of contentment, leaving you with a big grin and an empty head. Meditation is a practice that improves your mental shape, in the same way that regular physical exercise improves your body shape.
Meditation – Shifting Anxiety to Awareness
Meditation shifts your focus. The most common thing to focus on is your breathing. And that is it!
When meditating, it is easy for your mind to stray from concentration on your breathing. Suddenly, you realise you have spent the last few minutes mired in your thoughts – probably of the very things that are adding to your stress and anxiety levels.
When this happens, there’s no need to be judgemental. Simply bring your attention back to your breathing. This is the practice of meditation.
Don’t Expect Instant Results When Using Meditation for Anxiety
You wouldn’t expect to run a marathon after one session of physical training. It takes time and practice to reach peak physical fitness. It’s the same with meditation.
The secret to meditation for anxiety is to understand that it is a long-term process. You need to practice regularly to improve results. As the muscles in your brain start to respond to their training, they become stronger. Quite quickly, you’ll begin to notice the difference it makes to your everyday life.
How Can You Fit Meditation into A Busy Life?
The best way to incorporate meditation into your daily life is to make it a part of your morning routine, preferably before breakfast. For example, between showering and breakfast, I sit down for 10-15 minutes of meditation. The first few days of doing this were hard – but it soon became habitual.
Once you make meditation a part of your routine, your resistance to doing it reduces significantly. You might also try meditation during your work day – you achieve more when you take more breaks, and meditation is one of the recommended techniques to maximise this advantage. Give these routines a try, but if it’s not working out there are some useful books on how to create good habits in your life.
How Can I Get Started with Meditation?
There are many websites, apps, and teachers out there to help you achieve the potential of meditation. My current favourite is the Headspace app. It gives excellent guidance on how to meditate. I also like the narrator, Andy. He doesn’t have that spiritual manner of speech some find annoying. He’s just nice and compassionate. And you can try the app for free! If you don’t like it, try another app, or choose another platform, until you find the right one for you.
In my next blog, I’ll talk about two more techniques to manage your anxiety. In the meantime, don’t let stress and anxiety take over your life. Get in touch with me now, and let’s work together to destress your life.
Live life to the fullest