Meditation is a technique used to achieve greater mental clarity and focus. But, one of the best side effects of meditation is that it greatly reduces the symptoms of anxiety. One study even suggested those that who meditate for anxiety relief reported it was just as effective for treating generalized anxiety disorder as medication.
Meditate for anxiety relief to:
- Reduce pain and stress levels
- Counter negative emotions
- Improve focus, sleep problems
- Improves immune function
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7 Simple Steps To Start Meditating Today
Step 1: Find the time
It’s important to make meditation a priority in your life. However, many people struggle with finding time to meditate for anxiety reduction or find it hard to carve out the time consistently.
Therefore, we picked some helpful ways to find a time that works for you!
- Pick an anchor time to meditate. Same time and place, every day.
- Put a reminder in your calendar or schedule. Before you do anything else, sit for 5-10 minutes and meditate.
- Develop a meditation space that you look forward to using! Like this one!
- Put up a sticky note or place reminders in your calendar so that you do not forget.
You also need to be very clear about the specific time you plan to meditate. This time of day should be distraction-free and a time you have to yourself every day!
Step 2: Find the right place
You can sit anywhere and meditate, but it is important to find an environment that suits you. You should choose somewhere where you won’t be interrupted at all.
A good spot for meditation is one that is quiet, comfortable, and private. A dedicated room or a quiet corner behind a closed door are great places to start with.
Like time, I suggest finding a specific, comfortable place for meditation. Many people find it helpful to gather some inspirational photos or images and put them on a wall in their meditation space as a reminder to keep coming back.
Some people find that the same place is useful for other forms of relaxation, such as listening to soothing music or practicing yoga.
Step 3: Prepare your mind and body
This is a crucial step because it sets the tone for the rest of your meditation. If you walk into meditation feeling tired, tense or distracted then this is likely to carry on throughout your experience and may cause you to give up altogether.
Begin your meditation by creating the right mindset and getting into the right physical position. Notice how you are feeling and let go of any thoughts or feelings that aren’t serving you or keeping you peaceful.
Before you start to meditate for anxiety relief, it is a good idea to spend a few minutes doing a few simple exercises. This will get your body into the right position and get you ready for meditation.
Exercises such as Yoga Asanas or a simple series of deep breaths can help to prepare you for meditation (and go some way in relaxing the body and reducing stress).
Step 4: Focus on breathing deeply and slowly
In meditation, it’s all about the breath. Breathing deeply and slowly helps to quieten the mind. When you are doing this correctly, you will notice that every thought and every emotion starts to fade away as you meditate for anxiety control and reduction.
Take a deep breath and bring your attention to the breath as it enters your body and leaves it again. Breathe in through the nose, pause, and breathe out through the mouth – pause again.
Again, focus on the breathing process. Replace any thoughts or feelings with peaceful images of nature, relaxing music, or other things that are inspiring and calming. Notice how the thoughts and feelings become less intense as you practice.
When you feel that you are ready, start to notice the breath as it moves in and out of your body. Allow the breathing process to become slow and controlled. If this has any effect on your breathing rate, then find a comfortable medium between shallow and deep breaths.
Step 5: Consider meditation postures
There are many different meditation postures for stress relief that you can use, all of which are valid and useful. For beginners, it is a good idea to start off with the lotus posture or the half-lotus posture. These both require a little preparation which makes them unsuitable for sitting on the bus to work, but if you get used to this form of meditation then it will be easier to move onto other styles.
If you suffer from chronic pain or a disability then there are other postures that are more suitable for you. We talk about these more in-depth in the sitting comfortably section.
Lying down posture
To set up this posture, lay face up with your legs outstretched and your arms to your sides. This can be done on a bed or on the floor depending on what works best for you. Just remember that if you do it on the bed then it’s advisable to have a couple of pillows handy so that you can prop yourself into a comfortable position. The primary purpose of this posture is to connect with the earth – using a mat under you will help with this.
To get into this pose you’ll need to stand with your feet together. From here, you’ll extend your arms upwards and bring them into prayer position as pictured below. The purpose of this posture is to connect with the heavens, which can be done even on a busy street. Your arms will be in an uncomfortable position so it’s advisable to take small breaks between breaths if needed. One way we find that people can get comfortable is by using their bag or bag strap as a cushion for their hands – this makes it easier to hold the pose for longer periods of time.
Step 6: Practice Letting Go
When you meditate for anxiety relief, you should let thoughts come and go as they wish.
The purpose of meditation is to let go of thoughts and feelings. You have probably noticed that this isn’t easy! When you practice meditation you will find that your mind will often keep returning to the same thoughts or emotions in a certain pattern so it’s a good habit to let go of these thoughts and feelings when they appear.
Letting go takes time, but once you have made the commitment to keep practicing, then you will notice that the process becomes easier over time. Instead of allowing all your worries and stresses to rule your life, use meditation for anxiety relief as a tool for improving your mental health.
Recognize any feelings that you are having at that moment such as sadness, worry, or anger. Just notice these feelings without reacting to them. When you’re ready, gently push them out of your mind and bring your focus back to your breath. This might seem hard at first but it gets easier with practice.
Step 7: Keep Practicing!
As you practice, you will notice that your meditation becomes easier and more productive. You’ll start to notice the benefits almost instantly – less stress, better sleep, and increased self-awareness are just a few.
Remember that meditation is a tool and it must be used regularly in order to get the most out of it. This means dedicating time every day to your practice.
Don’t let this put you off at all!
Our minds are constantly processing thoughts and feelings and it takes a lot of skill to switch off such an active mind, but committing to daily meditation techniques can help you to do just that!
Why Meditation is excellent at fighting anxiety
Meditation for stress relief is an ancient practice that has been shown to be an effective approach to emotional healing. It has been used by religious groups for centuries, and today it is practiced by Buddhists, Hindus, and many others as a way to balance the mind and spirit.
Various studies have been conducted about the effects of meditation on anxiety. The purpose of these studies was to see if there was a correlation between the reduction in anxiety and the amount of time spent meditating.
Some studies found that people who practiced other types of relaxation techniques such as hypnosis, hot baths, or yoga didn’t have as much success with reducing their symptoms as those who were practicing meditation.
One study that involved 254 participants found that people who meditated for 20 minutes or more per day had significantly less anxiety than those who only meditated for 3 minutes per day.
The Bottom Line
The idea that “meditation is good therapy” is largely based on the notion that meditation leads to a more aware and alert state, and this, in turn, can lead to a healthier psychological state, as well as improved physical health.
How long should you meditate for?
The answer to the question of how many minutes a day should you spend meditating will vary depending on your lifestyle, situation, and personality.
In general, a good number, to begin with, is 10 to 15 minutes. If this time seems too difficult for you at first, keep trying for 5 minutes each day in order to increase your chances of success. See this blog post for more info on how long you should meditate.
Reclaim Your Power
You can’t always control what happens to you or around you, but you do have the power to control your reaction and response to situations. And you now know you can meditate for anxiety relief, too!
Many things in life are out of your control, but if you focus on the things that you can control, such as thinking patterns and actions, then your mind will follow suit.
Making conscious decisions about how you react to a situation will directly affect your state of being. Again, this is one of the reasons meditation is so powerful for anxiety relief – it offers a chance to focus on the present moment and think about how we can react in a positive way.
The Importance of Attention and Establishing a Habit
What you choose to focus your attention on is what your life will be.
The choice is always yours, and it is up to you to decide how you spend your time. Setting aside a few minutes each day for meditation and breathing exercises can make a huge difference in relieving anxiety symptoms.
If you make this into a habit, then you are more likely to practice each day. You will also benefit from the power of repetition, which will help train the mind and body into a state of calmness.
If you want to manage anxiety, then it is important that you establish positive patterns in your life. Meditation for anxiety reduction can offer this pattern if you commit to everyday practice.
Meditate for Anxiety Reduction Wrap Up
Meditation is a simple tool that you can use to improve your mental wellness. It takes time to focus on your breath (and thoughts) but this technique will get easier with practice. With meditation, you’ll be able to take a pause from the stresses of everyday life and disconnect from whatever is burdening you.
The best thing about meditation is that it can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety – such as excessive worry or loss of self-esteem – by letting go of negative thoughts. Just remember not to give up and dedicate some time each day for meditation!
It’s all about commitment and perseverance. Meditating can make a real difference to your quality of life.
If you’re interested in meditation or even if you just want to learn more about meditation then I would love to hear from you – email me using the form below!
Thank you for reading 🙂
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