We all have been anxious from time to time in life. However, if you are constantly dealing with fear, worry, or apprehension, then you probably are suffering from anxiety. This is the body’s natural response to stress and you need to find a way to ease the fear and nervousness.
Meditation, a mental exercise that involves focus, relaxation, and awareness, can however be one of the best remedies for anxiety. In this article, we review meditation for anxiety and how you can effectively use it.
How Meditation Works for Mental Health
Meditation works for mental health by improving focus and concentration. These elements intern result in a positive effect, especially when it comes to self-esteem and self-awareness. This practice is also known to help you foster kindness, lower the levels of stress, and anxiety while improving overall physical health.
According to researchers, those who usually practice meditation frequently have a high level of mental stamina. This means that they have a positive outlook of themselves and have a quicker recovery time when it comes to a negative emotional response.
Meditation For Relieving Anxiety
The cognitive state of anxiety usually occurs due to your inability to regulate your body’s emotional response to certain perceived threats. Meditation has significant health benefits and that’s why engaging in meditation for anxiety can help to reduce your constant fear and worry.
Meditation usually facilitates the development of a tranquil mind and a deep state of relation. It’s worth noting that during the process of meditation, you need to focus your attention on yourself. Your thoughts should be free from any form of jumbled thoughts that may be responsible for crowding your mind and leading to stress. The science behind this technique is to take some quiet time, breathe deeply to oxygenate the system in order to bring out a relaxation response.
According to the American Institute of Stress, you should do abdominal breathing 20-30 minutes daily for significant benefits. The institute indicates that deep breathing helps to increase oxygen supply to the brain, stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.
Consequentially, this promotes a state of calmness. Rather than getting worried and having to deal with the constant feeling of fear, meditation doesn’t allow you to feel overwhelmed.
Overall, mindfulness meditation for anxiety will strengthen your cognitive abilities that will come in handy to regulate your emotions.
Elements of Meditation For Anxiety
There are several elements that make meditation for anxiety and depression. It involves a combination of breathing and attention.
Some of the most common features of meditation elements are pointed:
- Relaxed breathing
- Focused attention
- A serene setting
This element usually involves deep and even-paced breathing. You need to use your diaphragm muscles in order to expand your lungs. Relaxed breathing is to ensure that you take as much oxygen as you can. besides that, you should reduce the use of your upper chest muscles, shoulder, and neck.
This is another critical element of meditation. Focusing your attention helps to free your mind from the many life distractions that can cause you to feel worried and stressed. The goal is to focus your attention on a mantra, image, or object.
A Serene Setting
You need to isolate yourself from any possible distractions. Find a quiet setting, especially if you are a beginner. But as you develop your meditation skills, you can meditate from anyway as long as you are comfortable.
Types of Meditation Great for Anxiety
Generally, meditation is an umbrella term that describes a relaxed mental state. While there are many types of meditation, there are those that are specifically great for anxiety since they promote calmness and they include:
- Mantra meditation: you need to calmly sit and silently repeat a calming phrase or word in order to prevent distracting thoughts.
- Mindfulness meditation: you need to be mindful and increasingly aware of the present moment. The goal is to widen your conscious awareness while you focus on your emotions and thoughts.
- Guided meditation: it’s also known as visualization or guided imagery. It engages your senses by including textures, sights, sounds, and smells. However, the best guided meditation for anxiety may require the assistance of a teacher or guide.
- Yoga: you need to perform several series of meditation postures while trying to incorporate controlled breathing exercises. Yoga is great for anxiety since it improves flexibility, concentration, and focus.
How to Meditate for Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
There are many benefits if you do meditation for anxiety but have to follow these steps:
- Find a comfortable place to sit, away from possible distractions
- Sit upright and ensure that your feet lie flat on the floor.
- If possible, close your eyes so that you don’t lose focus.
- Observe how you inhale and exhale without trying to change how you breathe. Simply pay attention to your breath.
- Find something to focus on and resist any urge to try and shift your focus to something else.
- Do not be afraid of feeling anxious since such thoughts might pass through your mind from time to time. make sure that you acknowledge them. However, work on your thoughts and emotions so that you can bring yourself to meditation. this is at the point where you are still aware of your focus and breathing.
- Remain in this state for 10-15 minutes while you continue to make non-judgmental observations.
- At the end of it all, open your eyes and assess how you feel. Just make a plain observation.
How Will You Deal With Your Anxiety?
It’s clear that not everyone can meditate or some people find it quite hard. You might think that sitting for a couple of minutes in silence while you focus on your breathing is quite hard. Besides that, you might find it difficult to make observations without judgment. Well, you are not alone.
What if I Can’t Meditate?
There are even those that find it difficult to meditate since they can stop their minds from making a series of negative thoughts. So, how can you effectively navigate through such obstacles in life?
- It requires practice: this is a deeply engaging practice that takes time to fully master. So, be patient with yourself.
- It takes time: your first couple of sessions will definitely be difficult. But with time, you will master the art of meditation and everything will eventually become easier.
- Create a meditation schedule: this will give you an opportunity to prepare beforehand. Make it look like an appointment and take everything related to it seriously. This way, you won’t feel like you are short of time or you are wasting time.
Why Meditation is Effective for Anxiety?
Meditation is considered to be at par or even more effective in treating anxiety than prescription medications. Several research studies indicate that more and more people are choosing it instead of clinical drugs.
Well, this could be due to:
- Natural effects: this practice is designed to work naturally with the body. You don’t need to consume anything but simply focus on your thoughts.
- Non-dependency: while you may incorporate it as a long-term wellness remedy, it’s a non-addictive procedure, like most clinical medications. It’s safe and effective even for long-term use
- Wide range of benefits: apart from meditation for anxiety and depression, this practice can help to manage sleeplessness, enhance stress management, increase patience, and tolerance among other things.
Other Benefits of Meditation
Apart from treating anxiety, meditation still has other health benefits. The process of focusing on your thoughts and calming your mind impacts all the major aspects of wellness. Some of its other benefits include:
- Promote good emotional health
- Improve attention span
- Treat addictions
- Promote good emotional health
Certain type of meditations increases self-awareness leading to a shift in self-image. As a result, you are more likely to have a positive life outlook.
A review of treatment done on more than 3,500 adults established that mindfulness meditation helped to significantly improve the symptoms of depression. Besides that, several other studies have established that it helps to reduce negative thoughts.
Improves Attention Span
One of the aims of meditation is to redirect thoughts to yourself. A focused-attention type of meditation would, therefore, help to increase your strength as well as endurance of attention. It helps in the development of positive brain patterns and eliminates mind-wandering and poor attention span.
Addiction is also a form of a mental problem since it usually affects a certain part of the brain. However, meditation helps you to develop a mental discipline that’s effective in helping you break away from negative dependencies.
The Bottom Line
Meditation is a mindfulness practice that can help to minimize the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks. It’s natural and exists in many forms. The fact that it helps you to focus on your thoughts, become more self-aware, and increases your concentration makes it ideal for overall wellness.
Whether you have moderate or severe anxiety issues, this is something that you should consider doing regularly. It will not only help to improve your mental and emotional health issues but your whole well-being.