How Meditation Helps to Ease Anxiety
Meditation is a great way to ease anxiety and bring inner peace. Spending a few moments your day focusing on your breathing can help restore your calm and mental peace.
Meditation is a simple yet powerful tool to awaken positive feelings within yourself and eliminate negative energy. It doesn’t cost you a penny nor any special equipment.
You can practice meditation wherever you like – whether out on a stroll, waiting for your flight, riding the bus, or in the middle of an important exam.
Earlier, meditation was practiced to awaken mystical forces within oneself. However, as time progressed, the use of meditation became more widespread, and now meditation is used as a tool for relaxation and reducing stress.
Meditation takes you to a state of deep focus and relaxation and eliminates jumbled thoughts. In the state of meditation, you focus your attention and remove the irrelevant thoughts occupying your mind. It takes a few minutes of your day, but it yields benefits that linger on for a long time.
Popular Forms of Meditation
Some popular forms of meditation include mindfulness, spiritual, and focused meditation.
Mindful meditation has its origins in Buddhism. Buddhist monks practice mindful meditation to achieve a state of ultimate focus, eliminate suffering, and instill wisdom within themselves.
Mindful meditation involves focusing your attention on your thoughts as they run through your mind. You don’t judge or actively think about any of these thoughts. You observe the patterns and let the thoughts exit your mind the way they naturally do.
Mindfulness meditation is closely linked with awareness. You become aware of your surroundings and find it easy to focus on any activity or an object.
Spiritual meditation is mainly practiced in several religions to find the purpose of one’s existence and build a connection with the higher power.
Most people practice this kind of meditation in their homes, while some prefer to do it at a place of worship.
Spiritual meditation is for those searching for the meaning of life and wanting to build a strong connection with their Lord.
Focused meditation involves holding a single intention in your mind for a set period. For instance, you may focus on your breath or pay attention to an object like gazing at a moon.
Focused meditation may sound simple, but focusing your attention on a single activity is quite challenging, especially in this digital era.
When your mind wanders, try to bring it back to whatever you were trying to focus on.
How Meditation Eases Anxiety?
Meditation is a great way to relax your mind and ease anxiety. A study published in Behavioral Brain Research in 2018 discovered that meditating for at least 13 minutes for eight weeks improved mood and decreased anxiety.
Meditation Gives Inner Peace
Meditation takes you away from the troublesome world and transports you to a pleasant state of mind. When you focus on your breathing or thoughts, you tend to forget the problems that trigger anxious thoughts.
We often succumb to temptations and do things that destroy our inner peace. When you practice meditation, you learn self-control. When you have control over yourself, you don’t commit actions you may regret later. Thus, meditation is a tool through which you achieve inner peace.
Meditation Makes you Self-Aware
One of the many ways meditation eases feelings of anxiety is by making you aware of yourself.
Meditation is a way to connect with your soul. When we practice meditation, we begin to see ourselves with a judgment-free lens. By shutting down the worldly noises around you, you become more aware of your body, potential, limitations, needs, and desires.
Meditation Gives You Clarity of Mind
Meditation eases anxiety by giving you clarity of mind. It’s one of the most effective ways to improve mental health and reduce stress.
For example, when you practice mindful meditation, you focus your attention on a single activity or an object. This practice eliminates worrisome thoughts leaving you with a clearer perspective on life. You can see your goals more clearly and chalk out effective strategies to achieve those goals.
Meditation Keeps Anxious Thoughts at Bay
Practicing meditation makes you more aware of your thoughts and helps you control them. Gaining control over your thoughts is one of the greatest challenges. Someone who has gained control over their thoughts is likely to achieve greater success in their life.Meditation empowers you to train your thoughts and lets you control what can affect your mind. When you are aware, you know when to step back from negative and destructive thoughts. Thus, meditation reduces anxiety by keeping stressful thoughts at bay.
Meditation Makes You More Productive
Most of us are guilty of procrastination. We delay important tasks and spiral into feelings of guilt later. That makes you more anxious and less productive.
Meditation helps reduce feelings of anxiety by making you more productive. You become more focused on your goals and less stressed when you practice meditation. You pay greater attention and work towards achieving your goals.
Chris Bailey, the author of one of the best-selling books, Hyperfocus, describes how he achieves high productivity levels through meditation.
He spends his Saturday afternoons in a local Buddhist monastery to practice meditation. He spends an hour or so practicing mindful meditation to achieve greater focus and enhanced productivity. By following this ritual regularly, he is able to write several thousand words per day, hold meetings and spend quality time with his family. Moreover, he is able to manage his attention by focusing more on the important tasks.
Meditation Improves Self-Esteem
Practicing meditation improves self-esteem, which in turn helps ease anxiety. In this world of social media comparisons, we tend to devalue ourselves. That generates feelings of low self-esteem and anxiety.
Meditation teaches us to become less judgmental of ourselves. When we meditate, we notice the negative feelings crossing our minds but do not actively think about those negative thoughts. Over time, we start to value ourselves and become content with who we are. Meditation makes you whole and eliminates feelings of anxiety.
Meditation Generates Kindness
Meditation is a way to connect with your inner self. Connecting with your soul makes you more compassionate towards yourself and others.
By practicing meditation, you generate feelings of kindness and empathy. You become less judgmental and put yourself in others’ shoes before forming an opinion.
Over time, you even extend these kind feelings towards your enemies. You are in that state of peace and tranquility where you no longer get affected by the actions of others, nor do you wish to take revenge on them.
How to Meditate for Anxiety?
If you are living with anxiety, practicing meditation can help eliminate anxious thoughts and reduce tension in your body.
Here’s how you can meditate for anxiety:
• Sit upright in the chair and place your feet on the ground.
• Start focusing on your breathing. You may not want to change your breathing pattern. Simply observe how you breathe in and out.
• You might feel an urge to divert your focus elsewhere. Resist the temptation and keep your focus on your breathing.
• Negative thoughts will run through your mind begging for your attention. Notice and acknowledge them before letting them exit your mind.
• Bring your focus back to your breathing.
• Keep focusing on the inhale and exhale process for about 5-10 minutes
• Open your eyes and observe your feelings. You are not required to evaluate yourself. Just notice how you feel.
Remember that you don’t have to spend much time sitting upright and observing your breathing. Meditation is a 10-minutes practice that has the power to train your mind and diminish stressful thoughts. When you are getting started, set aside a few minutes of your day to practice meditation.
In the long run, you will discover feelings of calmness and peace. You will notice yourself observing more and reacting less during stressful situations.
What if I Can’t Meditate?
Meditation helps to ease anxiety. However, most of us fail to practice meditation. There are several reasons behind that. As our attention spans gradually decrease, we find it hard to pay attention for longer periods. Also, we get impatient and want results too soon.
Here are some tips to overcome this problem:
• Acknowledge that meditation takes time. Meditation is a process. And just like every process, it needs time to yield beneficial results. Thus, we suggest you stay patient and keep practicing.
• Treat meditation as your job. When you struggle to meditate, take it as your assignment or job. That will make you practice meditation no matter how unwilling you feel.
Meditation prevents you from anxious and stressful thoughts. When you get too caught up in the world, take a few minutes and meditate. Meditation allows you to let go of negative thoughts and open doors for positivity. It gives you clarity of mind and a clear purpose in life. Meditation is a simple tool to achieve greater things in life.