Our everyday life can sometimes become overwhelming and even stressful. Some would say that this is an understatement given their current situation. Well, it does not have to be this way.
People will often just accept various circumstances because they believe them to be normal and a natural part of everyday life. There is some truth to that, at least to a certain extent.
However, these events must not be permitted to have the power to always dictate our internal nature. They are often caused by external manifestations and to us, they must remain external.
Through meditation, your mind will be able to overcome external influences and attain serenity, at least to a certain level.
In order to get the full benefits of meditation, one would have to be a dedicated practitioner for many years. Still, even as a beginner a positive internal change after each meditation will be noticeable. There is no doubt about that.
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What Is Meditation for Anxiety and How Does It Work?
Meditation is a state of balance, of equilibrium, caused by slowing down the breath and by focusing your attention to internal activities. If you study this topic in depth, you will find that various cultures around the world have used and still use meditation.
There are all kinds of techniques of meditation and depending on their complexity, some of them require a certain familiarity with that particular tradition in order to be properly understood and practiced correctly. In this case though, you do not need to study anything else other than the instructions provided in this article.
If you do find that meditation is something exciting and you want to take it to the next level, then you can search for books specifically about meditation.
One of the most important aspects when it comes to succeeding with meditation and getting the most benefits out of it, is to do it on a daily basis. Even if it’s only for 10 or 15 minutes each day, either in the morning or at night, it’s quite important to make it a daily habit.
Once it becomes an integral part of your daily routine, then you will really see how much of a difference it can make in your life. In the book “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg expresses just how important our habits are when it comes to reaching success in whatever we desire to accomplish.
But any habit is built slowly over time. Begin with just 5 minutes a day and after a week or so move to 10 minutes a day for a few weeks and then finally attain your goal of 15 minutes each day. At some point, you might even decide to go beyond 15 minutes a day and that is fine.
If you skip a day without meditating, don’t be too hard on yourself. Always maintain a positive attitude that you can do it, that you deserve the best and that ultimately you will reach your goals.
Why Use Meditation to Calm Anxiety
The most important advantage of meditation is that it’s free. There’s nothing that you need to buy in order to meditate. You already have everything you need for a successful meditation session. It also does not require a great deal of skill.
After a few attempts, you will get the idea as long as you are prepared to invest the time and follow the instructions.
Another advantage is that meditation can be performed at home and at any time. You do not have to make any appointments at a certain time and you do not have to travel anywhere.
Meditation has been used by various cultures in the past to generate a lot more than positive result in dealing with anxiety. This is a proven method by which you can literally turn your life around, but do not expect someone to sell you on this idea.
The real truth is that you will have to work for it if you want to take it that far. Nothing great ever comes easy.
Prepare yourself for an in depth study of various traditions and their methods before anything of real impact will be found. One of these powerful methods will be shared here, but make no mistake about it. This is just the tip of the iceberg!
A Short Disclaimer
Before getting to the actual techniques, keep in mind that nobody can guarantee that these meditation methods or others will work in your given situation. The best course of action is still to consult a professional.
Any advice given here is not meant to replace professional guidance. This is not to say that meditation does not work, but depending on your particular situation, you might require more.
Always be reasonable with your expectations especially when it comes to unconventional methods.
The Deeper Side of Meditation
Meditation can also be applied as an internal method of investigation. There is always a cause for anxiety. It does not just happen randomly.
And if you truly want to conquer your fears and live a happy life, then you must be in control of your internal states. Find the source of the problem and reduce its meaning.
At the end of the day, there is no simple solution, no instant transformation. You have to face your fears. That is how you will become stronger in your life, even if you fail and you are in pain.
Depending on the situation, it might require a lot more and an internal investigation and some other meditations on the side. Working with a professional is something that must be taken under consideration. You have to be realistic when you analyze your position.
Still, if you are confident that in your particular case is not that serious, then meditation sessions can be introduced. Once you begin, pay attention to the changes that meditation brings into your life. Writing down what you observe.
All in all, keep in mind that awareness is everything. The lack of awareness is the cause and root of all our problems. Bring awareness into everything that you do and you will notice a huge difference in terms of quality. This by itself is one of the biggest secrets of proper meditation.
In time, you will become more mindful of everything that is happening into your life. This is very important because we usually make mistakes when we are distracted instead of being focused.
Therefore, true meditation is not just about feeling relaxed to be able to let go of everything and experience internal peace, but it also increases our awareness and focus once we come back to our everyday life.
Depending on the techniques used, meditation can have many more benefits, but those will be left up to you to explore, if you ever decide to take things to the next level.
Things to Consider Before the Meditation
1. Find a quiet place to meditate.
It goes without saying that meditation requires a certain element of relaxation which cannot be achieved in a noisy environment. You can also use ear plugs to cancel most of the noise if a quiet place cannot be found.
You can as well meditate outside in nature, but it is probably for the best to do it inside the comfort of your own home.
Also, make sure to turn off the TV, the computer, the phone, etc. It’s very important that you are not disturbed by a sudden noise while being deeply focused in meditation.
2. The posture for meditation can make the difference between having a good session and a disappointing one.
Here you have various options, from sitting a in chair with your back straight, to sitting in a yogic asana or even laying down on your back, but keep in mind not to fall asleep.
If you do fall asleep, it might be difficult to meditate in that posture again, because the tendency to fall asleep will show up easier the next time you meditate in the same manner.
Whatever your choice for posture, make sure that you can relax in it.
3. Wear something relaxing which does not tense the body.
Make sure that the clothing does not make you feel too warm or too cold during the meditation session. Such changes in temperature will most likely distract you from the internal state of relaxation.
Sometimes the clothing can make a big difference. Now, do not overthink this, just keep in mind the basics.
4. When it comes to food and water, always meditate a few hours after a meal and keep a glass of water nearby.
It is very important that you maintain your body hydrated while in meditation. Being thirsty during the session will cause discomfort and possibly become a source of distraction.
The key aspect is to have all our basic needs met before we begin the meditation. The internal state does not have to be ideal, but you do have to remove as many distractions as possible.
How to Start Using Meditation to Calm Anxiety
Take the posture that you are most comfortable in and begin by slowly breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Keep on doing that for a while until you feel quite relaxed.
Being relaxed in a meditation is a very important aspect if you want to succeed in attaining deeper states of consciousness. In this particular case, we want to go as deep as possible into the void, the mental void where nothing exists, not even thoughts.
There are no worries there, no deadlines, no feelings, no time, no space and no experiences except a continual state of being. You just are. You exist.
After that, continue to pay attention to your breath, but breathe only through the nose now. The true mental freedom and the real appreciation of meditation will come when you will realize that empty gap between breaths and especially between your thoughts. That is the true internal peace, that pure emptiness.
When you’re able to maintain that state, your body will be filled with energy and the meditation will become almost effortless. You should aim to reach this internal state very time you meditate.
It is essential not to become frustrated or upset because you are unable to let go at first and thoughts keep coming up. The proper conduct is to acknowledge the situation and continue forward with the meditation. Little by little, you will be making progress as long as you keep going and maintain a calm attitude.
Repeating this technique enough times will reduce the mental chat. Trust me on that. You just have to practice this method again and again over a period of a few days or weeks, and you will improve.
For me, it took months of daily practice in order to see and feel the real benefits of this practice. So do not become easily discouraged by what seems to be a lack of success.
With every new session, you will be making serious progress, even though you do not realize it.
There is a general rule in business known as the 90-day rule. Whatever you do today, you will see the benefits in 90 days from now. Invest at least that much into this meditation before deciding that it does not work.
Summing It Up
So does this mean that if you meditate daily, your anxiety will be gone? Probably not, but there is a chance that your condition will improve significantly.
However, it will certainly not happen as fast as you would like. If it is not gone or at the very least decreased in intensity after months of meditation, why is that? Well, you have to ask yourself what the root of this problem really is, because one single meditation technique cannot deal with every possible scenario.
The last aspect that needs to be mentioned is that certain individuals seem to enjoy their anxiety and depression. Alright maybe enjoy is too much, but they certainly seem to like their powerless state. After recognizing their current conditions and limitations, they prefer to take a passive state and simply accept their circumstances. This is the wrong attitude to have!
If you really want to make progress, then be prepared to learn and to apply what you have learned.
In truth, you do have the power to overcome any adversity.
I wish you all the best in your meditations!
More Resources About Meditation & Mindfulness
- Meditation Can Change Your Life: The Power of Mindfulness
- Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly
- The Guided Morning Meditation for Beginners (That Will Change Your Day)
- How Mindfulness Can Improve Our Focus and Productivity
Featured photo credit: Cristian Newman via unsplash.com