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Published on March 1, 2019

Meditation for Anxiety (The Ultimate Guide to Calm Your Mind)

Meditation for Anxiety (The Ultimate Guide to Calm Your Mind)

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Featured photo credit: Cristian Newman via unsplash.com

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Bogdan C.

I've been trying to combine the classical martial arts with internal development and the more esoteric aspects of generating internal energy.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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