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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

How Do You Meditate? 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

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How Do You Meditate? 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

Do you meditate?

Negativity surrounds you in the form of people and situations. You react to every element and lose your conscious response. That repulsive reaction makes you a negative over-thinker!

Ever heard of tool to cut the chord of negativity and lead a blissful life?

It’s meditation.

The state of meditation is a fuel of your inner world for a pleasant sail in your outer world.

There are many reasons to meditate. Want to know the foremost?

A meditated mind enables you to create your karma consciously. When you do that, the sources say you achieve the ultimate purpose of life- To feel happy![1]

So yes, feeling happiness is the biggest reason to meditate!

To unlock the magical experience of meditation, you neither follow a thumb rule nor turn into an ascetic. Meditation is any means of creating a majestic experience.

So how do you meditate?

No one can tell you which meditation technique gives you the best experience. You need to find your own course. But don’t overburden your mind with tonnes of techniques.

Just start… How? When? For how much time? Leave them all.

Start with a mindset you’ll spend a little alone time to enjoy solitude. Until you find your best meditation technique, let me explain:

1. Mindfulness Meditation

This form of meditation creates wonders in mind. It is the tool to maximize the concentration; the secret to extracting mind’s fullest potential.

How to Do It

Mindfulness meditation practice couldn’t be simpler:

Take a good seat, pay attention to the breath, and when your attention wanders, return.[2]

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Don’t be hard on yourself. More it is effortless, more blissful is your experience.

Not as easy as chewing a piece of gum!

Playing hide and seek, thoughts are turbulence reaching that mind-sate. But that is what the challenge is all about — to reduce the frequency and polish the quality of thoughts.

Don’t expect dramatic magic the first few days. Please be patient and don’t stop; this is where you’ll get the result.

You are always close reaching there. Do it every day to feel it one day. Once you taste the experience, trust me it’ll become as customary as eating food.

Come on! 15 minutes is what it asks.

2. Open Monitoring Meditation

This meditation technique is about perceiving everything the way it is, not as per your judgmental convenience. It is one of the best technique to learn the art of loving with detachment.

How to Do It

In “open monitoring meditation,” one begins to practice “awareness of thinking.” All we must do to practice this form of meditation is to be aware of our thoughts and feelings and observe them without attachment.[3]

Whether it’s a feeling from your inner world or a sound from the outer world, allow everything to free-flow without focusing on a particular thing.

Attachment is the root cause of suffering — Gautama Buddha

When you learn the art of detachment, you don’t stick to failures and loses. You move on.

My observation says… “Open monitoring meditation” is the perfect answer to “How to create awareness in the present moment?”.

3. Follow Compassion

It is one of the best meditation techniques to feel content and blissful.

If empathy is to feel the pain of others by stepping into their shoes, compassion is to walk wearing those shoes. It is the conversion of feelings into action, doing something to relieve the pain of others.[4]

‘Help’ is just a four-letter word, but its impact is beyond words. Not only it makes the recipient blissful but also the one offering help.

How to Do It

You don’t have to do anything extra for a start. Many help-seekers are around you.

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Your emotional friend needs your moral advice and a beggar lying on street needs your financial help.

If you have a solution to any of their problems, please don’t walk away leaving them suffering.

Help them without expectations. Not only for them, do it for yourself.

Your karma produces an unmatched feeling of contentment. It’ll enable you to have a positive approach towards life.

4. Change Your Lifestyle

Ever heard about this technique?

A different experience altogether as it involves both mind and body. Not only it is the key to live happier but longer and stronger.

How to Do It

The best thing about this meditation technique is there isn’t a particular time or place to do it. You can do it anytime, anyplace.

It starts with one small sacrifice — seeking self-control.

It could be anything from your routine or diet, forgoing an hour’s sleep to welcome the sunshine or resisting sugar in your delicious coffee.

A little voluntary sacrifice has a rejuvenating effect on the mind and body. It boosts inner-self attributes and fuels your motivation levels to choose the right path.

These simple lifestyle changes, for example, may seem small, but they can lead to big improvements to your health. Try them now to start thriving 24-7.[5]

Make sure you make realistic and small targets because the purpose is to achieve them. The effect of accomplishment is a joyous experience.

5. Do Whatever You Feel

It is one of the most beautiful techniques for developing self-love and shooting self-esteem. Unless you are not harming anyone, doing whatever you love is a soulful experience.

How to Do It

We are different, incomparable individuals. I feel there is one uniqueness in every soul which distinguishes him/her from others. You need to explore your passion to pursue it.

I love to write, and this is what I am doing — writing my soul out. It makes me complete as an individual.

Ask yourself that one thing which makes you smile, which no one does better. When you get an answer, make it worthy to define you.

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If you don’t feel fortunate enough to do whatever you feel, the next technique is for you.

6. Feel Whatever You Do

It is the best technique to make you an endeavor. Come what may, you’ll always be a winner in life.

How to Do It

The initiation requires an explanation:

Not everyone is fortunate to do whatever they feel. Sometimes, you need to submit to life’s unpredictable nature. And if it’s a bread-butter fight, the passion for anything not yielding money initially, becomes secondary.

This technique is about accepting life the way it is. You need to see the positive side, always.

Instead of counting your weaknesses and shortfalls, you need to count on your strengths and blessings. Gradually, you develop a feeling of appreciation towards life.

This appreciation itself is a technique helps you develop an optimistic approach full of opportunities and possibilities. You develop a nothing-to-lose attitude which makes you fearless of the outer world.

Who knows, when you practice this technique, you reach a state where you start doing whatever you feel.

7. Walking Meditation

This meditation technique is an answer to your impatience in meditation while sitting. It is a gateway to many powerful meditation techniques.

In order to have peace and joy, you must succeed in having peace within each of your steps. Your steps are the most important thing. — Thich Nhat Hanh

I discovered it accidentally. With no mechanical mode available to commute, I walked 5 kilometers to attend an important meeting. With no extra effort, I was just aware of my steps.

Yes, that was a lively experience.

How to Do It

Start with a small walk — morning, evening, dinner, anytime. Feel your moving steps to create awareness about the same. Even if your mind diverts; bring it back to your steps.

You’ll become calmer and cheerful.

Mindfulness practice of all kinds, especially walking meditation, is highly nourishing and allows you to find a moment of peace and a sense of being grounded or “balanced” each day that’s invaluable for our well-being.[6]

Walking is one of the physical activities which doesn’t tire but energizes your body. But it is you who has to make it a pleasant experience for your mind too.

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8. Connect with Nature

This form of meditation is a source of immense positive energy. It is one of your rare interactions with the outer world without altercations.

How to Do It

Nothing special, just interact with nature. Find a place in the green where the outer environment is serene and peaceful, not a place full of air pollution or people population.

Listen to nature’s offer — the sound of a flowing river, chattering birds or the flowing wind.

Mesmerized by nature’s beauty, you’ll comprehend its essence.

But there is a problem with your mind-state. Completely driven by the social environment, you have lost awareness over the natural environment.

Nature is waiting to tell you a beautiful story. Please be patient to listen to it. It’ll give you another dimension to experiencing life.

The Bottom Line

Easy to follow, and immensely effective, all the meditation techniques mentioned above are for complete beginners. These are simple meditation techniques which only seek your initial patience. Try every technique to find out the one giving you the most worldly experience.

Most things from the outer world induce stress and raise anxiety levels. It is you who has to find the peace inside. The best thing about meditation is it changes the way you respond to everything. You blossom as an individual.

Start your day with an effortless smile. No matter how busy you are, take out time to meditate. Not only you know yourself bigger but you adapt to situations better.

I find the morning time the best time to meditate. If you are an early riser, this guided morning meditation for beginners is the answer you are seeking:

The Guided Morning Meditation for Beginners (That Will Change Your Day)

Even if brunch is your first meal of the morning, you can try this:

How Guided Meditation for Sleep Improves Your Mindset While Awake

Happy exploring your best way to enjoy solitude… Good luck!

Featured photo credit: Raychan via unsplash.com

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Amanpreet Singh

Amanpreet Singh is a soulful blogger by passion and a mindful businessman by profession.

How to Quit Your Unfulfilling Job and Lead Your Dream Career How Do You Meditate? 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better? 10 Things to Do When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

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Published on October 15, 2021

Does Anxiety Make You Tired And Why?

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Does Anxiety Make You Tired And Why?

When you think of anxiety, several scenarios may come to mind: the endless tossing and turning of a restless night, dread over potential future events, pandemic-related overwhelm, or full-blown panic attacks. Even if you’re not diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you’ve likely experienced anxiety symptoms at some point in your life. In these situations, you might feel a queasiness in your stomach, racing heartbeat, excessive sweating, chest tightness, some tension in your jaw/neck/shoulders, or worrisome thoughts as you prepare for the worst possible scenario. But does anxiety also make you tired?

After experiencing these symptoms, you may indeed feel fatigued. The sensation could fall anywhere on the exhaustion spectrum, from feeling like you just ran a marathon and need to sleep for two days, to just a little worn down and wanting a quick nap to recover.

Below are 7 ways anxiety zaps your energy and how to restore it.

1. Stress Hormone Overload

Anxiety can make you tired via overloading your body with stress hormones. The “fight or flight” response is a key connection between anxiety and fatigue. In fact, this process is made up of three stages: Alarm, Resistance, and Exhaustion. Anxiety triggers our body systems to go into high alert. This is a natural, involuntary reaction that developed in the human brain for survival.

When humans lived with the real, imminent threat of being attacked by a predator, it made sense for our bodies to spring into action without much preparatory thought. Such dangers are rare in modern times, but our brains continue to respond in the same way they did thousands of years ago.

The hormones and chemicals that flood our bodies to prepare us for safety can both affect and be affected by several body systems, and this interaction itself contributes to exhaustion. Adrenaline and cortisol are the two most notable hormones to address here. First, adrenaline is sent out, tensing the muscles and increasing heart rate and blood pressure in preparation to run. Later in the stress response, cortisol is released, enhancing the brain’s use of glucose. This is one of our main fuel sources, so it’s no wonder this contributes to fatigue (see #2).

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You can regulate baseline levels of these stress hormones by regularly practicing yoga, breathwork, meditation, and/or engaging in aerobic exercise.[1] It’s easier to lean into these routines for relief during stress when you’ve already mastered using them during times when you feel calm.

2. Elevated Blood Sugar Levels

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which is shown to be associated with anxiety in diabetic patients.[2] Many people who experience hyperglycemia report feeling tired all the time regardless of their quantity or quality of sleep, nutrition, or exercise.

Although this connection has shown more prevalent and prolonged effects in diabetics, it also occurs with nondiabetics exposed to psychiatric stress.[3] In fact, for all people, the natural stress response elevates blood pressure and heart rate as well as cortisol levels, all of which increase blood sugar levels.[4] This means that anxiety causes a double-hit of exhaustion related to blood sugar fluctuations.

Instead of reaching for comfort foods like chocolate during times of stress, take a calming walk around the block. Gentle movement alone is a great stress reliever that incidentally also helps to regulate blood sugars.[5]

3. Negative Mindset

Anxiety can also make you tired because of repetitive negative thinking (RNT), which is a common symptom of anxiety. RNT involves continuous thoughts via rumination (dwelling on sad or dark thoughts focused on the past) and worry (angst regarding the future). Some researchers argue that having a longtime habit of RNT can harm the brain’s capacity to think, reason, and form memories.[6] While the brain is busy using its energy stores to fuel negative thought patterns, the energy available for these other more productive endeavors is thereby reduced.

Negative thoughts can also disrupt or prevent healthy sleep patterns, keeping our minds racing at night and effectively wreaking havoc on daytime energy. (See #7)

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Reduce these patterns by reframing your feelings over anxious thoughts. Instead of staying stuck on “what if,” focus on what you can do in the here and now. What activity can you engage in for five minutes (or more) that brings you joy? What are you grateful for, no matter what’s going on around you?

4. Digestive Issues

It’s common for people to experience both intestinal and mental issues simultaneously. This suggests a strong connection between the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which is known as the gut-brain axis.[7] Simply put, what happens in our digestive tract (and as a result of what we eat) affects the brain and vice versa.

The gut microbiota is a complex population of GI tract microorganisms. When its balance is altered, the body can develop conditions that affect the gut-brain-endocrine relationship. The endocrine system produces and manages adrenaline, for starters. And the gut bacteria’s production of feel-good hormones (serotonin and dopamine—see #5) ties into this relationship as well.

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors are also found in gut bacteria. GABA is a natural brain relaxant that makes us feel good by helping the body to unwind after a stress-induced neurotransmitter release (e.g., cortisol and adrenaline). When GABA activity is low, it leads to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and mood disorders. These are just a few of the manifestations that demonstrate how gut bacteria influences behavior. All of these contribute to feeling both physically and mentally tired.

You can minimize the symptoms of depression and anxiety by keeping your gut microbiota balanced with probiotic-rich fermented foods. Yogurt with live cultures, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, kimchi, miso soup, and tempeh are great foods to include in your diet.[8]

5. Depression

Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Research continues to indicate a complex relationship between depression and decreased serotonin—a key neurotransmitter for regulating mood and feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Anxiety is also a direct symptom of serotonin deficiency. Serotonin helps with healthy sleep, mood, and digestion.

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Serotonin is produced in the gut, almost exclusively, at an estimated 90 percent. However, a small quantity is also produced in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that is pivotal for transmitting energy balance signals. This small cone-shaped structure receives and relays signals transmitted via the vagus nerve from the gastrointestinal tract. It has a central role in mediating stress responses, regulating sleep, and establishing circadian rhythms. It senses and responds to a myriad of circulating hormones and nutrients, directly affecting our mood and energy.[9]

Dopamine is another mood-boosting neurochemical that is depleted in depression. It creates feelings of alertness and wakefulness and, when the body is operating normally, is released in higher amounts in the morning (allowing for daytime energy) and lower at night (preparing for healthy sleep). Stress is one factor that can deplete dopamine, thereby leading to depression, sleep disorders, and fatigue.

Studies show that dopamine levels in the brain can be elevated by increasing dietary intake of tyrosine and phenylalanine.[10] Both of these amino acids are naturally found in protein-rich foods like turkey, beef, eggs, dairy, soy, peas, lentils, and beans.

6. Breathing Problems

Breathlessness and anxiety are closely linked, and this is one of the ways anxiety can make you feel tired. Anxiety can lead to shallow breathing, which can cause shortness of breath while feeling breathless can exacerbate anxiety.[11] It’s a vicious cycle that often leads people to take rapid and shallow breaths, breathing into their upper chest and shoulders.

This type of breathing minimizes oxygen intake and usability. Despite comprising only two percent of the body, our brains consume 20 percent of the body’s oxygen supply. Oxygen is fuel for both mental and physical tasks. When breathing patterns compromise healthy oxygen levels, this can cause considerable fatigue.[12]

End the anxiety-fatigue cycle with focused breathing exercises. It’s important to practice this regularly while you’re not experiencing anxiety or stress, as this will help you to be prepared should a moment of breathless anxiety hit unexpectedly.

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There are several different styles of breathing exercises. There’s an easy one to try, called “Resonant Breathing.” Simply breathe in slowly through your nose as you count to five, then exhale for a count of five. Repeat this for a few minutes. It’s helpful to bring your awareness to any tension, deliberately relaxing your neck, shoulders, and jaw in particular.

7. Sleep Issues

Most of the elements we’ve already discussed inherently tie into sleep issues, which is often the reason why anxiety can make you feel tired. But it’s important to note that this is not always a directly linear cause-and-effect process. Much of it is cyclic. If we don’t get enough quality sleep, we increase our risk of excessive cortisol production, elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels, depressed mood and mindset disorders, and dysregulation of appetite/craving hormones that affect our digestive health.

Sleep is obviously the number one antidote to feeling tired as a result of anxiety. But at the same time, many of these elements—including anxiety itself—lead to less-than-restorative sleep. We can improve our energy levels by addressing each element discussed here, as well as taking a proactive approach to our sleep health.

One simple habit to help recalibrate your circadian rhythm for healthy sleep patterns is to get outside in the morning. Sunlight exposure in the early hours of the day regulates melatonin production, helping us to feel sleepy at night.

You Don’t Have to Live Your Life Anxious and Exhausted

Times of extreme stress, like driving in heavy traffic or nerve-wracking situations like public speaking, can easily induce an anxiety response. Even “normal” everyday stressors, like feeling overwhelmed with work and home responsibilities, can build up to anxious feelings over time.

Our bodies’ response to stress and anxiety affects many of its functions in complex ways. When we unravel the interconnections of these processes, we can see how each part plays an intrinsic role in contributing to fatigue. By addressing each element individually, we can make simple lifestyle changes that resolve anxiety and diminish the ways it makes us tired as a result.

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More Tips on Coping With Anxiety

Featured photo credit: Joice Kelly via unsplash.com

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