If you are suffering from anxiety or dealing with extreme stress, then the ability to listen to your body matters a lot. Note that anxiety and stress often go hand in hand. If you have a problem with anxiety, then it is most likely your body’s way of telling you that you are under too much stress.
Fortunately, you can now deal with excessive stress and anxiety through some relaxation techniques – one of which is meditation. This technique is beneficial because of its ability to train your brain to become calmer. It also lessens stress and makes you accept yourself more.
Here are just some of the other benefits of meditation, especially the mindfulness meditation technique, that also contribute to beating stress and anxiety:
- Trains you to exist with your difficult feelings – The thing with negative thoughts and feelings is that they get stronger the more you suppress or ignore them. However, if you just let yourself feel those negative emotions and acknowledge those that make you anxious, like painful memories and worries, then it would be easier for them to dissipate and eventually disappear.
- Helps identify the cause of your anxiety – By meditating regularly, you can pinpoint the specific reasons why you are dealing with negative emotions and unwanted thoughts. You can, therefore, find the most suitable way to fix the problem entirely.
- Separates yourself from your worries – With meditation, you can create a bit of space between you and your worries, making it possible for you to observe them from a new and different perspective. This promotes clear thinking and helps you fight your stress and anxiety.
Aside from the mentioned benefits, meditation also makes focusing on the present easier. With that, you can dismiss all negative thoughts about your past and future that often contribute to stress and anxiety.
Beating Stress and Anxiety Through Meditation
To fight the negative effects of stress as well as high levels of anxiety, you should make it a point to meditate regularly. Here are some tips:
Do it in a quiet and comfortable space
What is so great about meditation is that you can do it anytime and anywhere. However, if you are still a beginner, then it would be a lot easier for you to maximize its benefits by doing it in a quiet and comfortable space that is free from any distractions.
Look for a place where you can stay alone even for just a few minutes. If possible, dedicate a spot in your home for your regular meditation practices. You may want to create a shrine or altar. You can also decorate it using items that can inspire you and represent who you are.
Replace anxious and stressful thoughts
Most meditation techniques involve replacing intruding or racing thoughts with more calming ones. If you are prone to stress and anxiety, then it is greatly possible that you have too many overwhelming thoughts that result in unnecessary worries. With that said, your goal should be to replace those unwanted and negative thoughts when practicing any style of meditation.
You can do that by figuring out the most helpful time for you to practice meditation. For instance, you can schedule your meditation whenever you start having anxious thoughts. You can also practice it at the exact time you feel like you will face a situation that might trigger your stress and anxiety. By doing that, you can use meditation to fight anxious thoughts, thereby making them less burdensome.
Focus all your attention on the present
This tip means that you should only observe your present situation. You have to train yourself to focus on the now and avoid unnecessary thoughts about the past and the future. You should also stop evaluating and judging yourself. Focus on being barely a container of your thoughts and feelings at the moment. Observe the contents of the container and acknowledge their presence.
You may struggle to prevent your thoughts from exploring at first but eventually, you can train your brain to just stick to the present moment. If you still have a hard time focusing on the present, then you may want to keep your eyes open and take deep breaths. Both those tips work in calming your mind and ensuring that it does not wander unnecessarily.
Focus on your breath
You can also maximize the positive effects of meditation in relieving stress and anxiety by mastering the art of focusing on your breath. To do that, remove all possible forms of distraction. Put down your phone, turn off your television, and remove anything that might distract you. Stay at the quietest and most comfortable part of your home.
Focus all your attention on your breathing. Be mindful of how the air goes into your nostril and down into the windpipe. Focus on how the air fills up your lungs, too, making your chest rise and fall. With every breath, your focus should increase and keep it that way for as long as you can.
Put your attention on the rest of your body
Now, you need to become aware of the sensations that your entire body is experiencing. Be aware of the sensations in the tips of your fingers and toes, then work up to the top of your head. Once you become completely mindful of your whole body, you can start acknowledging that you have negative thoughts then let them pass through your body. If you start noticing that you are beginning to overthink again, shake your head and go back to the beginning.
Also, keep in mind that meditation is not a panacea. It might not work quite as well for you as it did in other people. However, even if you can create just a bit of space between yourself and your negative thoughts through it, then you will find it extremely useful in calming down your anxiety and stress.
Another useful tip when it comes to meditating for stress and anxiety is to involve movements during each session. You can do so, especially if you find sitting for too long stressful. You can incorporate several movements, like the ones used in yoga, when meditating. Taking a walk while reflecting can also help. Note that such movements will not ruin the positive effects of meditation provided you remain focused.
With the many great benefits of meditation to both your physical and mental health, you can expect it to contribute to relieving even extreme cases of stress and anxiety. By practicing it regularly and correctly, you can distance yourself from unwanted and negative thoughts, calm your brain, and adopt a kind of mindset, which is free of any judgment. All these benefits can drastically lessen your panic attacks, stress level, and anxiety.