In today’s rapidly changing world, our everyday lives are very fast-paced and stressful. Don’t you agree?
Be it running errands, doing house chores, balancing personal lives with professional lives, giving time to family, friends, studies, or navigating the ever-changing political or social climate; stress is always lurking around the corner.
Anxiety is your body’s way of expressing that it has had enough! Sometimes, you can even feel a bad sensation in the pit of your stomach or chest telling you that you need to relax.
So, what should you do to beat your anxiety? Let’s find that out in this blog!
Mindfulness for anxiety
Mindfulness is the ability to focus on the present moment to take control of your emotions fully. It is an awareness of how you are feeling and what is going on in your surroundings. Moreover, it is choosing a response you want to a specific situation.
For example, if you are getting late for an important work meeting, you might start feeling anxious. The frustration will make you even more stressed about the meeting.
Now, mindfulness would mean that you control your stress and change your response to the inevitable situation. Rather than panicking, control your breathing, and relax.
Anxiety does not only occur during high-pressure situations like these. Just sitting in bed overthinking about something can trigger anxiety as well.
To take control, you need meditation for anxiety and stress.
Meditation for stress and anxiety
Anxiety cannot only make you mentally stressed but can affect you physically as well. You might feel out of breath, unable to understand what’s happening, and even scared or detached from your surroundings.
When this happens, meditation can help you feel in control!
Meditation is to focus on something – a feeling, thought, or object – to obtain a mentally calm and healthy state.
The following three different meditation techniques will help you with anxiety.
Top 3 Meditation Techniques If You Are Anxious
1. Breathing Meditation
While it may sound simple, taking control of your breathing when you are anxious can be very hard. Therefore, you need to perform meditation to focus your breathing and use that to calm your emotions.
Bob Stahl has a 20-minute meditation for anxious emotions. You can follow these steps:
- Acknowledge your feelings – begin by accepting that you are feeling anxious. Try to think of what exactly the feeling is. Is it sadness, pain, stress, panic, or fear?
- Forget anything you have done or are supposed to do. Clear your mind of any schedules or events. Even if it is a 10-20 minute meditation for anxiety, these 10-20 minutes are all yours to relax and do nothing else.
- Gently focus on your breathing. How do you feel most comfortable breathing – through the nose or mouth, inflating your chest or belly? Pick that.
- Focus only on your breaths as you slowly breathe in and out, in complete control.
- This practice may amplify your anxious emotions – the key is to accept them and fully understand that you are feeling them. However, know that you do not want them to take control over you.
- Think of a particular event that made you anxious. As you focus on it, you will come to a better understanding of why it drove your anxiety. And that will set you free—the very knowledge.
- Then come back to focus on your breathing and just the very act of breathing.
- Be compassionate and congratulate yourself for doing this. Understand that while the onset of anxiety is out of your control, you can handle it and get rid of it.
Breathing meditation can be done anywhere and is a very effective way of dealing with anxiety and stress.
2. Space between you and your anxiety
Jessica Morey’s 17-minute meditation technique is very effective in creating a space between you and your anxiety – coexisting with the anxious emotions, slowly detaching yourself from them, and figuring out how to handle them:
Here’s how to practice this technique:
- Sit in a comfortable position. Relax your body. Focus on every single muscle and body part and ask yourself, am I satisfied and relaxed?
- Once you are comfortable, focus on your five senses one by one. Close your eyes. Begin with the sense of touch: pay attention to the ground and your feet touching it. Then focus on the chair you are sitting on, the air around you, and anything else you may be feeling.
- Then smell your surroundings. What are the different smells?
- Open your eyes and observe your surroundings. What can you see: a chair, a table, the window?
- Next, listen to the noises around you and address them mentally.
- Finally, observe your sense of taste. What can you taste in your mouth? Is it the meal you had, or toothpaste or what?
- Once you take control over your senses, take deep breaths and address the emotions of anxiety, keeping in mind that you have complete control. Now ask yourself, why am I feeling anxious, and what do I need?
- As you come to an end, think of how to fulfill this need. For example, you may be anxious about a deadline – ask for an extension. Or ask a friend to help you.
3. Group mindfulness
A helpful form of meditation can be done in a group. It could be with one or more friends or even strangers in a support group.
For this, you can do various things:
- Meditate together by holding hands and breathing in and out with your eyes closed. This will give a sense of support and understanding and even show that others also experience the same feelings.
- You can talk about your experience: openly describe what you are feeling and then explain why you think you feel this way. Knowing that you are heard and seen improves self-compassion and mindfulness.
You can practice this virtually too. There are online support groups that help you with anxiety through meditation and mindfulness. Moreover, applications such as Calm also help you deal with anxiety and stress through meditation.