A key component to emotional health is to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Did you know meditation helps with anxiety reduction? One common trait of anxiety is racing thoughts. People with anxiety often report feeling like their thoughts are spinning out of control, they feel like they can’t turn off their mind, and they can’t stop thinking. Often racing thoughts lead to problems with concentration (you’re too distracted to stay focused), problems sleeping (your thoughts are literally keeping you up at night), and depression (your thoughts might be negative which contributes to low mood).
The purpose of meditation is to keep your mind focused on the present. This has a natural consequence of reducing stress and anxiety as it allows the mind a break from the racing thoughts, worries, and panicky feelings that often come with anxiety (e.g. rapid heartbeat, sweating, shaking, fidgeting, etc.). Just like your body needs rest to recharge and be energized, so does your mind. Research shows that just 10 minutes a day of meditation can produce positive effects by reducing anxiety and tension, and the best part is, those effects are often felt right away! For sustained effects, practice meditation daily.
In order to properly meditate, it’s best to be alone in a quiet and dark room. Breathe slowly and deeply, concentrating on your breath. If your mind drifts, try to refocus on your breath. You may also want to listen to meditation and guided imagery recordings to help you stay focused. Here at PsychSavvy, we have several meditation and guided imagery audio programs such as mediation for sleep, emotional healing, positive body image and more. Click here to gain access to our meditation recordings.
If you are having a lot of trouble being able to relax and meditate, or if your anxiety is so high that’s you’re feeling panicky, check out The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Bourne. It is an excellent resource for anxiety management. I particularly like the chapter on Relaxation. It’s really a wonderful guide to help get you on track to reducing your anxiety and living a better life!