Do you often feel overwhelmed and need tips on how to stay healthy? Do you feel like your stress levels are through the roof? One of the best and simplest solutions is to try meditation for stress and anxiety. Meditation for stress is fairly simple, yet plenty of people try and fail to achieve a peaceful state. Take a look at our easy guide on some of the best ways to successfully incorporate meditation for stress and anxiety into your daily routine.
Why is meditating good for you?
If you look up tips on how to stay healthy, chances are, meditation will probably be somewhere pretty high up on the list. That’s because meditation is one of the best and most beneficial habits you could adopt. In general, the practice of meditating slows us down, both physically and mentally. In physical terms, it slows our cardiovascular system, our metabolism and breathing, it lowers our blood pressure, relaxes our muscles and affects our brain waves. In the long run, all of these changes play an important role in slowing down the aging process. In terms of our mental wellbeing, meditation helps relieve us from tension. Meditation for stress is an effective way to deescalate the growing feelings of anxiety. Studies and scientific methods, such as MRI scans have even shown that meditation causes longterm changes in the brain. For instance, some subjects have demonstrated a significant decrease in the volume of amygdala, the part of the brain in charge of fear response.
How to start?
If you feel stumped and have no idea where to even start, you are not alone. If you have tried it, but felt it just isn’t for you, you are not alone either. The good news is, meditation is a good solution for everybody. It’s not a complicated skill. It’s just something that takes a little bit of practice. It works on the principle of connecting your thoughts and your bodily response to your breath. The goal is to breathe deep, slow breaths, and steer your brain away from thoughts, so that it’s focused solely on the breath.
To start, allocate a little bit of time for meditating every day. Even just 5 or 10 minutes is okay if you are only starting out. The simplest way is to sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus solely on your breathing while gently trying to clear your mind of thoughts. Mindful meditation is a variation on this exercise. When you practice mindfulness, you strive to become an objective observer. Allow yourself to become aware of various sensations in your body, but in an impartial way. Register any pain, discomfort, tingling, or pleasant sensations without reacting. Try to be fully present in the moment.
Sound and movement
If you like, you can incorporate a mantra into your meditating. The most common mantra is the Sanskrit word “Aum”. Repeating it aloud or silently might help you reach a meditative state faster. Finally, some people are just way too restless to sit still long enough for meditation. The good news is, you can even meditate while walking. Focus on the length of your step, the flow of your hips, the sway of your arms. The trick is to, once again, try to clear your mind of any thoughts apart from the movement of your body.
Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t succeed on your first go. Our bodies and minds are wound so tightly, that it might take practice to get the hang of meditation. However, once you do, you will gain a powerful weapon against anxiety and depression.
For a practical guide to get started with meditation check out our Meditation Course for Busy People in the Modern World – all it requires is a around 10 minutes per day to get started!