Mindfulness meditation can be an effective way to manage stress and anxiety and can even be used as a relaxation technique for panic disorder. This meditation technique can help you calm your mind and body by slowing down racing thoughts, reducing negativity, and relaxing your body and mind.
Its effectiveness has been demonstrated in studies spanning age groups, gender, and geographical boundaries. A 2015 study, for example, found that nursing students who practiced mindfulness meditation techniques experienced a significant reduction in anxiety and stress.
A study of anxious adolescents in the United States yielded similar results. The common thread in these and other studies is how mindfulness meditation helps people, particularly those who suffer from anxiety and frequently worry about the past or the future.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
When you first start meditating, you may be surprised at how difficult it is to sit in silence. Believe it or not, becoming aware of how sitting still can send your thoughts into overdrive is part of the mindfulness practice.
The key is to observe the mind rather than judge it. To get started with the practice, ease in with sessions of only a few minutes. You can gradually increase your time once you’ve established a more regular, familiar practice.
It’s also important to meditate in a place where you won’t be distracted or interrupted by people, pets, or phones. Take off your shoes, as well as any heavy jewelry or constricting clothing.
5 Ways to Ease Anxiety with Meditation
Here are the five most excellent and proven ways with which reducing the effects of anxiety becomes possible and hence leads to sure results.
1. Get Comfortable
Many people sit on the floor with their legs crossed and their spines straight. You may prefer to sit with your legs outstretched, to sit upright in a chair, or to lie on your back. Find a comfortable position that you won’t be distracted by your body but not so comfortable that you’re not aware of your body—or that you might fall asleep. You should be aware that you can change your position at any time if you become uncomfortable or experience muscle cramps.
2. Live in the Present
Start focusing your attention inward once you’re sitting comfortably in a quiet area. Begin by closing your eyes and breathing deeply. Simply observing your breathing pattern without attempting to change it will help bring your awareness to the present moment. Bring your attention back to your breath if you notice your mind wandering. Once you’ve identified your natural breathing rhythm, allow it to deepen to aid relaxation.
3. Understand Your Thoughts
Meditation can initially increase feelings of anxiety or self-judgment. Am I doing this right? So, what should I do? Rather than suppressing that inner dialogue, acknowledge it and allow it to pass. This will teach you how to sit with unpleasant thoughts without reacting. You may eventually feel less anxious and more at peace within yourself.
4. Focus on Meditation
Open your eyes when your meditation is finished, or you’ve reached your desired time. Exit your meditation slowly with some gentle stretches, and take some time to consider your practice.
It can be difficult to keep track of time while meditating. If you’re concerned about going over your allotted time, consider using a gentle-sounding alarm or timer. Moreover, Vedic meditation will redirect your focus away from the clock and toward your practice.
5. Practice Mindfulness Rightly
Once you’ve established a foundation, you may notice that previous symptoms of anxiety, such as ruminating on past events or insomnia, have diminished significantly. However, as with any new modality, it may require some practice. Experiment with your technique to determine what works best for you.
Meditation can be practiced at any time of day. You may discover that meditating first thing in the morning helps you reduce morning anxiety. Or perhaps you find that meditating in the evening allows you to get a better night’s rest. Experiment with different times of day to see what works best for you.
Tips for Mindfulness Meditation
It helps to find ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life as you practice mindfulness meditation, especially on days when life is too hectic to carve out a minute alone. Mindfulness meditation is one technique, but there are numerous opportunities for mindfulness practice in everyday activities and tasks.
- Feel your feet on the floor, the brush in your hand, and the movement of your arm up and down.
- Enjoy the sensation of warm water on your hands, the appearance of bubbles, and the sounds of pans clunking on the sink’s bottom.
- Take note of how the clean clothes smell and how the fabric feels. As you fold laundry, add a focal element and count your breaths.
- Instead of watching TV on the treadmill, concentrate on your breathing and where your feet are as you move.
- Get down on their level, look them in the eyes, listen more than you speak, and enjoy any snuggles. They will relax if you relax.
The Final Words
Starting a meditation practice can be difficult, from finding time and space in a hectic schedule to confronting fearful, judgmental thoughts that can cause anxiety. With consistency—even if it’s only a few minutes per day—you can find the right practice for you and see a reduction in anxiety and panic symptoms.