Mental Health

Reducing Anxiety: Meditation

meditation

I’ve been struggling with anxiety for as long as I can remember. That nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach, the tightness in my chest, the overall tenseness of my body. Granted, I had no idea what was wrong with me when I was younger. I thought it was how everyone felt.

I finally figured out the problem when I was about nineteen, and since then have used countless strategies when I’m feeling anxious (I’ll be making a master post in the future). However, I’ve found that the best technique is meditation.

I can not stress to you how much it helped my anxiety. I feel so much more calm, and have this general sense of well being and happiness, which is great if you struggle with depression as well (anxiety and depression are commonly found together).

The problem is that meditation get a bad rap. People get the idea that you need to sit in complete silence for an hour (or more) without a single thought in your head, every single day. If you aren’t able to achieve complete and total zen, why bother?

But that’s not how it works. The best thing to do is focus on your breathing. You’ll experience thoughts; everyone does. But instead of getting mad at yourself, just accept that they’re there and gently bring your attention back to your breathing. As well, sit or lie down, whatever makes you mot comfortable. No need to go for an hour, 5-10 minutes is all it takes to feel the effects. Finally, don’t worry if you don’t get the chance to do it every day. Though it is easy to fit in a few minutes here and there, the world won’t stop if you miss one day.

Speaking of which, there are multiple benefits of meditation, aside from reduced anxiety, such as reduced stress, increased focus, and increased pain tolerance. The best list I’ve discovered can be found here.

If you aren’t comfortable meditating on your own, you can find guided meditation on youtube. As well, there are multiple apps to choose from. I use one for Iphone called Breathe.

Meditation as been the number one thing to help my anxiety. Though you may feel silly trying it for the first time, or that you aren’t β€œgood” at it, keep trying. I guarantee you’ll see a difference.

Stay wonderful, xox.

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