Deciding to overcome anxiety with meditation is one of the nest choices you can make. Meditation is a natural and very healthy form of therapy. It is also immensely helpful in curing anxiety.
Anxiety, in essence, is a state of mind. Your mind has learnt to deal with stressful situations in a certain way, a way which creates feeling of anxiety. With meditation you learn to understand the process of your mind and then to change that process. When you change your mental process you change your anxiety.
So, how do we use meditation to overcome anxiety? Throughout this article we will be presenting a five stage program for curing anxiety with meditation. It is important that you do each of these meditation techniques in order while reading. The process will take 50 minutes. Take your time and make sure to complete all stages as they are progressive in nature.
How to Overcome Anxiety with Meditation
STAGE 1: Breathing Meditation
Before you can change your mental processes you need to calm your mind to a state where you are completely in control. The best place to start with this is with a breathing meditation. This process will take ten minutes. It is very simple. Here’s how to do it.
1) Sit comfortably with good posture making sure your spine is in proper alignment.
2) Close your eyes and take a couple of moments just to relax.
3) Focus your mind on your breathing as it enters and leave through your mouth and nose.
4) If you cannot focus practice alternative nostril breathing (breathe in through one nostril while holding the other closed, then alternate).
5) Thoughts will come to mind. Do not pay attention to them. Continue focussing on your breathing.
6) Continue for ten minutes.
The purpose of this step is to silence your mind and to create calmness. This is the foundation on which the rest is built. Make sure you are calm and focussed before continuing.
Stage 2: Mindfulness Meditation
You have now calmed your mind. You have also observed the fact that thoughts distract you when you try to focus. The next step is to observe the thoughts and then to change them.
1) Continue focussing on your breathing for a couple of minutes.
2) Think about a situation in which you would feel somewhat anxious (make sure you think of something you can control—you should always feel comfortable when meditating).
3) Thoughts will come to mind. These thoughts are the cause of your anxiety. You’re about to change them. To begin with, however, simply observe your thoughts. When you experience a thought say “This is only a thought. It isn’t real. It isn’t important.”
4) You are now going to change the thoughts occupying your mind. Each time you experience a thought, tell yourself it is only a thought and then replace it with a positive thought. To give a very basic example, if you think “I’m not good enough” say “This is only a thought. It isn’t real” then think “I AM good enough.”
In this process we are doing two things. Firstly, we are training our mind to recognise that a thought is ONLY a thought. This depowers the thought. We are then suggesting positive alternatives, which a) trains us to control our thoughts and b) produces positivity.
Next up we going to get living in the moment. When we are anxious we live in our thoughts. Conversely, when we are calm and confident we live in the moment. So, let’s get living in the moment.
Stage 3: Body Scan – Living in the moment
To get us living in the moment we are going to begin with a body mind meditation. This type of meditation gets you in touch with your body, gets your mind focusing on reality and creates an empowering sense of freedom.
1) Begin by lying down, though you may remain seated if you prefer.
2) Close your eyes. Focus your mind on your breathing for a moment.
3) We are now going to direct our focus through our body. Begin with the feet. Focus on your feet. Observe sensations and feelings there. If there is tension in your feet imagine taking a deep breath into that area to relax. Ask the area to relax.
4) Next we move to the ankles. Repeat the same process. Then gradually up through every part of your body, right up to your crown.
5) To end, focus on your entire body. Meditate on your body for five minutes.
Stage 4: Walking
We’re now more in touch with our bodies. We now want to extend our meditation into movement. This continues to heighten our mind body connection, gets us living in the moment and creates a sense of freedom and control.
For this exercise you need a safe path of at least 10 feet.
1) Start at one end of your path. Stand still for a moment. Focus on the sensation in your feet and legs.
2) Begin walking. Walk VERY SLOWLY. Movement is not important here, it is FOCUS which matters. So, move slowly focussing on every process involved with moving.
3) Walk to the end of your path. It might take a couple of minutes to walk those ten feet. Remember, slowness is important.
4) Turn round and repeat.
Stage 5: NOTHING
When dealing with anxiety it is immensely beneficial to have a safe zone to retract to. This is like carrying around a personal sense of comfort. When you experience anxiety you can return to this comfortable place, helping you to eliminate the symptoms of anxiety.
1) There is only one stage involved in this step: Focus on silence. That’s all. Just focus your mind (as you did on the breathing meditation) but on silence. Become one with silence. Do this for ten minutes. Then, the next time you experience anxiety, meditate on silence again for fast relief.
That’s it! During this process you have learnt to silence your mind, to control your thoughts, to live in the moment and you found a safe zone that is always there for you.
Practice this meditation several times, completing the entire procedure. You will find it cures your anxiety.
Thanks for reading.