Can meditation reduce anxiety?
Regarding the benefits of meditation, we can focus in particular on the impact upon the bad feelings that may occur to us. They include:
- 30% decrease in stress
- 40% reduction in depression and anxiety
- 11% increase in engagement
- 13% fewer sick days
(They follows the data from a study on the benefits listed into The Finders Course Experiments document)
Meditation is now reaching more people than ever, and apps you can download on smartphones like My Smiling Mind and Stop, Breathe, Think are awesome.
If you are a beginner, you can check the useful guide we provide here.
These types of apps, and the latest crop of gadgets are helping to turn what was once a chore into a game. From the brainwave-sensing headband Muse to the heart rate stress-busting from HeartMath gamified, tech-enabled meditation is increasing in popularity.
Guided meditation for anxiety
Since meditation is a commonly used techniques for anxiety management, we’re now going through a list of the best practices you can do at home!
If you want to try meditative states in alternative ways (strongly suggested for beginners) check this link: 5 Alternative Ways of Meditation You Should Immediately Try.
Silently repeat Love, Peace or another word or phrase for 20 minutes in the morning. Choosing a word that is likely to prime you psychologically in the right direction for the day. Pause each time you think the word, wait for its afterglow to fade, and then repeat it.
When your mind drifts, just bring your attention back and say the word again. Drifts happen because of a core rhythm in the brain, and they are nothing to get frustrated about.
After a while, the brain will settle in. Since you are “doing something”, this mini-meditation can be suitable for busy teens. Mantras are very often used for reaching a peaceful inner state, i.e. without stress and anxiety.
This meditation practice, simply called mantra meditation, is useful to reduce stress, or anxiety disorders like relationships anxiety and driving, or sleeping as well, anxiety.
Using a mantra is a good practice if you want to meditate effectively.
2. Focus on your breath
For some, using a mantra just doesn’t work. If you’re one of them, a real option is to follow your breath naturally. Focus on either how the breath feels flowing into and out of your nostrils, or the rise and fall of chest or belly while you breathe. It may help initially to note mentally ‘in’ and ‘out’, but you can drop this after a while. The key is to try not to change the breath, just watch it as your body breathes in and out.
Breathing techniques are also used to unleash your inner energies: Chakras.
3. Post workout brain stretch
One of the benefits of exercise is an increased neuroplasticity. In other words, your brain is primed for its workout after you finish your physical one. Scheduling some time for meditation immediately after you exercise allows you to take maximum advantage of effects it can provide.
Best books on meditation (in order of importance and must-have):
- “How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind”, by Pema Chödrön
- “Wherever You Go, There You Are”, by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- “Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment―and Your Life”, by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment”, by Eckhart Tolle
- “8 Minute Meditation Expanded: Quiet Your Mind. Change Your Life.”,by Victor Davich
I hope this article has intrigued you enough to start your meditation practice as soon as you can.
PS. Try to focus on the these three practices, and feel free to leave a comment if you want to suggest some tip based on your experience!
PPS. Here you can see a summary into an Infographic that you may easily download (just right-click then “save image”) or pin on Pinterest!
Get help from the best resources online
Many readers ask us suggestions about very good resources online that can effectively help people with their methods and that are not expensive.
I will now suggest three of the best programs I’ve ever found online:
- Anxiety Shift: this guide definitely have helped people to improve their situation, I think you should probably give it a try since it is based on a technique that breaks the anxiety cycle.
- Panic Away: Barry Mcdonagh has helped people for over ten years, from top CEO’s and celebrities to soldiers and moms. His work has been used by more than 80.000 people online.
- CBT4Panic: Based on cognitive behavioral therapy, this program is one of the most complete (audio, video, ebooks, worksheets…) and you can get it at a very low price considering the expensive courses present on the web.I strongly suggest to refer to one of these because you will definitely save a lot of money and, more importantly, you will notice big results in very few weeks.