How Does Meditation Help Ease Anxiety?
Wrestling with stress is a part of living life these days. Regular meditation is an effective way to beat it. Daily meditation has two proven benefits. Not only does it help you get rid of worries, but it also calms down your nerves. Both these benefits work in tandem to help you discover your inner peace. Keeping these benefits in mind, doctors who take care of their mental well-being advise their patients to meditate daily for a few minutes.
As meditation is simple and easy, you can do it without the need to learn any specialized technique. Also, it is inexpensive, due to which you can start practicing it without the worry of spending any amount of money. Meditating in certain places and at certain times can be more beneficial for you. But there is no hard-and-fast rule for the choice of the place or time for doing meditation. You can choose both of them at your convenience.
What is meditation, and how can it help you get rid of anxiety? Read on to get an insight into these questions.
What is Meditation?
In brief, meditation refers to a state of bliss and deep calmness. It is a practice wherein one focuses either on one’s mind or a specific thing (an activity or a thought).
Meditation has been in practice for thousands of years. But its utility has changed over time. In the past, the primary objective of meditation was to develop an in-depth understanding of the forces of life. But nowadays, those who practice it view it as a technique to minimize stress and relax the mind.
How does Meditation Help Ease Anxiety?
Stress primarily develops from intruding thoughts that come to an individual’s mind when they brood over worrisome matters of their life. Thinking too much about them can clog the mind and trigger stress.
Meditation encourages an individual to focus their attention on a particular thing. It prevents their mind from getting occupied with intruding thoughts. This way, meditation shifts the attention of the mind from intruding thoughts to a specific thought that is likely to have a calming influence.
Meditation has different forms. The one which concerns itself specifically with the removal of anxiety from the mind is called anxiety meditation.
Patience is the key to reaping benefits from meditation. Though it is a powerful technique to exercise control over the mind, it takes time to deliver results. Daily and persistent practice is necessary to make the most out of this technique. If you put it into practice, you can make meditation a part of your life.
Different Kinds of Meditation for Mental Health
While the primary aim of meditation is to calm the mind by focusing it on a less-intrusive thing, there are different ways to attain it. This explains why there are multiple techniques to practice meditation. Meditation is a singular term with multiple components.
As far as different kinds of meditation are concerned, they are of the following types:
- Guided meditation
This is a common form of meditation that involves the visualization of guided imagery. Doctors recommend it to those who suffer from anxiety. For this reason, some people also address it as a guided meditation for anxiety.
In this form of meditation, you can imagine the images of situations and places to calm down your mind. Apart from imagination, you can also engage your senses in it. The senses that you can engage in guided meditation are textures, sounds, sights, and smells.
The name of the meditation has the word “guided” in it, which defines its nature. The name itself tells that this form of meditation takes place under the guidance of someone. Usually, either a teacher or a guide will be with you to guide you through all the steps when you perform this form of meditation.
- Mindfulness meditation
Your mind is an ocean of thoughts. If you wish to control it, it is imperative that you empty some of its thoughts. Interestingly, you do not need to do much for it. Meditating for a few minutes and letting all your thoughts pass freely is one of the best ways to live the present moment with mindfulness. This is precisely what mindfulness meditation is all about. It is a useful meditation for stress.
- Mantra meditation
Mantra meditation brings calmness through the chanting of a calming word (mantra). You can practice it by repeating your calming word in your mind. This way, you can chant it silently and keep your mind busy with it. Once you perfect the technique with practice, you will be able to prevent your mind from going astray due to a distracting thought.
- Qi gong
This is a part of Chinese medicine, and it includes certain other elements, along with meditation. The additional aspects that are a part of it are breathing exercises, physical movement, and relaxation.
- Transcendental meditation
An assigned mantra is necessary to perform this form of meditation. It is a phrase, a sound, or a word, and you can get it from a guru or a teacher. It helps attain stability of body and mind. With its help, you can discover your inner peace without the need to perform any special technique. It is a useful form of meditation for mental health.
Yoga is a series of balanced breathing exercises and postures that not only have a calming effect on the mind but also boosts the elasticity of the body. You need both concentration and balance to perform yoga asanas.
Meditation for stress is a necessity for mental health and well-being. It is also beneficial for the body as it either keeps the body free from a wide range of medical ailments (as listed above) or helps manage its symptoms. Practicing daily meditation may appear to be hard for you on the surface, especially if you have a low attention span. But if you have patience while practicing it and persist with it, you can add it to your lifestyle as a healthy habit. And if you make it a part of your lifestyle, it will pay you dividends at present as well as in the future.