How mindfulness and meditation can reduce anxiety
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
Unless you are facing an actual threat and you need to fight or flee, fear is a negative emotion that can take a lot out of you on a daily basis. Most of the time, people who experience fear a great deal do so in by feeling anxious and therefore leaving them suffering from anxiety. Short-term anxiety can be produced in almost everyone. However, the difference with this kind of worrying is that it disappears after the dreaded event. On the other hand, there are an estimated 6.8 million Americans who suffer from a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This is a chronic condition that these people cannot shut off that often can be extremely debilitating to the people it affects.
If you are here, you probably have some experience with anxiety in your day to day life. If you are someone who suffers from chronic anxiety, you know that the tiniest thing triggers it, only to leave you reeling for hours or even days at a time. Fearful thoughts surrounding your family, friends, finances, health, and more run through your head at an almost constant pace. Some days, you just have to stay in bed and hide from the world. You are not alone.
Why Do We Worry?
The first thing you should know is that reality is not what is actually causing you to worry. Alternatively, it is your fixed habit of mind that leads you to respond to nearly every situation with anxiety. The second thing you need to be aware of is that you have to be able to look rationally at the anxiety response and concede that you are not helping it to improve at all by feeling anxious. While this may seem obvious to people who do not suffer from the effects of a GAD, those who do insist on taking care of things that they believe other people are neglecting when they are worried. This is frustrating because if truly anything can trigger worry and anxiety, how can you prevent it from happening?
What Toll Does Worrying Take On You?
Since there is a clear connection between the mind and body, you need to consider the physical toll your anxiety can take on you. Even if you have accepted your anxious thoughts and feelings as a part of who you are, you are still likely to exhibit the symptoms of extreme anxiety. These are things like insomnia, fatigue, easy startle response, muscle tension, trembling, inability to relax, headaches, twitching, feeling out of breath and digestive problems.
In order to prevent your worrying from taking such a toll on you, you have to retrain your mind so that your worrying subsides and then replace with a normal and undisturbed mood. Meditation can help and is one of many natural ways of lowering your anxiety levels.
How Can Meditation Help?
One of the major symptoms of anxiety is having racing thoughts that will not go away. Meditation can help with this part of the disorder as it trains you to quiet your overactive mind. Once you get good at it, you will be able to identify the silence that comes between each mental action and prevent yourself from coming undone every time you are anxious about something. Meditating will also help you to detach yourself from your thoughts and instead learn how to rest in your own body. By doing this, you can find your center and return to it anytime you need a quiet place for your mind to reside.
Many people who suffer from GAD claim they are not able to meditate because they are too restless and there are too many thoughts running through their head. It is important that you realize that meditation is not something you perfect by doing it once. It is best that when you are first starting that you keep your beginning sessions short and that they are guided. There are plenty of smart phone applications that can provide you with short guided meditations that are perfect for beginners.
Always keep in mind...
Step number one in dealing with a mental health issue is reaching out for professional help (Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Therapist, etc.).
The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only.
It is not for diagnosing, prognosticating, treatment or prescribing of mental health conditions.
For the treatment of any mental health condition or disease, or drug therapy, please consult your physician or other healthcare providers.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis please call 911 or visit your hospital immediately.
When you’re in a place in your life where you can make positive changes, the techniques Jeremy delivers on this website, in his presentations and in his books may help.