How To Reduce Stress and Anxiety with Meditation
If you suffer from chronic stress and anxiety, one of the best, natural ways you can reduce that stress is to develop a consistent meditation practice.
Meditation is incredibly easy to do, and is something that you can incorporate into your routine, no matter how busy you are.
As little as five or ten minutes of meditation per day can drastically reduce anxiety and stress levels, but the key is to be consistent with your practice.
To get started, simply find a comfortable place to be seated comfortably, and make sure you have a few minutes during which you won’t be disturbed.
Then, begin to breathe easily, and allow your attention to rest on the cycle of your breathe. There is a very simple guided beginner meditation here, which goes through an exercise of noticing your inhale and exhale calmly.
The aim of meditation is not to stop thinking. It is to learn to become aware of your thoughts, and to allow them to rise and fall naturally. Just as your breath enters and leaves your body in a continuous cycle, so too will your thoughts and emotions. Click here to learn more about how to quiet the mind.
When your mind wanders (and it will wander), simply notice that you have been thinking extraneous thoughts, and bring your attention back to your breath. Repeat this process for as long as you choose.
Another great technique you might incorporate is to try a meditation for positive energy. These meditations often use visual imagery to focus on light and well-being expanding within you, so you can increase your vitality as you go throughout your day.
Why Meditation Helps with Stress Relief
Meditation and mindfulness practices are clinically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, for several reasons.
Firstly, by drawing your attention to your breath, you will naturally lengthen your breath and begin to breathe more deeply. This increased air-flow will ripple throughout your body, causing you to relax, and to give your brain the extra oxygen it needs to operate at peak levels.
Secondly, meditation changes your brain state. With practice, you can learn to slow down your brain waves on command, which causes you to relax and release tension.
Lastly, over the long term, meditation has been proven to change the way the brain operates. Individuals who consistently practice meditation and mindfulness tend to lead happier, longer-lasting, and more fulfilling lives, because they have trained their mind to appreciate the positive aspects of life, rather than stress about problems that may or may not arise.
In short, you learn to live more fully in the moment, and worry less about the future.
Read more about the health benefits of meditation.
Healing Meditation Music
Lastly, if you want to skip the guided meditation and simply rest at peace with yourself, try this recording of healing meditation music, which uses soft, soothing sounds in order to help stop negative thinking and lull your mind into a state of rest.
As you listen, breathe easily, and allow whatever thoughts or emotions arise to pass easily through you.