If you’re living with anxiety, practicing daily guided meditation may help you to overcome anxiety and reduce tension in your body. Meditation is a practical tool for coping with life and a wonderful way through personal growth.
Anxiety occurs when adrenaline is pumping. The feeling of anxiety is whether butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, heart palpitations, headaches, an upset stomach, or tightness in the chest.
There are four different types of anxiety:
- Generalized anxiety — worrying about things in everyday life.
- Social anxiety — worrying about being evaluated negatively in social situations. Separation anxiety — fear of separation from home or a loved one.
- Panic disorder — panic attacks that strike without warning in any number of situations.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder — an obsession or compulsion to repeat certain behaviors or rituals.
Anxiety that becomes a disorder is characterized by a “persistent and excessive worry” where individuals can lose rational perspective and “expect the worst even when there is no apparent reason for concern,” according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Worry actually has an important function in our lives, according to Luana Marques, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. When we think about an uncertain or unpleasant situation — such as being unable to pay the rent or doing badly on an exam — our brains become stimulated. When we worry, it calms our brains down. Worry is also likely to cause us to the problem – solve or take action, both of which are positive things. “Worry is a way for your brain to handle problems in order to keep you safe,” Dr. Marques explained. “It’s only when we get stuck thinking about a problem that worry stops being functional.”
The first step in calming your anxiety is to calm your body down. That means what you’re going to do is actually calm your cardiovascular system down. You’re going to eliminate adrenaline and you’ll feel a big difference. Your body will start to feel heavy and relaxed.
The focus is important. When you’re breathing in, focus on the sensation of how the air feels coming in through your nose, and filling up your lungs. Then, breathe out through your mouth. By breathing out through your mouth, you force yourself to slow down with each breath. As each breath becomes more focused and slow, you can feel the sense of relief and relaxation.
You don’t need a lot of time to meditate — initially, try to find out a few minutes each day. You can gradually increase that time as you learn how to relax and what it feels like to be calm.
I have developed a 7 Days of Meditation program that can help you calm your anxiety. You can sign-up here and I’ll let you know when the program will be available again.
Also, you can give meditation a try using my guided meditation that is below.