You may have noticed meditation for anxiety is all the rage these days. With meditation apps like Headspace, Insight Timer, and Calm becoming more popular by the day, it’s no wonder people are curious about this natural remedy for anxiety and stress.
But what exactly is meditation? What does it do to help relieve stress and anxiety? And why should you think of meditation as a “natural” treatment for anxiety when there are so many other options out there?
This blog post will answer these questions and more.
So, let’s get started.
What exactly is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries. There are many different types of meditation, but all have the same basic goal: to focus and calm the mind.
Some people think of meditation as just sitting in silence with their eyes closed. But there are lots of other ways to meditate too, such as the following:
- Walk meditation
- Meditation with music
- Meditate while you’re cooking dinner
- Doing anything that keeps your mind focused on the present moment without judgment or distraction.
Maintaining Focus and Awareness to Manage Anxiety Through Meditation
While meditation is great for stress relief, what’s even more amazing about it is how it can help you to focus and be more aware of your thoughts and feelings. This is especially important when it comes to managing stress and anxiety.
When we’re stressed, our minds tend to race from one thought to the next without any control or awareness. We may not even realize how much stress we’re under until it’s too late. This is where meditation can help.
When you meditate, you learn to focus on the present moment and become more aware of your thoughts and feelings. This helps to break the cycle of stress that often gets you stuck.
In addition, meditation allows you to accept your thoughts and feelings without judging them.
When we’re stressed, it’s easy to get caught up in any negative thoughts we may have and believe them.
But meditation teaches us to be more tolerant of our own thoughts and emotions, which makes it easier for us to let go when things become overwhelming or stressful.
Can meditation reduce anxiety?
One study found that mindfulness meditation was able to reduce amygdala reactivity, which is responsible for emotional responses like fear and stress.
The researchers concluded that “mindfulness meditation may effectively reduce anxiety through improving emotional regulation, and that meditation’s effect of reducing amygdala reactivity is the mechanism by which it reduces anxiety.”
Another study found that even meditation for 30 minutes twice a week can significantly decrease feelings of stress. It was also shown to help increase positive emotions like hope, self-esteem, relaxation, and satisfaction.
In short, meditation for anxiety is an effective way to reduce feelings of stress and improve emotional well-being.
How can meditation help with specific anxiety disorders?
While meditation may not be a cure-all for all types of anxiety disorders, it has been shown to be helpful in treating some specific disorders.
Some of the most common anxiety disorders meditation can help with are:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Panic Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder
If you have any of these conditions, meditation may be able to ease some of your symptoms and improve emotional well-being.
In addition, meditation has been shown to be helpful in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as alcohol addiction.
How does meditation for anxiety work?
Meditation is a form of mindfulness training that focuses on being more aware and accepting of the present moment.
In meditation, you focus on your breath and learn to let thoughts come and go without judgment or attachment.
It is a practice that can help develop greater self-awareness as well as control over how we react emotionally to our own thoughts and feelings.
In meditation for anxiety, the goal isn’t necessarily to reduce all emotional reactions to stress and anxiety, but rather to learn how to be more accepting of them.
This can help us to feel less overwhelmed by our thoughts and emotions and ultimately lead to a reduction in the amount of anxiety we experience.
Why Meditation is a Natural Treatment for Anxiety
When you think of “natural” treatments for anxiety, meditation probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
After all, meditation is nothing like medication or therapy and doesn’t induce any sort of “high” as marijuana might (although meditation has been shown to be helpful in treating addiction).
However, you should know there’s a big difference between “natural” treatments for anxiety and “natural” remedies for anxiety.
Medication is a treatment, meditation is a remedy.
So what’s the difference?
A natural treatment for anxiety does not mean that it comes from nature or something that occurs naturally in our bodies or minds without any interference by manmade chemicals or processes.
It simply means that meditation is a treatment for anxiety that doesn’t involve taking anything like medication.
Medication, on the other hand, can be both natural or not depending on how it’s made and what ingredients are used to make it.
How do you meditate for anxiety?
There are many meditation techniques for anxiety that can be useful in managing the symptoms.
Some people prefer guided meditation, whereas others like to practice meditation on their own in silence or with soothing background music.
You may only need a few minutes every day to do some breathing exercises and calming visualizations before bedtime.
However you choose to do it, meditation for anxiety should be a regular part of your self-care routine.
So far, we have learned that meditation is an effective way to reduce feelings of stress and improve emotional well-being.
In addition, meditation has been shown to be helpful in treating specific anxiety disorders.
We also know that meditation is a natural treatment for anxiety as it does not involve taking medication.
Finally, we learned some tips on how to meditate for anxiety.
In order to get the most out of meditation, be sure to find a technique that works best for you and practice regularly.
If you’re looking for more information on meditation or want to give it a try, check out some of the great resources here.