What is Anxiety
Anxiety is an overwhelming feeling that can consume your entire body and mind. People who have not experienced a panic attack don’t understand how it can affect you. There are many ways to deal with anxiety including therapy and medication. But there is a simple way that you can calm your body and mind down and it only takes 10 minutes a day: meditation.
Meditation Helps Anxiety
Meditation helps people of all ages, from children to seniors. It is an excellent way to ground yourself when you are experiencing high levels of panic or anxiety. You can meditate in a variety of settings. Some people associate meditation with closing your eyes and sitting cross-legged and trying to empty your mind. While you can certainly meditate like this, it is not the only way to practice meditation. You can set aside 10 minutes per day and meditate wherever you are. Whether you are sitting with your eyes closed taking mindful, deep breaths, or walking down the street and simply taking the time to notice your surroundings, you can meditate anywhere you are. The key is to stay in the moment and center yourself around what is happening right now.
You Can’t Stop Thoughts
It is impossible to stop thinking. Human beings have thoughts constantly. When you meditate, let the thoughts be there. When you try to push thoughts away, they can come back stronger and more persistent. So what do you do when the thoughts just keep coming? Just let them be – thoughts will come and go like waves in the ocean, and you do not need to do anything. Let them flow and continue to focus on your breathing. Meditation is a way for you to come back to yourself.
10 Minutes is Enough
You may have been under the impression that in order to successfully meditate, it has to be for an extended period of time. Meditation is effective whether you do it for 10 minutes or 40 minutes. The goal of meditating is to relax your mind and body.
Breathe When You’re Anxious
Meditation is relaxing, which is why it is a wonderful technique to use when you are feeling anxious. You can call upon your breath the moment you start to feel panic coming on. It is a tool that you always have with you. It’s not like you have to go to the store to buy meditation. You possess the ability to breathe in and out in a controlled fashion, and can allow yourself to be present in this moment. You do not have to change how you feel. Your emotions are real.
Therapy Helps Too
In addition to working on your anxiety using meditation, you can also work with a therapist. They can help you find other coping strategies to feel better. You can see a psychologist in their office, or there are other options available, such as online therapy, which can be great for those who are in need of help managing their anxiety. Sometimes it’s difficult for people who live with social anxiety to get out of the house. Online therapy can be a great way to get treatment in the comfort of your own home. Virtual therapy is helpful for people who live in remote areas or who are busy professionals.
Anxiety is a real medical condition that requires treatment. Meditation is a wonderful way for you to alleviate your anxiety and feel some relief.
This post was written by Sarah Fader
About Sarah Fader
Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York.
Sarah is a native New Yorker who enjoys naps, talking to strangers, and caring for her two small humans and two average-sized cats. Like six million other Americans, Sarah lives with panic disorder. Through Stigma Fighters, Sarah hopes to change the world, one mental health stigma at a time.