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Does meditation help with anxiety? It has become so popular in recent times but how effective actually is meditation with managing this common problem.
Meditation has benefits on so many levels, it’s sometimes difficult to count them all.
Other cultures have known about them for centuries.
Now, it’s the modern world’s turn to tap into meditation’s wisdom.
The real reason why meditation is on everyone’s lips nowadays is simple.
It comes up in conversations so often because of it’s proven results in managing today’s most common archenemies…
- Why do I Have Anxiety?
- Being Stressed and Anxious is a Choice
- How to Manage Anxiety with Meditation
- Consistency is the Key
- Final thoughts on Meditation for Anxiety
Why Do I Have Anxiety?
Stress is essentially what anxiety feeds on.
It’s having too many responsibilities and things to do while having the feeling they all need to be done at once.
It often becomes too much to handle…
Then, we see photos of our friends on social media posting their ‘picture-perfect life.’
This creates a constant feeling of unease.
Yes, we’re all dealing with some form of stress and anxiety, in one way or another.
It could be worrying about losing a loved one…
Not being liked or accepted in your new job, the constant feeling of being unworthy.
Or fearing what the future will bring and panicking that you won’t be able to cope.
In the modern-day life we’re living, anxiety is basically handed to us in a beautifully presented sh#% sandwich.
Stress and anxiety’s effects are definitely not pretty.
Studies show that in Western cultures, stress and anxiety affect up to 1 in 7 people.
That’s no joke!
It’s only natural that we’re all trying to find a way of dealing with them and managing their effects.
So, lots of people are taking to meditation as a way of relieving the feelings of being overwhelmed.
And… It’s working.
In my own experience meditation can not only help manage stress and anxiety.
But, basically, it can help you become a better version of yourself.
In the end, isn’t that what we want?
That’s why I’m here sharing my experience and why I’m on a mission to help you get the most out of your meditation practice… Because it works!
I’m going to skip the scientific mumbo-jumbo and the guru fluff around how meditation can help you manage anxiety.
I think it’s better for both of us…
I prefer a more straight forward approach, I hope you do too.
But, before we get into it I also made a video for this post.
Check it out here…
And now the infamous…
Being Stressed and Anxious is a Choice
Meet Stress and Anxiety.
They are the little voices in your head whispering things like…
‘Something bad is about to happen!’
‘There’s no way you’ll find your way out of this one!’
…and ‘No one likes you anyway!’
Or something like that. You know what I mean…
It’s a constant feeling of unease, a constant worry in the back of your mind keeping you from doing and getting things.
It’s basically what’s stopping you from being you.
Me? …I was a shy and insecure person. The keyword in that sentence is… WAS.
I was not very socially adapted and always felt uncomfortable around other people.
I wasn’t able to communicate the way I wanted in most situations.
What meditation led me to understand is that stress and anxiety can be managed.
You can learn to understand and accept these feelings and not let them affect you.
Because you’re no different from anyone else, everyone has these issues.
We first have to make a choice…
So, choose not to let stress or anxiety affect you anymore.
There is no way to stop them completely, and that’s ok, we don’t have to.
Unless maybe you decide to move to a top of a mountain alone… forever.
Actually… that could be pretty stressful.
So, let’s be realistic!
The one thing we can do is find ways to accept these feelings and learn not to react to them.
Meditation taught me to become comfortable with who I am.
Also, to understand that our minds play tricks on us and we don’t have to believe everything they say.
They hold us back with negative stories and beliefs because they think that’ll protect us.
It’s actually kind of cute if you think about it.
BUT NOT ANYMORE!
That was our old reactions, our old beliefs.
Today is a new day.
How to Manage Anxiety with Meditation
So, how do you actually manage anxiety?
For myself, these days when anxiety or stress comes up.
I’m able to just notice the feelings then remind myself of how I used to react to them and know that I don’t do that anymore.
I no longer react like I used to. Basically, I don’t react at all.
I just acknowledge their presence. This is what meditation really helps you to do.
It helps you be consciously aware of your mind and its trick-playing habits.
It may be a small part of you, but it doesn’t have to define you.
Meditation teaches you that you don’t necessarily need to react to these feelings of insecurity and anxiety…
Just accept them.
You learn to tell yourself ‘Hey, you’re going okay!’, ‘You’ve got this!’, ‘Things will be alright!’
Now I’m constantly giving pep-talks to myself and they work.
They build confidence and help you reach goals.
The person I was before meditation is so much different from the person I am now.
Meditation helped build my confidence and ease the effects anxiety had on me.
So, I stand here as a real-life example that it can be done and meditation is the key.
Here are the actual steps:
Step 1 – Understand anxiety
To manage anxiety, you first need to understand where it comes from and see it for what it is.
Meditation gets you there. It actually rewires your brain, believe it or not.
You’ll learn to accept that just because these feelings come from inside you, they’re not a defining part of who you are.
Step 2 – Learn to Identify the Difference between Real and Imagined
Through meditation and breathing techniques, you can detach yourself from whatever is going on and get a bird’s eye view on it.
You learn to see the difference between actual dangers and imagined ones.
You’ll see that anxiety is a feeling of unease that’s usually triggered by stories we create in our minds.
These stories will be different for each of us.
If you take a long hard look at them, you’ll see that they’re just that…
Unrealistic stories that our minds have created from unconscious negative beliefs.
Step 3 – Learn to Control your Emotions
Once you go through the steps above, you’ll be able to better control your emotions.
By putting some space between yourself and the anxiety you’re experiencing.
You can then control the extent that this feeling has on you.
Keep in mind…
The more you practice, the better you become!
When you focus on your breath, you’ll find it easier to distance yourself from these experiences.
It brings you to the moment in a powerful way where you can then objectify those stories your mind has created.
For more info check out our posts…
Breathwork and it’s amazing benefits on controlling emotions and also…
Step 4 – Become Aware
Meditation helps you become more aware not only of your mind, but also your body.
Because feelings of anxiety will always also show.
From sweaty palms to an increased heart rate.
Meditation brings you back to the present moment.
It allows you to identify the physical reactions you’re having and counter their effects by focusing on your breath and your sensations.
The amazing thing about meditation is that it helps handle anxiety any time of the day, not just when you’re meditating.
When starting out, you may not notice it.
But, then you look back at a situation and be surprised how well you handled it.
From, this your awareness will continue to grow and improve.
It’s an amazing feeling!
Consistency is the Key
Just like with any other worthwhile thing in your life.
If you want to get results then you’ll need to put in some work.
Considering the reward it really is not much!
You don’t need to spend half of your day in Lotus pose to get amazing benefits from meditation.
If you’re just starting out, 5 to 10 minutes will do it.
To help you find your way, I’ve boiled down the basics in this post…
Meditation for beginners: The Basics.
Be sure to check it out and let me how you go with it.
What I mean with consistency is that I encourage you to really commit to this.
Being consistent with your meditation practice will help you in so many ways.
More than just helping to ease your anxiety.
You’ll find many resources on our blog for building a consistent practice.
Here’s one of our most recent ones: How To Create A Consistent Meditation Practice.
With meditation, in time you’ll learn to be more aware of how your mind works and separate fact from fiction.
…and become more aware of your body’s reactions and learn to control both your mind and your body.
You’ll feel more in control and more confident to be yourself and do the things you’ve always wanted.
Importantly you’ll learn that small things are just that and you don’t need to sweat them.
I’ve seen and felt all these improvements and consistent meditation has helped me become a better version of myself, I’m sure it can help you, too.
So, here’s what I’d like you to do…
I want you to make a commitment that you’re going to practice meditation every day.
Even if you miss a day, it’s not the end of the world.
You can use these tips to help you stay motivated and master your practice.
Just keep at it, stay as consistent as you can, because in the end, you’ll be grateful you did.
Maybe you won’t see results in a week.
That’s ok… we’re playing the long game here.
But to get real results from meditation, just be willing to do the work and commit to making it a part of your daily routine.
You can always lean on our FREE GUIDE to help you learn more.
Final Thoughts on Meditation for Anxiety
We all juggle a lot of roles, responsibilities, worries, insecurities everyday.
It can be tough out there sometimes.
But, we have the ability to choose how we to react to them.
We could all use an outlet and some confidence-building to become better versions of ourselves.
To me, that’s what meditation is.
It’s what helped me get over my anxiety issues and be able to communicate how I always felt I wanted to.
My anxiety issues were really holding me back from being happy.
It got to a point where I said enough is enough, I choose to not let this affect anymore.
Through meditation, I’ve really developed a lot and I’m forever grateful for it.
That’s why I want to help you.
Yours in good meditation,
Co-founder of Lamajo.
Leave a comment below of how anxiety USED TO affect you…
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