There is growing scientific evidence suggesting that you can use meditation to help reduce anxiety.
The anxiety epidemic
Anxiety is sweeping America. Once thought to be relatively rare, anxiety disorders now affect 40 million adults. This makes it the most common form of mental illness in the U.S. This epidemic has far-reaching effects. It impacts everything from work and relationships to sleep and physical health.
There are a number of factors causing the increase. Some factors include a genetic predisposition, experiencing stressful life events, and changes in brain chemistry. But whatever the cause, the result is the same: an increase in worry, stress, and fear that can be crippling.
What’s the difference between stress and anxiety?
Stress is your body’s response to a demanding situation. Anxiety, on the other hand, is an emotional response to stress.
Stress is your body’s response to a demanding situation. It could be a looming deadline at work. It could be a fight with a friend. it could even result from you being stuck in traffic.
When you’re stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are part of your “fight or flight” response. Your “fight or flight” response is your body’s way of preparing to deal with danger. The stress hormone, cortisol, also plays a role in your immune response. This means that your body’s ability to fight infection is lowered when you’re under stress.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is an emotional response to stress. When you’re anxious, you might feel like your heart is racing or you can’t catch your breath. You might feel like you’re being watched or that something bad is going to happen. You might even feel like you’re having a panic attack.
What are some types of anxiety disorders?
Anxiety disorders come in many different forms. Each one has its own unique set of symptoms. The most common types of anxiety disorders are panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
1. Panic Disorder.
Panic disorder is characterized by sudden and intense episodes of fear or anxiety. These episodes can come on without warning and can be so overwhelming that they interfere with your everyday activities.
2. Generalized anxiety disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder is marked by chronic, excessive worry and tension. People with this type of anxiety disorder often have difficulty concentrating. They experience sleep disturbances due to their constant worrying.
3. Social anxiety disorder.
Social anxiety disorder is a specific phobia that causes intense fear and discomfort in social situations. This can make it difficult to make friends or keep a job.
More on generalized anxiety disorder.
Anxiety can help keep you alert and motivated. But when anxiety becomes overwhelming, it can be disabling. This is when it becomes a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
GAD is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about many different things. People with GAD may feel anxious about their health, work, family, or finances. They may constantly worry that something bad will happen, even when there’s no evidence that it will.
GAD can negatively affect a person’s quality of life. It can cause them to miss work or school. It can cause a person to avoid social activities, and become isolated from friends and family. It can also lead to physical symptoms like headaches, and muscle tension. It can also affect your sleep quality, causing insomnia.
How are anxiety and depression associated?
Anxiety and depression are both common mental health disorders. Each of them can have a profound effect on a person’s quality of life. While they are distinct conditions, anxiety and depression often occur together. It’s estimated that about one-third of all people living with depression also have anxiety.
There are several ways anxiety and depression are related. First, anxiety can lead to depression. People who experience chronic anxiety may be more likely to develop depressive symptoms. Anxiety can also worsen symptoms of any existing depression, making both more difficult to manage.
On the other hand, depression can increase the risk of developing anxiety. Depression is a major risk factor for developing panic disorder, for example. People who are depressed may also be more likely to experience social anxiety and other types of fear or worry.
Can guided meditations help with anxiety?
Guided meditations, in particular, can be a helpful way to ease anxiety symptoms.
While there are many medications designed to help, some people prefer to treat their anxiety using other options. There is growing scientific evidence suggesting that you can use meditation to help reduce anxiety. Guided meditations, in particular, can be a helpful way to ease anxiety symptoms.
Guided mindfulness meditations are a form of meditation where a meditation teacher leads you through the practice. This can be done in person, with a meditation video, or through an audio recording. Anyone can use an audio-guided meditation for anxiety. It can also help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Daily mindfulness meditation can also help increase feelings of well-being for your mind and body.
There are many different types of guided meditations available. It is important to find a meditation for anxiety and stress. If you are new to meditation, it may be helpful to try a few different types before settling on one that works best for you.
How does guided meditation help with anxiety?
A guided meditation for anxiety is a great way to get anxiety relief. They are a great type of meditation to use during anxiety episodes. One of the benefits of guided meditation is they offer a sense of comfort to the best of us, serving as a reminder that we are not alone.
Guided meditations can help with anxiety by teaching you how to focus on the present moment. Guided meditations can help you learn let go of worries about the future or the past. They can also help you become more aware of your breath by encouraging you to focus on your inhale and exhale. Learning deep breathing techniques can help to calm your body and mind.
Guided meditation can also employ guided imagery to help you with stress management. Guided imagery is a meditation technique you can use to calm your mind, reduce your stress, and improve sleep.
Can meditation make anxiety worse?
It all depends on your individual relationship to meditation and your personal experiences with anxiety.
Meditation is a practice with many benefits. That said, there is no one right answer to this question. It all depends on your individual relationship to meditation and your personal experiences with anxiety. Some people find that meditation may make their anxiety worse. Others find that meditation helps alleviate their anxiety symptoms.
It is important to experiment with different techniques and find what works best for you. For example, if mindfulness meditation makes your anxiety worse, don’t do it. Consult with a mental health professional to explore other options. Meditation is one of many options to help with anxiety.
How to meditate when you are anxious?
One of the benefits of audio-guided mindfulness meditation is that you can do it when you feel anxiety coming on. Doing a short guided meditation can help you relieve your anxiety and panic. Below are some tips to help you meditate when you are anxious.
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. If you cannot be still, you can try a different type of meditation like walking meditation.
- Close your eyes. If closing your eyes isn’t an option, then open your eyes.
- Take a deep breath to calm the mind. Repeat taking deep breaths until you experience stress reduction. Alternatively, you can continue until you experience muscle relaxation.
- Allow tensions in your body to melt away.
- Observe your thoughts to become aware of any negative thoughts and emotions you are experiencing.
- Practice self-compassion. Remind yourself that you are loved. Repeat the phrase, “I AM loved,” over and over again.
- Use mental imagery to change your feelings. Focus your attention on an environment that helps you feel more relaxed. This could be a place you have the fondest memories of as a child.
- Throughout your meditation practice, make sure you continue breathing normally. This is an excellent way to dissipate negative emotions.
If you can’t meditate alone when you are anxious, try relieving your anxiety through guided meditations. Doing guided meditations for a few minutes daily can improve your health and well-being.
The effects of guided meditation are many. A guided meditation session helps you focus on relieving your anxiety quickly. Many offer easy to follow instructions that teach different meditation techniques. They are also available on-demand. This allows access during stressful situations when there is a lot going on around you.
Other amazing tips for managing your anxiety.
As I’ve discussed, one of the benefits of meditation is its impact on anxiety. However, if you are struggling with anxiety, meditation isn’t the only option. There are many other things you can do to help manage it.
Each of these options allows you to focus on yourself better:
- Deep breathing and yoga are both great ways to relax your body and mind. So is combining yoga and mindfulness meditation.
- Exercise is also a great way to release tension and improve your overall mood. About 10 minutes of daily exercise is able to change how you feel. It can also help you sleep.
- Eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep are also important for managing anxiety. One way to get enough sleep is to turn off your phone before going to bed.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remove yourself from the environment impacting you. Focus on your breath for a few minutes to calm down before returning.
What are the best audio-guided meditations for anxiety relief?
There are many different audio-guided meditations for anxiety relief. Some people find it helpful to listen to guided meditations led by a teacher that focuses on breathing. Others prefer ones that focus on relaxation techniques. And still, others prefer a more visualization-based approach.
Whichever type of meditation you choose, remember the following.
- Give yourself enough time to do the practice.
- Pay attention to how you feel before doing the practice.
- Pay attention to how you feel after the practice.
- If the practice doesn’t help you alleviate your anxiety, try a different one.
- If the outcomes of your meditation extend far beyond your goal, then return to the meditation.
Roland Achenjang, a certified meditation coach, creates amazing audio-guided meditations. His style of meditation focuses on what makes you human. Your ability to breathe. Your ability to sense. And your ability to think and imagine.
Best of all, you can listen to many of his meditations for FREE. Read on to learn how.
Try A FREE audio-guided meditation practice today.
As a reminder, meditate at least once a day if you can. Even if you are not feeling anxious, still meditate.
Any form of meditation, even a mindfulness practice, is great. By doing the practice, you may feel your body start to change. This is one of the benefits of mindfulness meditation.
As promised, click on the image to enjoy a FREE audio-guided meditation I created to help reduce your anxiety and stress.
Conclusion on meditation for anxiety & stress relief.
Meditation can be a helpful tool for managing anxiety and stress. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to meditation, there are many different styles of meditation that can be effective for anxiety and stress relief. Audio-guided meditations are a great place to start.
If you’re interested in trying meditation for anxiety or stress relief and unsure where to begin, schedule a coaching session with me.
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