Meditation for anxiety has become common practice. Because anxiety can have such a great impact on someone’s quality of life, being able to manage the symptoms caused by anxiety can be extremely beneficial. Knowing the benefits that meditation can have could be a deciding factor in utilizing this tool as a way of managing anxiety and its symptoms, and beginning to gain some normalcy back by combating anxiety in a holistic way.
What is Meditation, Exactly?
For thousands of years, meditation has been a common practice. Using meditation as part of daily life has many benefits. But, what is meditation? The practice of meditation is using physical and mental techniques in order to clear and focus your mind. The techniques used in meditation can help with relaxation, as well as manage and reduce stress and anxiety.
Using meditation for anxiety can help to make the symptoms associated less prevalent and make the symptoms interfere less with day-to-day life. While it may seem like not much is going on with someone who is actively meditating, the way this practice affects the brain is what makes it so beneficial.
How Does Meditation Help Anxiety?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 19.1% of Americans struggle with anxiety disorders. Out of the nearly 40 million adults who suffer from anxiety, only about 36% of them receive care to manage the symptoms.
Using meditation for anxiety could be just as beneficial as pharmaceuticals are, without the side effects. By practicing meditation and other holistic treatments, becoming disciplined, and implementing meditation into daily life, someone could make the techniques used in meditation the response used when symptoms of anxiety arise.
Anxiety is classified as racing, uncontrollable thoughts and feelings of worry and fear. When the practice of meditation is used, it helps to calm these thoughts and feelings through mindfulness and awareness. Focusing on breathing and muscle movement can help shift the focus from these thoughts, onto the actions. The slower, deeper breaths taught in mindful meditation techniques can also help bring calm to those experiencing symptoms of anxiety.
The fast, chest breathing known as hyperventilation can cause someone to be thrown into a panic or anxiety attack. By breathing slowly and deeply, from the belly, and focusing on these breaths, the mind can be calmed. Along with the mind, the symptoms of anxiety can be alleviated.
Does It Help Depression?
Depression can be just as debilitating as anxiety. Using meditation to manage symptoms of depression can be extremely helpful in relieving the stress that could be attributed to depression. Using the breathing techniques taught in meditation can help signal the nervous system to become calmer, and essentially alleviate some of these feelings.
Can Meditation Cure Anxiety?
Meditation for anxiety can help to reduce and alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. When practiced and used to help manage anxiety, the symptoms could seemingly go away because the practices taught in the different forms of meditation become second nature. When feelings of anxiousness arise, and meditation techniques are used, they can be highly effective in making these feelings less invasive to someone’s life.
Anxiety and Dysregulated Nervous System
What is a dysregulated nervous system? When someone experiences a traumatic event, it can alter the way the body reacts to danger, whether real or perceived. A dysregulated nervous system is essentially the nervous system’s reaction to any real or perceived danger as a result of trauma. The way a dysregulated nervous system affects the body can cause someone to be stuck in a state of “go”. This can lead to stress and anxiety surrounding any perceived danger. Using meditation for anxiety in this instance can help re-center the mind on the present and what is, in reality, going on.
Tips on Meditation for Anxiety
Commonly used techniques in meditation for anxiety can include guided meditation, a form in which calming and relaxing things and places are imagined as well as using the senses to calm the brain. Other forms of meditation used are:
- Mantra meditation: repeating calming phrases
- Mindfulness meditation: focusing on being present and in the moment by focusing on breathing, and your experience during this breathing.
- Yoga: controlled breathing and movement.
- Transcendental meditation: repeating a self-specific mantra in a specific way that can lead to a state of relaxation and calm.
No matter the form, meditation for anxiety can be extremely beneficial for those who suffer from anxiety disorders. Managing the symptoms is possible, and gaining control of the mind is attainable.
Healing Through Meditation
Living with anxiety can be debilitating. Learning how to cope with anxiety can be a freeing experience. Using meditation can help someone who is struggling with anxiety find relief and learn coping skills to manage the symptoms. At the Neuroscience Research Institute, we offer comprehensive care to learn skills for managing anxiety. Learn new ways to cope with and get through the symptoms, and begin to gain control back.
Contact us today.