Anxiety is often a result of fear. Fear leads to worry, and over time anxiety and stress can negatively impact the brain’s function. Anxiety hinders brain health and your ability to work effectively. It is a stop sign at every intersection that you face in life and it may seem like you will never get the green light. It is natural to harbor some worry, but too much is harmful. Mindfulness meditation can help you to go and move forward, as well as relieve anxiety and stress.
Tens of millions of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Traditional treatment for anxiety includes prescription medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. And although these treatments can be helpful, they are not the only option. If you have an endless thought process wrought with anxiety, worry, and stress, mindfulness meditation is a method that may be able to help you. Even if you have never meditated in your life, starting can help you to retrain your brain and learn to reduce your anxiety or anxious tendencies.
Why mindfulness meditation works
There are numerous studies that show the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation. Meditation activates portions of the brain that helps the person meditating to respond to stress. It can also change the structure of the brain positively impacting the person’s mood. In addition to reducing anxiety and stress, meditation can help participants to focus and concentrate better. Research has shown that even small amounts of meditation can benefit memory, concentration, and productivity. Research also shows that other numerous benefits to practicing meditation.
What ailments can mindfulness meditation help with
Meditation is a helpful tool for many mental and behavioral health disorders. In addition to generalized anxiety and panic disorders, mindfulness meditation can benefit people who experience social anxiety, agoraphobia, mood disorders, addiction, sleep disorders, memory loss, and depression. It is an excellent practice to utilize in conjunction with behavioral therapy. The goal of this meditation form is to train your mind to focus on your health and wellness. If we live especially stressful lives, it’s easy to let our minds become cluttered. Mindfulness meditation trains our minds to focus on the things we want to prioritize.
How mindfulness meditation works
Mindfulness meditation is one of the best beginner meditation options, and it is incredibly helpful at reducing stress. If you regularly face stress or anxiety at home, school or work, you may want to consider adding mindfulness meditation into your coping routine. Meditation is frequently used in many high-stress occupations from military service members to Fortune 500 executives to help them to manage their work. When you experience high stress, the body over produces a hormone called cortisol. If your body has too much of this hormone, it can cause inflammation and other serious health issues. Most people experience insomnia and weight gain as well.
Tips for Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety and mental stress in reputable scientific studies. These simple mindfulness meditation tips can help you to reduce your anxiety and even stop a panic attack from worsening.
Think about how many things you do each day. Now, think about how many times you actually pause and reflect. You probably don’t pause very often throughout the day. Pausing is important because it gives your mind and body a chance to slow down. When you are experiencing anxiety or panic, anchor yourself by focusing attention on the lower portion of your body. Start by focusing on your feet. Visualize and feel your feet inside your socks and shoes. How they feel on the ground. Move your attention to the feeling in your lower legs, now onto your upper legs. Focus on how they feel. Light or heavy? Cold or hot? Numb or tingling? Finally, focus on the feeling as you breathe in and out and relax as you exhale. This technique gives you a chance to pause and connect with your center. You can anchor yourself at any time of day or night to refocus your emotional anxiety.
Count your breaths
Counting your breaths works with anchoring yourself or even alone. As you breathe in, count as you inhale to 5, and as you breathe out, count to 7 until all of the air has left your lungs. If you’re prone to stress-induced high blood pressure, this technique will help you. It’s also helpful if you deal with frequent panic attacks or mood swings. The counting and process of inhaling and exhaling can help you to lengthen and expand. It also helps you to slow your breathing in times of panic.
Breathe with your fingers
Similar to counting your breaths, finger breathing is a method to slow breathing and lower one’s heart rate. To breathe with your fingers, hold one hand with your palm facing you. Use the index finger of your opposite hand to trace the outside of each finger as you breathe in, pause at the top and breathe out to the bottom of the finger. Keep going until you have traced all of your fingers and then reverse the process. This mindfulness technique combines breathing techniques with a visual focal point to calm you. The goal meditation is not to be mindless, but mindful. You do not have to be thought-free, but you need to learn to refocus your thoughts to gain control of your stress, anxiety, worry or pain.
This form of meditation trains your brain to focus on the future rather than the past. Just as learning any new skill takes time, mindful meditation takes time as well. As you continue on your medication journey, you will find that your anxiety will slowly fade away as you learn healthy coping mechanisms to respond to stress. Mindful meditation does not take hours – in as little as 10 minutes you can practice mindfulness meditation. While some people choose to spend a few hours each day, it is not required to begin the practice. In fact, if you’re just beginning, it’s a good idea to take just a few minutes. The important thing is to practice every day. Taking a few minutes makes that easy. Make sure to find a quiet spot with few distractions. You don’t need outside factors to pull your focus away from your goal. As you practice each day, your practice time will become part of your routine. It won’t take long to reap the benefits of this amazing practice.
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