Anxiety can be a crippling hurdle that interrupts daily life. Aside from intensifying stress, it can have a long-term impact on physical, emotional, and mental health. People have used meditation for centuries to promote mindfulness.
To help us help you, we’ve gathered some tips on using meditation to calm anxiety and prevent yourself from spiraling.
Mindfulness is a principle that all humans are capable of achieving. It doesn’t have to include sitting still and closing your eyes while forcing a clear head. To help incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine:
- Become in tune with your feelings: Identifying emotions that complement anxiety can help you become more aware of your triggers. Ask yourself what exactly you’re feeling and try to recognize what prompts it. This can help you gain more control over processing and responding to difficult emotions and become more mindful about dealing with them.
- Turn off your phone: It doesn’t take an expert to understand that social media use harms mental health, especially for women. It’s distracting, with floods of information—usually negative—constantly popping up and distorting reality. Long story short, scrolling on your phone is a mindless, temporary escape from anxious thoughts and can manifest itself negatively in the future.
- Pay attention to how you treat (and talk to) yourself: Negative self-talk or relying on external factors to escape complicated feelings are unhealthy patterns that can have adverse effects long-term. Talking down on yourself is never the answer. Still, relying on temporary pleasure ignores a deeper issue, and suppressing feelings won’t do you any good. So, drop the negative self-talk, and save that glass of wine for another time.
Find a Form of Meditation That Works for You
Meditation is often associated with sitting down, closing your eyes, and being present. It’s not so black and white, though. There are plenty of meditative options that don’t seem grueling or impossible. Here are some options:
- Read: Escaping to a storyline and indulging in relatable characters can be an incredibly meditative experience. Reading memoirs, flipping through a magazine, or even a graphic novel can relieve anxious thoughts and help you focus on something other than your thoughts and reality for a little bit. Plus, learning something new is just a bonus!
- Step outside: Sometimes, staying inside for long periods can intensify overwhelming feelings as they sink in. It can feel like the walls are caving in on you, and exiting a stressful environment can help mitigate those feelings. Cut the claustrophobia and step outdoors to inhale that fresh air. You can sit outside or go for a short walk to clear your head.
- Take care: Everyone deserves self-love, and caring for yourself alone can be meditative. Start with a refreshing shower or steamy bath, try on a face mask, or spend some time with your pet. If listening to some music or switching to a lighthearted show or movie helps, do that. Self-care can look different for everyone, but prioritizing your physical and mental well-being should never be a compromise.
Take a Step Back
Anxiety can prompt tunnel vision and prevent you from seeing the bigger picture. You become very narrow-minded, and amidst the doom and gloom scenarios, it can feel impossible to pull yourself out of a dark mindset. Here are some ways to take a step back before spiraling:
- Practice breathing: Focusing on your breath can help relieve stress. Next time you spot an anxious kick, stop and take a moment to breathe deeply and slowly. Do so a few times until you feel more relaxed and in control of your mind.
- Talk about it: Advice and talk therapy from a professional are vital to promoting long-term healthy coping mechanisms. If you lack access to a therapist, reach out to a close friend or family member you trust and feel comfortable around. A listening ear can provide some reassurance and perspective.
- Remind yourself that you’re worthy: According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health issues in the United States. So, the next time you feel like the world is working against you, understand that your feelings are valid and millions of people have a similar experience.
Meditation can help us live more intentionally and mindfully amid the chaos and expectations in our lives. A professional guide is advised, but in the meantime, we hope this list gives you some insight into becoming your best self!