I have a history of anxiety and panic attacks, so I’ve had to explore ways to deal over the years.
My symptoms range from persistent feelings of being off-balance and dizzy to perceived numbness or weakness, heart palpitations, strange sensations to thinking that I’m about to die.
It’s a terrifying experience and not something I would ever wish on anyone else.
If you have generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder or even have dealt with high anxiety on occasion, you know how debilitating it can be.
Meditation is one of the practices that has truly decreased my overall anxiety and lessened the chance of a panic attack occurring.
Practicing stillness and silence are important to incorporate daily. Meditation is a great tool to use and it’s available to me whenever I need it.
Anyone can meditate and it can be done anywhere.
Guided meditations are nice but definitely not a requirement to get started.
If you’re interested, there are many available on iTunes, CDs, wellness websites or through meditation teachers websites.
Also, Deepak Chopra and Oprah do a free 21 day meditation several times a year which I highly recommend. I love both of them but if you’re not a fan then look elsewhere!
There’s plenty of meditation teachers out there and you’ll find one that works for you.
So, like I said, it’s not required that you follow a guided meditation to reap the benefits. Some people just prefer that.
If you can give yourself at least 2 minutes, find a place to be still, close your eyes and breathe, you’re all set.
2 minutes will fly by but if it’s all you have and you’re in need of meditation due to a highly stressful situation- go for it! Get whatever you can.
That being said, starting your day with (at least) a 10-20 minute meditation is ideal to set yourself up for handling whatever the day will bring.
Evening meditation is also ideal (sun up and sun down) so if you can get your time in twice, that’s even better.
When I give myself that good amount of time in the morning to meditate, my entire day is affected.
- I am less anxious
- I am nicer to the people around me
- I am more present with my family
- I make better choices
- I carry a calmness throughout the day
- I am more creatively inspired
- I am happier.
Morning meditation doesn’t always happen for me on days when my 9 month old alarm clock decides to rise extra early after keeping me up from her teething pains but I still make time for that stillness, I grab it wherever I can find it.
You have to get creative with finding that time if you have little ones.
If I don’t get my meditation first thing in the morning, I opt for during the kids naptime, after my shower or whenever my husband is home and available to watch them for a few.
I’m highly experienced in knowing how meditation can help anxiety sufferers because I’m one of those people. I’m living proof!
Here’s how to get started with nothing required except yourself. (well, and a timer so you don’t meditate for hours and miss work)
- Make sure you’re comfortable in whatever you’re wearing. Nothing too constricting or awkward to sit in.
- Use the restroom and be sure that you’re not too thirsty or hungry. You don’t want to have to worry about those things.
- Find a quiet space where you can sit.
- Sit on a pillow on the floor, cross legged on the floor or sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Set your timer for the amount of time you need and if you’re using a phone, choose a tone that with gently bring you back, nothing too shocking.
- Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath.
- Long, slow inhales and exhales through your nose.
- Count your breaths: 1 for inhale, 1 for exhale and so on. Or inhales say to yourself “in” and exhales “out” or just breathe and let your mind settle.
- Thoughts will come in but don’t judge them. Just acknowledge and go back to focusing on your breath and stillness.
- Dont judge yourself for letting your mind wander. Just continually bring yourself back to the present moment.
Use these guidelines as a basis for starting a meditation practice to decrease your anxiety and you will absolutely notice a difference in your overall wellbeing.
I’m all for medicine that has no negative side effects.
For me, that is meditation.