Learning how to meditate to relieve stress and anxiety naturally is becoming extremely popular in homes and yoga studios all over the world. For many people, allowing some time to remove themselves from the craziness of their daily lives to become mindful of what is going on inside of their bodies helps them identify what is causing them pain and increases their overall health.
If you are brand new to meditation then it might be a little confusing as to what is actually supposed to be happening while you are meditating. Everyone’s practice might be different but you are pretty much just trying to find stillness within your body and your mind. You might have the urge to start planning the rest of your day or figuring out what you’re going to eat for dinner but recognizing those thoughts and then letting them pass through you will help to calm your mind.
It is important to not try and push the thoughts that come to mind away but rather notice that they are there, bring them into your practice, and then let them go. Trying to fight off any negative or distracting thoughts can be counterproductive to what you want to achieve because it is these negative thoughts that you are trying to relieve yourself of. If you leave these thoughts for after your practice then you will not have had the chance to look at them with the openness that you experience while you are meditating.
As your mind begins to clear and any distracting thoughts fade away you will start to notice things in your body that you might have never noticed before. It is this mindfulness of your body that allows you to recognize parts of yourself that you might be holding stress in or are causing you discomfort. Being aware of what is causing you pain is the first step in being able to remove that pain from your body.
Relieve Stress And Anxiety Naturally
There are many forms of meditation but what I’ve found to be the easiest way to start is to just find a comfortable place where you can sit and not be bothered for a while. Sitting still without moving for 10 or 15 minutes might not seem that difficult but being alone with your thoughts could prove to be harder than you think.
Overtime you might notice how restless your mind was when you first began your practice and how much clearer your thoughts have now become in your daily life. Training your mind to let go of stressful or anxious thoughts in your meditation practice will make it that much easier to not let everyday stress affect you like it once did.
Also, the tension that most people hold in their neck and shoulders due to high amounts of stress in their life is given instant relief after they meditate. When you focus your breath on releasing stress and anxiety from your body you will start to notice the actual pain instead of the thoughts or worries that inevitably cause the pain in the first place.
Retrain Your Brain
Consistent meditation also alters the way your brain perceives pain and gives you more control over your emotions. A recent study by John Hopkins University showed that people who practice mindful meditation are more likely to have improved mood and more control over their cognitive abilities than those who took anti-depressants. Anxious thoughts are decreased dramatically while meditating which leads to overall increased mental health benefits.
As you meditate more and more frequently you actually start to change the biology of the nerve cells in parts of your brain that might have been inactive. Stimulating areas of your brain that affect learning, memory, and control of your emotions can lead to increased brain matter and more efficient brain functioning. This increased brain functioning can also strengthen your hippocampus which is the part of your brain that is affected by degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Settling Your Mind Through Guided Meditation
So now that you know why you should meditate to relieve stress and anxiety you might be wondering about whether being guided through your meditation rather than sitting in silence will have the same health benefits. Some people might have a mantra that they like to repeat to themselves if they are having trouble clearing their mind and the soft rhythm allows them to let go. Others might like to focus on their breathing, allowing the ebb and flow of their breath to guide their mind into peacefulness.
Although sitting in silence is the best way to really dig deep into the discomfort that is occurring in your body, I also enjoy guided meditations that focus on a specific way that you can heal your body. There are thousands of guided meditations available for free on YouTube that can help anywhere from stress relief, money worries, self esteem, overcoming shyness and pretty much any other type of physical or mental condition that you can think of.
No matter what form of meditation it is that allows you to become mindful of your thoughts and actions, giving yourself a moment to reflect on what is going on inside of your body will make you appreciate all of the things good things in your life rather than focusing on the negative. As your mind begins to open and you start to radiate joy and kindness you are also inviting in positive thoughts and affirmations, naturally relieving yourself of stress and anxiety.
Starting a regular yoga practice is a great way to start to become mindful of your body and will give your body and mind the perfect balance of intensity through a moving practice and calmness through meditation. Yoga and meditation are two of the most natural ways that you can heal both the pains in your body as well as the destructive thoughts in your mind.
How do you de-stress from all of the craziness in your life?
Stick With It!