Meditation for Anxiety Relief

by Sharon Hopkins

Given today's fast-paced and hectic lives, there has been an increase in the number of people suffering from anxiety and stress-related conditions. A stressful life will have a negative effect on the body and mind, and it therefore needs to be corrected, because long long-term stress can cause serious illnesses and complications.

One way to successfully fight stress is to activate the body's natural relaxation response to it. If you think you may have an anxiety disorder, make sure to consult a doctor so that he/she can recommend the best course of treatment for you.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques have been known to aid people to deal with different kinds of stress that lead to anxiety. Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends meditation for anxiety and linked relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation and visualization may help to relieve anxiety and depression symptoms. Meditation is believed to help calm the sympathetic nervous system's activity. It is also said to regulate heart rate, maintain blood pressure, normalize respiration rate, and ease muscle tension. Relaxation techniques should be used only after consulting your physician, psychologist or psychiatrist, who may also recommend some medication along with exercise and meditation.

Meditation Techniques

Meditation techniques for anxiety involve breathing meditation, visualization meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, body scan meditation, yoga, tai chi, and mindfulness.

  • Breathing meditation is a powerful relaxation technique for stress and anxiety relief, and it takes only a few minutes to perform. Focus on taking full deep breaths from the abdomen to calm your body and mind. With an increase in the oxygen supplied to your body, you will feel less anxious and be able to breathe better.
  • Visualization meditation requires you to use only your senses and imagine a peaceful scene as vividly as possible. Choose a setting that soothes you, be it a snowy mountain top, your favorite spot in the house, or a sandy beach. This deep relaxation technique helps to completely calm your system.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation requires you to flex and relax various muscles groups in the body. It is believed that as your muscles relax your mind will calm itself as well. A combination of deep breathing with progressive muscle relaxation will give you further stress relief. Consult your doctor before trying this method of relaxation as tense muscles could aggravate an injury.
  • Body scan meditation requires you to be aware of the energy in your body.
  • Yoga is an old practice that involves the mind and also the body. It is based on a principle that helps in improving the health of the body and calming the mind. Yoga for stress and anxiety relief is considerably popular, and it is often recommended by physicians. Yoga classes like Satyananda Yoga, Power Yoga, and Hatha Yoga that focus on deep breathing, gentle stretching, and slow movements are most suitable to relieve stress.
  • If yoga is not your cup of tea, tai chi is another option. Tai chi is a series of slow flowing body movements that concentrate on relaxation and energy flow throughout the body.
  • Mindfulness deals with you being aware of everything in and around you.

If practiced regularly, meditation for anxiety relief gives you a sense of freedom and calmness. Once you start following which ever technique is suitable for you regularly, along with the medication that has been prescribed, you should feel much better. In severe cases, meditation and exercise will not completely rid you of your stress and anxiety, but it definitely goes a long way in making you feel better both physically and mentally.



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