How to use meditation in times of anxiety?

How to use meditation in times of anxiety?
How to use meditation in times of anxiety?

Meditation is a practice with many different variants that has been used since ancient times, especially in Eastern culture. The practice of prayer in Western culture could be considered analogous. Consists, in general terms, of withdrawing attention from certain stimuli and thoughts that cause us tension to concentrate it, either on breathing, or on the repetition of phrases or words as a mantra, or being guided to through views.


Young African American woman sitting on exercise mat outside on her patio and meditating in the lotus pose during a yoga session

The practices proposed by Mindfulness, which are not synonymous with meditation, aim to connect with the present moment, redirecting attention to breathing whenever the mind begins to wander. The connection with the bodily sensations, with the sounds around, is important in this practice.

In transcendental meditation, for example, mantras are repeated to achieve a state of relaxation. Beyond the differences between the different practices, in this article we are going to focus on the benefit it can bring on anxiety symptoms, especially in times of crisis.

It is important, whatever the chosen practice, that it be practiced with a certain constancy. Becauseinitially it is difficult to get a quick relaxation.

The tbreathing techniques are in themselves very powerful tools to reduce anxiety at specific times.

It is very important to go recognizing how anxiety manifests subjectively. Manifestations vary from person to person. Recognizing the individual manifestation, how it begins to express itself, through what bodily symptoms, and what happens with thought is very important to be able to identify cycles and be able to intervene appropriately.

Very likely over time we will be able to identify situations that trigger it and how it begins to show itself incipiently. In these moments intervening with small meditations or breathing exercises can be useful to reduce its intensity.

Anxiety manifests itself involuntarily, and is usually intensified if we react to it with fear or reluctance. Trying to make what we feel disappear from one moment to another, will only make it stronger. In these cases it is necessary to accept and raise awareness of what appears, and then see what we can do from there. Psychological therapies can help in this registration and awareness process.

Meditation can be a very powerful tool to kick-start when you spot signs of anxiety. I propose below a way to record anxiety and intervene through small moments of meditation.

C when anxiety starts to show up maybenotice shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sweating or gastroenterological symptoms, among many others. When this occurs, whenever possible, it is advisable to move away from moment somewhere with lesser external stimuli (low lights and shelter from disturbing noises) and perform a brief meditation, it can be as little as 5 minutes, taking deep breaths, directed to the belly and concentrating attention on the entrance and exit from the air.

The concentration on something specific is very important right now. There are those who recommend accompanying the breath with a gesture of the hand rising when inhaling and descending when exhaling, following the path with the eyes. Focusing attention on the tip of the nose is also a recommended technique. A mantra can also be repeated internally. In Kundalini Yoga, for example, the mantra Sat-Nam is used, Sat when inhaling and Nam when exhaling.

Go finding what particularly relaxes you is a path of exploration, but just introducing these pauses when you detect the appearance of symptoms can help reduce their intensity and stop their development.

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