According to experts, anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States. It affects approximately 40 million Americans over age eighteen or more than eighteen percent of the adult population.
Contrary to popular belief, anxiety is much more than worrying too much. Anxiety can cause a significant amount of comorbid health conditions, both physical and mental. Learning to deal with stress and anxiety is key to proper health.
One helpful option is guided meditation for anxiety. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about guided meditation and how to use it to help with anxiety.
Understanding How Stress Affects the Body
The modern world is full of stress, both big and small. Even small constant stressors can have dramatic effects on a person’s physical and mental health. If you have a stressful job, for example, that can eventually build up and lead to severe consequences.
A few examples of how stress can physically affect your body include:
- high blood pressure
- weakened immune system
- stomach pains and digestion issues
A few examples of how stress can affect your mental health include:
- insomnia or inability to sleep
- frequently waking instead of restful sleep
- concentration problems
Among these issues, anxiety is one of the leading problems faced by those who undergo consistent stress. Remember, stress doesn’t have to seem large for it to cause health issues. Even small everyday stressors can cause problems in the long term.
What Is Guided Meditation?
Guided meditation is when someone meditates with the guidance of a certified professional. This can be done in person or virtually. It can also be done with the assistance of written or recorded instructions.
Many people find guided meditation helpful, especially in the beginning. Being guided through a meditation session can help beginners learn and practice necessary meditation foundations.
Even seasoned meditation professionals can find guided sessions beneficial. Having someone guide you through a session can make it easier to achieve inner peace and calm. It can be especially useful when feeling large amounts of stress that make it hard to concentrate.
Can Guided Meditation Help Decrease Anxiety?
Yes, guided meditation can help decrease anxiety. Meditation and similar relaxation techniques have long been used to help people cope with stress. But how does it do this?
Meditating helps bring your focus back to yourself instead of all the things happening around you. Uncontrollable external factors are the leading cause of stress. By focusing on your breathing, body, and mental status, you calm your stressed-out mind.
This isn’t a cure-all for what stresses you out. Sometimes, meditation isn’t enough to get rid of all the stress you’re feeling. But it is enough to bring your anxiety levels down to a manageable (and much more healthy) level.
The best part is that meditation (guided or otherwise) can be done anywhere. You can meditate at your desk, in your parked car, in your home, or anywhere else.
Basic Steps to Beginning Guided Meditation
Beginners may feel uncertain about how to start guided meditation. The good news is it’s simple to start and requires no special tools.
However, before anything else, you’ll want to find a guided meditation exercise that works best for you. Try to find at least two guided exercises, if you can.
Look for one that is only a few minutes long that you can do when you’re short on time. Look for a second guided meditation practice that is longer and can be worked into your morning or evening routines. Alternatively, you can choose to book an appointment with a professional and do your meditation live virtually at any time.
Once you’ve decided on a guided meditation you’d like to do, start each session by getting yourself in the right frame of mind. Follow the directions below before each session. Remember, it may take a while the first time, but you’ll find getting in the right frame of mind easier (and faster) each time you do it.
Start by Calming the Body Down
Begin by calming the body down. One of the most popular ways to do this is by practicing relaxation breathing, also known as deep breathing.
Start by breathing in through your nose until your lungs feel full. Pause for a three count. Then, exhale through your mouth until you feel your lungs empty.
As you do this, focus on your breathing. Repeat as many times as is necessary for your body to feel heavy, grounded, and relaxed.
Align Yourself Mentally and Physically
Once you’ve calmed your body, align yourself mentally and physically. Start by planting your feet firmly on the floor. This can be done either standing or sitting.
Mentally or verbally repeat to yourself who and what you are. Tell yourself what you’re doing right now. This will bring your mind into the present so you can focus on the meditation.
Follow the Guided Meditation of Your Choice
Now you can begin following the guided meditation of your choice. This part will vary for each person, based on the routine they choose. Simply follow the instructions of your certified meditation specialist through until the end.
Do You Have More Questions About Guided Meditation for Anxiety?
Every person experiences stress in their life that can lead to anxiety and other health problems. Guided meditation can help you decrease and cope with anxiety before it gets out of hand.
Do you have more questions about guided meditation for anxiety? Or would you like to inquire about a guided meditation session?
Contact us today. We’d be happy to answer any questions you still have. You can also book a guided meditation appointment if desired.
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