Meditation for Anxiety

The number of people claiming to have experienced relief from anxiety by practicing meditation continues to increase each day.  Meditation was often only practiced for religious purposes but today it is also a successful adjunct for treating people with anxiety disorders.

The following examples show how meditation can help provide relief for those who are afflicted with disorders that are compounded by distracting thoughts.

Mindfulness Meditation

A psychiatrist at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders, Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, has stated that mindfulness meditation can be a very helpful tool for treating people who are afflicted with anxiety. This is because anxiety makes it very difficult for sufferers to deal with a load of negative thoughts that are oftentimes very dominant and powerful.

It can become very difficult to identify the difference between problem-solving and worrying with all those negative distracting thoughts running around in the mind.  However, with mindfulness meditation a person can be trained to recognize these unproductive worries, move past their anxiety and focus on problems for which there is a solution.

Negative events may still creep into a person’s mind, but mastering the art of meditation will enable them to recognize the emergence of such thoughts. The realization that they have been in this state of mind before will help them (once they are in a mindful state) to defocus from those negative thoughts and turn their mind to something more positive.

Practicing mindfulness meditation will help a person to be aware that these are merely thoughts or temporary sensations and definitely not a permanent part of their core being. This will make it easier for them to control their anxiety and also the way they respond to these negative impulses.

Zen Meditation

This is the type of meditation that helps a person improve their posture and manner of breathing.  Practitioners of Zen meditation will usually sit in a Buddha-like position that not only promotes relaxation but also allows an individual to welcome good feelings and thoughts.

This is partly why regular practice of this type of meditation will make it easier for anxiety sufferers to achieve relaxation and calmness. Different breathing techniques are known for being beneficial for finding anxiety relief.

Those who practice Zen meditation on a regular basis were found to have improved their mind to limit the influence of all distracting thoughts. This finding was revealed after researchers conducted a brain scan on people who had practiced Zen meditation.

Mantra-Based Meditation

Mantra-based meditation received wide acceptance from many parts of the Western world when it was made known to the public in the 1960’s that the Beatles actively engaged in this form of meditation. It involves repeating the same kind of word or phrase all throughout the meditation session.

It is believed that when a person repeats a mantra it allows them to gain distance from their own negative thoughts and hence relieve their anxiety.  As they keep on repeating the mantra they will become better not only at pacifying their emotions but also in observing the occurrence of those negative thoughts and preventing them from gaining control over their own life.

Anxiety is often caused by thoughts and emotions that were suppressed and ignored in a person’s past. This is when meditation becomes beneficial, as it helps to create a quiet space that will give way for these suppressed emotions and thoughts to come to the surface. This then allows the person to learn to release their anxious feelings both past and present.