If you find it difficult to decrease anxiety or stress, you’re in the right place!
Like me, you probably understand the following feelings:
- Your thoughts racing on constant overdrive
- Your heart throbbing in your throat
- Over-sensitivity to what people say and think
- Panic attacks
- Feeling on edge and unable to focus when anxious
- Having trouble sleeping
- Finding it difficult to sit still for long periods of time
- Being unable to swallow properly due to emotions building up
- AND unable to stop worrying about worst case scenarios or what will happen in the future.
Yep, having anxiety can suck...
But it’s usually at it’s worst when you’re not equipped with effective techniques to manage and cope with it.
As someone who has had anxiety for many years and found constant stress overwhelming, I understand the frustrations of not being able to switch off your mind, control difficult emotions or rationalise why you’re feeling a certain way.
I get it….
But I think the greatest challenge I experienced, was trying to explain my anxiety to my inner circle.
It’s hard to explain your emotions and what you’re feeling (eg. anxious, angry, stressed or upset) when you don’t really have a tangible reason behind it.
And in the moments when they couldn’t empathise with how I was feeling, I’d start to feel weird and like an outcast.
I think that was the greatest pain of them all…
BUT!! There’s a silver lining! I don’t feel that way anymore!
I’ve learned to be a lot more open with my emotions and have learned how to decrease anxiety and stress symptoms.
And now, I’m so much more stable with my mind and emotions.
But how did I do learn to decrease anxiety?
I’m going to delve into this shortly, but before I do – here’s a video you can watch which covers the same content if you’re more of a visual learner than a reader.
To be honest, Meditation has been an absolute godsend for me!
If you haven’t done meditation before or are a bit intimidated or “weirded out” about with what meditation is, don’t worry! I was in the same place several years ago.
But after giving it a go and keeping consistent, the practice has truly transformed my life.
In this article, I’m going to highlight how and why meditation has helped me to decrease anxiety and how it can help you too.
How to Decrease Anxiety & Stress with Meditation
If you’re struggling with managing anxiety, you probably experience at least one of the following thoughts in your day-to-day functioning:
- Not good enough
- Unloved or unlikable
- Dumb or don’t have what it takes to be successful
- Prone to fail
- Difficult for other to understand
- Have something wrong with you
- Have no time or are too busy to do things you enjoy
The problem is that these thoughts are usually ingrained limiting beliefs that have developed at some point in your childhood or early years of life.
When you have anxiety, or are stressed, these thoughts are triggered regularly and can often occur in a scattered fashion.
The purpose of meditation is to slow down your mind and detach from your thoughts.
You are not your thoughts!
That is something I have personally learned throughout my meditation journey.
Why I Tried Meditation to Decrease Anxiety
In 2016, I went on the greatest adventure of my life!!
I spent 1 year backpacking around the world including South, East & North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Before my travels, I had read about the benefits of meditation for anxiety and had also heard about the powers of mindfulness.
Although I really wanted to decrease anxiety naturally, I felt that meditation was a bit too “woo woo” and wouldn’t work for me.
I also wasn’t a spiritual person, had very little extra time to invest into it and had some preconceived assumptions regarding what meditation was about – which I later found out were complete myths!
Maybe right now, you’re feeling a similar way?
When working full-time, I’d put off trying meditation because I felt there were more pressing issues. But when I was travelling, I had no excuse…
I now HAD the time to give it a shot and didn’t have much to lose….
My First Experience Meditating #FAIL
Learning how to meditate was not easy, especially given I tried to be smart and do it all on my own (Not something I’d recommend if you’re just starting out too)
It took a lot of trial and error, time and I rarely had any idea what I was doing!
And because I didn’t have a dedicated meditation space, I felt so paranoid that:
- My room-mates would wake to find me looking like some uncoordinated passed out starfish on the floor
- People would think I’m dead or passed out and would notify the hostel staff
- Travellers would walk in on me, ruining my practice, focus, and also causing a big red face of embarrassment (on my end!)
My Experience Meditating Now
Now, several years later, I have developed a steady morning meditation routine.
And what can I say, it’s freaking awesome!!
I love to meditate in the morning. I find it really sets me up for the day.
These days, I don’t get stressed as easily, I’m more balanced, more focused, motivated, centred and feel genuinely happy before my day has even begun.
Meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing have become necessary exercises in my daily life.
The Benefits I’ve Experienced from Meditation
1) Dedicated time to refresh, regenerate and relax.
One of the greatest things I’ve gained from building a meditation routine is that I’m much more comfortable giving myself permission take a break and a moment to myself.
Being able to pause, reflect, focus and live in the now rather than constantly panicking about the future, what I need to do, my goals or past events.
2) Have Greater Clarity With My Thoughts
Rather than having scattered and distracting thoughts a lot of the time I’m now able to focus on what’s important, and detach from the rest.
3) I Deal With Anxiety & Stress Much Better
I’m also so much with how I manage anxiety, pressure, stress, nerves, overwhelm and conflict.
Previously, it wouldn’t take much for me to feel stressed and overwhelmed, but now I feel that my tolerance and resilience is a lot better.
4) I Feel Genuinely Happy Within Myself
Meditation has helped me to feel happier every day because I have greater focus and can prioritise my time on things that have the greatest meaning or impact to me.
I have a better understanding of myself and my emotional triggers, have learned to accept myself as I am and have a more positive mindset. I don’t dwell on the negative and have more gratitude and appreciation for the small things in life.
I guess you could say I’m a much more grounded, happy and balanced person in most areas of my life.
How Meditation Could Help You Decrease Anxiety & Stress
Something to remember…
Although meditation (for some) is a spiritual practice, it’s not magic.
There may be times when you meditate and don’t feel much afterwards at all. Other days you may feel amazing and ready to take on the world!
Another thing to consider is that Meditation will not rid you completely of your anxiety or stress symptoms.
But it will help you to reduce them and cope more effectively.
Although it may not do those things, Meditation will open the door to your subconscious and give you insight into the inner workings of your mind.
Given many of us are so busy running our lives and distracted by the noise around us, we rarely give ourselves time to tune in to what it really going on at a subconscious level.
Before learning the skill of meditation, I had suppressed my emotions for so long, that I’d eventually boil over like a pot on the stove.
Even at the most undesirable times…aka. work.
I learned the hard way but you don’t need to.
Until you sit down and truly listen to what’s going on in your head, you’ll never be able to overcome or address the source of your anxiety and stress.
If you’d like to read more about the health benefits of meditation you can do so here.
How to Get Started with Meditation as a Beginner
Wanna know what’s awesome? Yeah you do…
Well for starters, you don’t have to be a pro or be spiritual to feel the benefits of meditation.
You also don’t need to have a lot of time to invest into it or spend a lot of money on meditation retreats or classes.
I started my meditation journey on a cold hostel floor with a pillow.
Not ideal, but proves it can be done.
To start a meditation practice, all you need is:
- A quiet place to sit or lie down;
- and guidance form someone who knows what they’re doing.
And that person is me! Yay!!
If you’d like to give meditation a go, and are interested in learning from someone who has been where you are, I offer a great meditation course for beginners to teach you how to meditate.
Decrease Anxiety with our Journey to Calm Meditation Course for Beginners
In the course, Journey to Calm, you’ll get to learn about the following:
- How anxiety & chronic stress impact our health and stress relieving activities you can do to combat it
- About natural remedies you can add into your weekly routine for stress relief
- How to build a positive and un-shakeable mindset by overcoming limiting beliefs and using positive affirmations, gratitude and mindfulness.
- About the importance of self-care and some easy things you can do during your week to feel happier and fill your cup up again
- How to Meditate and what you need to know before getting started
- How to maintain a good posture to improve the quality of your practice
- How to choose a meditation pose that suits your body and improves comfort and focus
- Simple techniques to create a Meditation room that you love and that heightens your meditation practice
- Simple ways to reduce back & joint pain
- How to build a fool-proof Meditation Routine in just 14 days.
If you’re not ready to jump into the complete course, you can alternatively sign up to our FREE / Lite version of the course below.
In the free mini course, you’ll gain an insight into what meditation is, how it works, the benefits and why it is so great for decreasing anxiety and stress symptoms.
Like most things in life, you can never be 100% sure what the outcome will be until you give something a go…
Start your meditation journey today by entering your details below.
- Why I Quit My Job to Travel the World at 24yo - April 25, 2021
- Why Seeing Progress on our Goals Helps us Live a Happier Life - March 10, 2021
- 7 Time-Saving Productivity Tips that Can Transform Your Life - May 4, 2020