Meditation: Soothing Relief for Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress can be debilitating, but there are some really beneficial tools out there to help us get through it.
In this guided meditation video, I'll walk you through a couple simple exercises that can quickly improve the way you feel when experiencing anxiety and stress.
When working with anxiety and stress, it's really helpful to take look at what's going on in the body physiologically so that we can improve the way we feel. Anxiety and stress are not just experienced in the mind- they activate the sympathetic nervous system in the body, also known as the “fight or flight” response.
The fight or flight response increases heart rate and blood pressure, slows down digestion, releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, and increases breathing rate, just to name a few things. (1) Over time, these physiological responses can be damaging to health and well-being.
While we have no conscious control over many of our physiological responses, the breath is one process that we can consciously affect. This means that we can counter the fight or flight response by slowing down our breath, which has beneficial effects on all the other physiological processes. (2) It's really powerful!
In the meditation video above, I'll walk you through a breathing exercise to consciously slow down the breathing rate, countering the fight or flight response. This not only improves heart rate, blood pressure, and the other physical responses to stress; it also helps to calm the mind.
When we focus intently on slowing down our breath, our minds move away from anxious thoughts and return to the present moment in our physical bodies. The mind cannot technically be two places at once; if you are thinking about the breath, you are not thinking about worries and stress. This is a simple trick to let go of negative thoughts.
The second tool for coping with anxiety and stress that is discussed in the video above is visualization. One of the most powerful ways to bring the mind into peace and calm is through visualization. You simply use your imagination to bring about relaxation in the body. (3)
In this particular visualization exercise, we connect with the energy of the earth in order to feel grounded, safe, and relaxed. The earth has a very calming, soothing energy if you can tune into it. Imagine sinking your toes into the sand, swimming in the ocean, or lying down on some soft grass. Connecting with nature has a powerful way of bringing us into peace and relaxation, and we can use this concept during visualization to bring about a similar response in the body.
Being physically connected to the ground is a wonderful way to “ground” your energy, letting go of stress and worry. A simple visualization technique to connect with the earth's energy is taught in the meditation video above.
Get Long Term Freedom from Anxiety and Stress
We realized that many people know meditation and mindfulness are great, but does that actually help them get their practice started and escape the debilitating fear, anxiety and stress that plague them? No. So we created the 30 Days of Mindfulness Challenge! It gives you the tools to dip your toes into the waters of meditation and see how it can transform you over the course of 30 days. It's great for a meditation beginner or even a seasoned meditation pro. Try it out. You'll thank us later ?
Wishing you the utmost peace and relaxation as you boldly face your journey ahead!