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Meditation Techniques for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

 Relaxation Meditation for Anxiety Relief: Mindfulness Breathing Meditation Exercise

Relaxation Meditation for Anxiety Relief: Mindfulness Breathing Meditation Exercise

Does Meditation Help with Anxiety

Meditation can be one of the best activities you can do for yourself when dealing with mental stress, anxiety and panic attacks. Medications, drugs, and therapies are some options people seek for help. There are more natural ways to deal with anxiety attack symptoms and disorders such as meditation.

When a person’s body is relaxed in the meditated state they feel less stressed, tense, and their mind is at ease. The person tends to recognize that they are in control and gives the person a chance to take a break during their busy day and rids certain stressors.

Meditation diminishes bad thoughts and helps people heal from anxiety attack and panic symptoms. Overall a person who habitually performs meditative acts will be a better rounded person.


(Aside from relaxation, meditation can also help you improve your concentration. You learn how to focus your attention on one thing at a time without straining yourself. By meditating, you can learn how to focus on anything that you need to concentrate on. This will help you be efficient in doing a task so that you will not get distracted.

While you meditate, you will also learn more things about yourself that you probably didn’t know before. Since you will be calm and relaxed, you can hear what you are thinking about deep inside and you will be able to address these thoughts better. You will be more self-aware.)

Here I will discuss about some easy and effective meditation techniques. You can practice any of them to get a relaxed state of mind.

Breathing Meditation Techniques for Anxiety

In this type of meditation you need to focus completely on your breath. You need to pay attention to your breath as it leaves and enters your body. You can focus on your nostrils, and feel your breath as it moves in and out. Slowly you will see that your breathing naturally begins slowing down, and both your body and mind starts getting relaxed.

Breathing meditation is a simple yet effective technique as it needs no equipment and you can do it whenever you want to.

Breathing Meditation Technique in detail

Here, I will look at a technique that you can start with for your meditation. Before you meditate, you will need to go into a room where you are alone. Tell others that you want to be alone, turn off all gadgets including your cellular phone or make sure that they are in another room. Sit in a comfortable chair, or straight on the floor. Remember to sit comfortably but not too relaxed since you could fall asleep if you are not careful.

The next thing you need to do is relax and close your eyes. Breathe calmly in and out. Do not think of anything but focus on your breathing. Count your breaths and keep all other thoughts out of your mind. If you catch yourself thinking of other things, then start counting again.

Continue to do this for five minutes or until you have breathed in your one-hundredth breath. Then slowly open your eyes and get up from where you were sitting. Keep calm and take everything in. You can start to return to what you need to do for the day, but try to stay relaxed and calm during your day. With your new focus and awareness, you may find yourself being able to do your activities faster.

This is just one technique of meditation for beginners. But to master this technique, you will have to be able to concentrate on your breathing and only your breathing for a very long time. Once you have mastered the basic techniques, you can begin advanced techniques and further your meditation.

Mindfulness Meditation Techniques for Anxiety

For mindfulness meditation techniques, sit comfortably but erect with eyes closed; while concentrating on breathing, keep accepting whatever thoughts flow in, let them come in and flow out without becoming influenced; you just have to keep bringing your concentration back to your breathing.

Mindfulness meditation is an exercise which aims to put to rest the selfish compulsive thought and action that dominates daily living. It accomplishes this by letting us live in the now. By slowing our pace or stopping everything all together and simply listening without judgment, one is forced back to the present.

Looking back and anticipating things to come is the cornerstone of discontent and anxiety. Looking back is simply playing games with dead thoughts and experiences. Looking to the future is the abstraction of past ideas to what may become. Mindfulness meditation is a selfless immediate relationship with the present and in this present exists peace and tranquility. And while this exercise can be performed as you are walking or eating let me first discuss the basic technique for sitting meditation.

Mindfulness meditation is best practiced in quiet natural settings with few external distractions. There should be little to remind you of troublesome thoughts or personal anxieties. It makes little difference if you’re sitting cross-legged on the floor or comfortably in a chair. The key to both is comfort and good posture. Good posture allows our lungs to open fully and for a full breath and increased energy circulation. Hands can rest comfortably in the lap or on the thighs.

Your eyes can be open with an unfixed gaze, or can be lightly closed. The former is better for external experience, the latter better for internal. But with practice, both will coalesce in the expanded perceptive abilities of the mind. And finally, breathing should be deeply drawn into the lower abdomen. This becomes our base of immediate experience. The breath comes and goes, in constant flux. Being with our breath allows us to remain in the present.

It isn’t essential, but it is helpful to practice deep abdominal breathing as opposed to chest breathing. As we age, our breathing tends to be more and more upper chest breathing. This is the kind of breathing used when we’re exercising. Energy is drawn from oxygen. But if you watch a child their breathing pushes out the lower abdomen rather than the chest. This is where the seat of energy in the body resides. And it’s no coincidence children have boundless energy. They haven’t forgotten how to breathe.

As you begin to meditate, keep in mind that you are not performing an exercise with a focus on results. This is hard for us westerners because action in general is result driven. In this case however the practice itself is the end, and we should undertake mindfulness meditation without ambition. Start only with your breath. Watch, listen, and feel your breath draw into the lower abdomen. Do the same as you exhale. And remain relaxed and sensitive.

After some time this simple breathing exercise will start to reveal much more than your own breath. Your mind will take note of other sensations within the body, as well as sights, sounds, and smells from outside. Observe all of these things without judgment. Simply accept them as they come and go. The difficult part is to allow the mind to function without judgment.

Your mind will wander. Don’t force it or control it. Try to watch it without judgment. This will create almost a dual consciousness for a few seconds where you’re watching your own thoughts. This observation will cause your thinking to cease, and your mind can then return to your breath. There is no time limit or time minimum to this type of meditation. Don’t force yourself to meditate beyond natural limits, which at first may only be a couple of minutes. With steady practice you’ll find your limits.

With more time you’ll find mindfulness meditation will cease to be practice and become a way of life. You’ll notice on your walk to work that you’re much more aware of your rhythms and breathing. You’ll begin to feel stronger and more in tune with the environment. And on trains, planes, and at parties you’ll find yourself breathing properly and mindfully taking in conversations and internal sensations without judgment. And in these moments you’ll be at peace.

Mindfulness Meditation in Daily Life

The key to improving in mindfulness meditation is to make it something that is not just confined to sitting on a cushion for 20 min.  It’s amazing when brought into daily life try these mindfulness exercises. This can be challenging but the more you can incorporate some of these exercises into daily life, the calmer you will feel. Here are some easy ways, I suggest picking one to work with for the whole day or for week.  And notice how over that time as you do these mindfulness exercises you become more aware, focused and peaceful.

1. Mindfulness Meditation while bathing/showering:
  • I’m going to assume you are showering.  Notice even turning on the water
  • Notice the feel of the water, the temperature
  • Notice the feel of the soap and your movements the entire time
  • Notice the thought or feeling to end the shower, the intention to stop
  • And notice all of the movements turning off water, drying and so on

2.  Mindfulness while Washing Dishes:

Keep your mind focused, on the water, your hands, the movements of cleaning, give each pot or dish your entire attention. Make it a meditation rather than something you rush through.

3. Mindfulness of Walking:

You might want to designate a particular hallway as your “mindfulness path” so whenever you walk that space you do this practice. Whenever you remember, bring your attention to your legs and feet, feel the movements.  If possible say mentally, right, and left as you move the respective leg.

4. Mindfulness Meditation of Eating:

This is excellent for those of us who overeat or eat junk food.  Try to slow down your eating is most important.
  • First really look at the food, see the colors, shapes
  • As you go to pick up or use fork notice that movement of your hand
  • Notice moving the food to your mouth
  • Notice lowering your hand (do not get next bite of food till you have swallowed)
  • Chewing:  begin to be aware of the texture, and taste of the food, slow down your chewing
  • Notice swallowing - the movement of the food down the throat

5.  Mindfulness of Sleeping:

Of course this mindfulness meditation exercise is prior to falling asleep.  It’s a nice way to calm the mind before bed.
  • As you climb into your bed, notice your movements, be aware of them
  • As you settle in be aware as you take a position, on your side, back or stomach
  • Then become aware of your breath, take a few deep breaths
  • Pause and repeat with next bite!
  • And finally for as long as you can be aware of each breath in, and each breath out without any strain or too much effort.  Simply feel the touch of the air at the nostrils. If you would like you could note mentally: in, out till you fall off to sleep.

Guided meditation for Anxiety

In guided meditation, you listen to a recording that features vocal cues, which take you through a journey of visualizations. Different types of imagery are used in guided meditation, but they all have relaxing landscapes and scenarios.

A guide directs you through the entire process to bring you peace, encouragement and help you relax. You just need to hear what she or he says and let her or his words and the serene images guide you through the process. As you start focusing, the regular world gradually fades away and your mind starts getting calm, and you get deeply relaxed.

Ways to Enhance Your Meditation Experience

Though meditation can be as simple as closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing, the power of meditation can be maximized by adding harmonizing elements. You may try different elements or combinations of elements such as guided meditation audios, aromatherapy, music, light, massage and so on. You can also follow your taste and intuition and see how you feel on any given day and what you feel called by at each session.
  • Essential Oils: During the meditation you focus on your breathing. What can be better than inhaling beautiful scents? You may try Lavender (it's versatile and has relaxation properties). You can also use Patchouli to feel more grounded, Cedarwood to release stress, or Vetiver for inner power. You can use these oils as an inhalant with a diffuser or on the skin with a carrier, such as olive, almond and grapeseed oil.
  • Incense: Very powerful for creating a positive state of mind conducive to relaxation. It also purifies the air.
  • Candle: Some people enjoy meditating by focusing on the flame of a candle. Yes, light itself. It will help you on your concentration skills.
  • Music: If you feel a great connection with music and feel absorbed and moved by it, it can be a great asset for your meditation. Relaxing tunes (such as classical music) will help you eliminating any distractions and creating the right mood to immerse yourself in your inner world.
  • Guided Meditation Audio: This will bring the power of meditation to you, no need to research, find a group to meditate with, just make your meditation journey smooth and easy. The audio helps tremendously in focusing during meditation. You can also use headphones to disconnect yourself from the outside.
Massage + Guided Meditation with Music + Essential Oil: more than a meditation, this is really a treat. A treat to yourself.

Meditation Techniques for Beginners

Meditation can sometimes be confusing for beginners, since there are just so many different techniques for you to choose from and so many different ways to do them. A lot of people get lost in the many different guides out there and start out with advanced techniques before setting the basics in. This can lead to frustration, which is definitely not the point of meditation techniques for beginners.

This is why it is important to start out with techniques that are meant for beginners to lay the foundation of your meditation techniques. After you’ve finished mastering the basics, you can start to do more advanced meditation techniques and get farther in your meditation.

One meditation technique that beginners should learn is counting your breath. You should learn how to focus and think about your breath as it goes in and out of your body. This will help keep you in sync with your bodily rhythm. You may not be able to focus on your breath right away, and you may get distracted. It is completely normal, though. After a while, it will be natural for you to concentrate easily.

To start, sit down and breathe in and out slowly and carefully. Close your eyes and think only about your breathing. Breathe naturally and just think about how your breath is passing through your body. From your nose, to your throat, to your lungs, and back out again.

After you’ve figured out your breathing pattern, start counting your breath. One count going in, two going out, three going in, and onwards. It is natural to start thinking about outside things after a while, so when you catch yourself doing this start counting again from the beginning.

Soon, you will feel your breathing getting slower and deeper. You will breathe from your stomach and not from your lungs. Notice how your breathing changes as you get deeper into your meditation.

Try to count as far as you can go, and stop at around one hundred. Once you’ve gotten this far, open your eyes and slowly get up. Then stretch and do something else with your newly relaxed body.

The other meditation technique for beginners that will be discussed is flame meditation. It is similar to breathing meditation, but with an added twist in the form of a candle. Firstly, get a candle and light it in a room. Dim your lights, but don’t turn them off completely. If the flame bothers you or hurts your eyes, you can replace it with another object like an apple.

Place the candle at a small distance in front of you, and sit down. Close your eyes and do the breathing meditations exercise. In between a few breaths, open your eyes and look at the flame or the object. Don’t think about it, just stare blankly at it. Continue breathing carefully and stare at the flame for ten or more minutes, depending on how long you would like to meditate.

Next, close your eyes and visualize the flame or the object for as long as you can. Then open your eyes and your exercise is done.

With these two meditation techniques for beginners mastered, you can start on more advanced techniques.

Meditation Tips for Beginners

Here are some suggestive tips for meditation that aid sensitivity, relaxation, and awareness. These tips are not necessities, but they are common in many systems of meditation and most practitioners find them useful. And while the beginner may benefit greatly from adhering to meditation tips, they should all be tried and discarded if found not conducive to personal development.

Meditation tip 1: Find a positive and soothing environment. Environment is essential for the beginner, as distractions can be overwhelming at first, along with the natural inclination of our minds to wander. This type of environment cannot be defined. For some it may be next to a mountain spring, for others perhaps an art gallery or museum. This will be any place where you feel awake and at peace.

For the intermediate to advanced practitioner Meditation tip 1 should be disregarded. Why? Because meditation is not escapism. One can be meditating anywhere at anytime. If meditation is relegated to select times and locations, it never really alters the heart and mind of the practitioner. When one is able to feel the sensitivity, awareness, and beauty of a meditative mind in everyday activities, then meditation has truly become meaningful.

Meditation tip 2: Sit comfortably with an erect spine. Some people like to lie down while meditating, but I find this puts me to sleep. Some people like to stand while meditating, but I find this can at times be distracting and uncomfortable. Sitting provides a happy medium between comfort and tension. An erect spine is essential for smooth energy flow, proper and deep breathing and organ function.

Meditation tip 3: Don’t chase sensations or believe everything you read. That includes what you’re reading right now. Meditation for beginners needs to be personal, private, and honest. Forcing your mind into someone else’s structure is moving in the wrong direction. Observe and understand principles, but allow yourself to experiment in practice.

Meditation tip 4: This will seem contrary to the warning of meditation tip #1, but try to find consistency in practice. Try to meditate at the same time each day in the same location. Starting this way allows for a relaxed and comfortable mind as you’re not in a strange location, and it allows you to develop new habits. People that don’t find regularity in meditation times tend to miss days, then weeks, then stop all together. Those that make meditation practice a regular component of daily living tend to stay the course and realize the deeper benefits of meditation.

If these meditation tips are of benefit, use them. If they aren’t discard them. But be mindful at all times regardless.

Conclusion

Meditation allows you to become peaceful and calm from the inside. You will be able to relax better and your body will feel more rested because of this. Also, it reduces stress and tension. Once practice of meditation becomes second nature we begin to realize a great number of health benefits. We experience increased ability to cope up with stress, anxiety and depression, higher energy levels, more relaxation and patience, lower blood pressure, faster healing, a stronger body, and a sharper mind.

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