Did you know that meditation can be as effective at treating anxiety as prescription drugs. That’s a real, bonafide fact backed by science. This means that anxiety doesn’t have to feel like this all consuming, dominating monster that can strike at any moment. Instead, meditation can be something you have in your wellness arsenal to combat it. While this is great news, the downside is it can feel impossible to meditate when you have anxiety. But never fear, there are tools you can use to help get your Om on (don’t worry, you don’t actually have to say Om).
Use an app
Try guided meditation to help you focus and calm racing thoughts. Headspace and Stop, Breathe, & Think are just a few of some of the wonderful meditation apps out there. YouTube also has a large library of guided meditations of various lengths. Guided meditations can be 3 minutes or an hour based on where you are in your practice. But don’t feel discouraged if an hour sounds completely insane. Even if you’re only starting with 3 minutes at a time, you’re still building your practice and helping yourself.
Use a prop
To help get out of your head and into your body, try using a prop like a crystal or mala beads. Crystals have been used since ancient times. Specific crystals like amethyst, rose quartz, and black tourmaline, to name a few, are known the help with anxiety because of their specific healing properties. Choose a crystal that resonates with you and hold it in your hand as you meditate.
Mala beads have been used for centuries by buddhist monks during prayer and contain 108 beads. Monks used each bead to denote a prayer or mantra, which can be used similarly during meditation. Choose a mantra (a saying with meaning to you), like “I am enough”, and repeat it as you run your fingers along the beads.
Focus on the breath
If your thoughts won’t seem to leave you alone no matter how hard you try, don’t think about trying to meditate or quiet your mind, focus your attention on your breath instead. Pay attention to the sensation of when you breathe in, and again when you breathe out. Count your breaths as they go in, and again as the go out so that you develop a rhythm of even breathing.
Don’t get discouraged. When you’re feeling anxious, you may not always be able to calm yourself with meditation, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Meditation, like most things in life, comes with practice. The more you do it, the more natural it feels.
Over time, you’ll start to see a difference in the way your thoughts comes and go. Instead of feeling out of control, you’ll notice a sense of calm and control you may not have ever thought possible. The next time you start to feel anxious, or the next you feel really good, give meditation a try. It can’t hurt.