Meditation For Anxiety

Meditation For Anxiety
I often get asked if meditation can help with anxiety, stress and depression. Of course!

Stress, anxiety and depression are all symptoms of an inability to cope with the thoughts and sensations that arise in your body that trigger our reactionary patterns of behaviour. That probably sounds very blaze or improbable, so let me explain.

In his groundbreaking book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle say's that anxiety is the result of living too much in the future and depression is living too much in the past. We miss the present moment because we are ruminating about either the past or the future and projecting an outcome that usually isn't very pleasant, which in turn can induce stress or anxiety.

Our mind is so habitually conditioned that we don't realise that we are living unconsciously. Most of our life is lived on automatic pilot, and in reaction to the thoughts and sensations we feel in the body. Over our lifetime we have programmed it to act in the same old ways causing us to be continually running and re-running unconscious patterns of behaviour that are not always good for us or our well-being.

Meditation can help you to become aware of your thoughts and triggers, and to experience the reactions that they cause in the body. When you observe the process it can feel overwhelming, as the usual reaction is stopped in its tracks and instead you observe it and feel it go through your body, and eventually disperse without having been acted on.

You get to experience the power it holds over you and how easy it is to give into it and react when triggered.

Meditation gives us a huge opportunity to sit with discomfort of the mind and body and to observe it instead of reacting to it. We are so used to allowing ourselves to react to the sensations and thoughts that arise and in turn have created default ways of being. Meditation is a kind of mind training. You become aware of yourself, how you feel and the reactions that you habitually experience and use them to create new habits and to bring you back into your body and the present moment.

When you start to master the sensations in your body without reacting to them, and instead observe them knowing that they will pass, it opens the way to being able to change behaviours in the moment. You feel the sensations and the reactions take you over and maybe you imagine in your head how you would like to respond but instead you let it move through you and experience it without the reaction. Once we change our relationship to the sensations, we diminish the hold they have had over us.

This is a powerful way to create new behaviours and new neural pathways in the brain which can help you to become a different person to the anxious and stressed one you’ve been used to being for so long. You are effectively saying no to the old ways and creating new ones consciously. The more you do it the stronger the new behaviour will become.

I am not in anyway diminishing the hold that stress and anxiety can hold over us, and it may not be possible to be free of it, however having tools that help to overcome the experience quicker can make a big difference.




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This content was written by Cat Hamilton. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cat Hamilton for details.