Meditation wasn’t something that came naturally for me. As any person with anxiety knows, your mind can be your worst enemy and it may be really difficult to just sit down and observe your thoughts. It took me almost a year to develop the habit of meditating on a regular basis, but I haven’t missed a day since January 2015.
Today, I want to share with you what types of meditation helped me, in hopes that they will help you, too. Here are 3 meditation techniques for anxiety that actually work:
1. Breath Awareness Meditation
To practice this technique, you need to sit on a chair with your back straight or lie down somewhere you won’t be disturbed for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, simply start to breathe slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth, focusing your attention on your breath.
Why is this simple meditation technique so effective? Because, by focusing on your breath, you get your mind distracted from its own chatter and as a result, you end up feeling more relaxed and at ease. As if you were able to zoom out on your problems.
Here’s a free 5-minute guided breath awareness meditation:
2. Visualization Meditation
Visualization is all about picturing a certain image in your mind and focusing your full attention on it. Let’s say that you’ve already closed your eyes and you’ve sat on a chair with your back straight. Now, imagine that a steady stream of sunshine is passing through your body, filling it with a sense of ease and comfort.
You can also practice this technique by visualizing your favorite place in the whole world – for example, the beach. Take yourself to that place, and hear the waves and seagulls. Feel your toes in the sand and the sunshine kissing you, the salt on your lips from diving into the ocean…. And I officially want a vacation right now!
All jokes aside, the purpose of this meditation technique is to take you to a place where you feel safe and relaxed. This helps to reduce anxiety and improves your overall mood.
Try this free 5-minute guided visualization meditation:
3. Stress Relief Meditation
This is a more advanced technique that allows you to focus on the sensations in your body. Find a comfortable place to lie down and close your eyes. Now, slowly breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth. Feel your body and tune into your feelings.
Let’s say that you feel like your chest is tight. To feel the pain that this tightness is trying to cover up, put your hand on your chest and slowly breathe through the pain. If any emotions come up, let them out. If you want to cry, don’t hold yourself back. Be kind and patient with yourself.
This is an advanced technique that requires you to confront strong and, very often, unpleasant feelings. I recommend talking to a professional if you need further guidance. Depending on your situation, a coach or a therapist can certainly help you explore your insecurities and get rid of them for good.
Here’s a free 5-minute guided stress relief meditation:
I hope these meditations help you the way they’ve helped my clients and me. Let me know in the comments below: What meditation techniques do you use, and if you’re new to the meditation game, which one of these 3 meditations are you going to try?