The Benefits of Meditation For Reducing Stress And Anxiety
Is your anxiety, worry and stress, preventing you from enjoying your life, being happy and being yourself.
You cannot be happy or you cannot be your true authentic self, if you're trapped in a cycle of fear, worry and stress as they are two opposing and very different and contrasting states.
If you like to feel less stressed, more relaxed and be more in control of your thoughts, feelings and emotions.
The good news is, you have a choice to how you wish to feel and think and knowing that you have a choice.
The wise choice would to be to focus on feeling happy and relaxed and more in control of your destiny.
With the right techniques and information, you can begin to reduce your stress and anxiety, so you can feel more at ease and at peace with yourself and your life.
If you're looking for a natural and safe way to experience inner peace and balance, so you can start to live the life that you want and no longer be ruled by your negative thoughts and feelings.
Then meditation is one of the best techniques, to help you to transform yourself back to those wonderful calm and feel good feelings.
Which will help to free you from your emotional suffering and reclaim back your life.
What does meditation does for the brain?
There is more and more research coming out all the time about the benefits that meditation can have on the brain.
Some of the studies have discovered that meditation may help to preserve the aging brain as well as help to quieten the monkey mind.
Everybody worries and everyone gets a bit scared or feels a bit uncomfortable at times.
But, if you find that you worry a lot you're constantly feel anxious, panicky, fearful and stressed.
Then this is a strong indication that you need to relax deeply and start to treat the root causes of your anxiety and stress.
In life you are either coming from a negative and fearful place or you're coming from a positive place of love, inner peace and balance.
Although it is said a little bit or worry, stress or anxiety can help to protect you and keep you guared, in real life potentially threatening situations.
Your biggest protector and your best ally is the calm, loving and positive emotions.
You probably already know the types of anxious thoughts, imaginings and external stimuli that trigger your stress and anxiety.
If you were asked to write down or think about; the things that make you feel anxious or stressed, you would probably, have no problem naming them.
Each and everybody's stressors and anxiety triggers are different.
This is because your personal individual stress and anxiety triggers are learned behaviors that are based on your experiences, beliefs and your programming up until now.
Although, each and everyone of us, may have a different variety of anxiety and stressful triggers and reactions.
Physiologically and psychologically, the root cause of your stress and anxiety, is fear.
Which means, your fight or flight response has been switched on.
For those people who suffer with social anxiety, general anxiety, high levels of anxiety and panic attacks.
Their stress and anxiety, can become so out of control, their normal anxiety and danger control switch, never gets turned off, so their mind and body, hardly ever has a chance to return back to it's natural resting and recovery state.
Worry, stress and anxiety are all fear driven and stress and all fear is your fight or flight response being activated, very often when it is not needed or appropriate.
Meditation alone may not completely, get rid of all your fears and anxiety.
But these highly relaxing meditation and belly breathing techniques, can help you change from a stressful and fearful, fight or flight state, back to a deeply relaxing state, which is highly beneficial for good wellness and optimal wellbeing.
What are the benefits of meditation and why relaxation matters?
Some of the positive reasons why you should mediate are:
Regular meditation makes you more relaxed, creative, inspire and more powerful and as helping you to calm your mind and restore a blissful feeling state of calm harmony and flow in your body.
In these deeply relaxing state, which is where all your true powers can be accessed you will naturally experience more self belief, understanding about yourself and self-love.
As begin to feel less and less anxious and stressed, new ideas, inspirations, information and opportunities will come your way, because you will enter your most powerfully creative and positive energy state.
Meditation can also help you to:
- Reduce your stress and anxiety
- Increase your energy levels
- Help you to look and feel younger
- Help you to fall asleep easily
- Help you to get a better quality night's sleep
- Think more clearly and constructively
- Offer you a chance to switch off from the world and all your troubles
- Melt away your tension in your mind and body
- Dissolve your worries
Meditation can offer you many other real physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological benefits, such as:
- Give you new insights into your life and the world around you
- Increase your mental performances and physical performances
- Improve your sex life
- Improve your creativity
- Make you smarter
- Help you to problem solve, find the solutions and answers, you're seeking
- Better health and boost your immune system
The health and wellbeing benefits of meditation is not just some form of new age thinking.
Meditation, is also backed up by a vast range of scientific knowledge that has been directly linked to meditation
There are many options that you can choose to help you to reduce your stress and anxiety, such as:
Very often, a combination of the above, is the best policy to follow.
Anxiety, stress and fear are not all in the mind as fear, anxiety, stress create physical symptoms, feelings and sensations in the body.
Exercising and deeply relaxing are an highly important ingredient in helping you to burn off all that excessive energy and return you back to a peaceful and relaxed state.
More scientific support for meditation and its relaxing qualities
Fear and anxiety are an emotional and physical state, and many people get trapped in the fear state and survival mode.
Your emotional brain and senses, which deal with fear, respond to your state and your environment.
Therefore, if your body is always in the state of stress and anxiety, then this will perpetuate more feelings of fear, and this can get out of control and become a self creating process.
Things that can help you to lower your anxiety levels are mindfulness and meditation, and this has now been backed up by science.
Research conducted by David Cresswell, who used brain scanning equipment on a select group to record brain activity, revealed that mindfulness and meditation can bring down your anxiety levels.
Experimental trials conducted on subjects who were all experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety,
Proved that by using mindfulness meditation they were able to lower the arousal of the amygdala, which is the brain's emotional fear alarm warning system and stress response control center.
The amygdala's, are two small organs within the brain that deals with emotional memories, neural associations and emotional and physical responses.
These two small organs are connected to the fear center in your brain and they can instantly and involuntarily activate the stress and fight or flight response at any given moment.
This part of the emotional brain, becomes more emotionally aroused and goes off more frequently and uncontrollably during periods of high levels of stress and anxiety.
Therefore, when you reduce your stress and you use mindfulness to curb your emotional reactions and arousal, you will prevent all the excessive anxiety and stress.
The opposite state too anxiety and stress are, relaxed and every time you start to feel anxious, tense or stressed, presents you with an opportunity to relax.
The best option would be, to focus on relaxation, and meditation is still one of the best ways to relax and rid your body of all those harmful toxins that are being pumped in your body every time you get overly stressed and anxious.
The more you practice meditation or relaxing deeply, the less and less anxious you will feel.
Meditation can help you to break free from the anxiety loop and trap
Most of people's anxiety is usually a result and an accumulation of prolonged periods of worry and stress.
For whatever reason caused your stress in the first place, when you become stressed it triggers the release of adrenaline into your body.
The adrenaline triggers physical responses and changes in your body, such as:
- Tightening of the muscles
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Faster heartbeat as more blood are pumped into your major muscle groups which is all designed to give you a rapid boost of energy so you can run or fight off the threat
In a real life threatening event you would use up all that extra energy and once the danger had passed your body would return back to its natural calm state and your mind would become still again.
People who suffer with high levels of stress and anxiety, do not return back to their natural resting state, so what happens is, they get stuck in a state of constant danger.
This will push up their anxiety, needle closer to the point where the fight of flight gets triggered, when really it should be set closer to the point of rest.
When you're experiencing too much stress and tension, your mind and body never hardly returns back to its normal resting state,
Due to the mind body connection, and they both use feedback off each other to try and make sense of, why the body is in the fight or flight state, it causes much confusion and inner conflict.
The feedback from your body, your environment and your imagination, is all sent back to the emotional control center in the brain.
If you're worried and anxious all the time, then your emotional brain will interpret this information as, something bad must be going to happen, because the body is all pumped and prepared for a threat.
When you're stuck in a state of stress and tension, your emotional brain will carry on believing you're in danger or there is a risk ahead, and your senses and your emotional part of your brain will continue to search for a threat and scan for danger, hence all the anxious thoughts and what if imaginings.
Add on top of this, all the worry people get engaged in, then they never give their mind and body a chance to resume their natural resting state.
Even at night time when they're sleeping, their mind still stays to active ad alert, so they either struggle to sleep or they get a restless poor quality night's sleep.
Bad sleep will cause you to suffer in many ways the next day, it will affect your mood, your performance levels, your stress threshold, your relationships to name a few.
This pattern and cycle will become self perpetuating, and your body becomes a permanent anxiety factory, constantly churning out more, worry thoughts, negative what if scenarios and fearful responses.
Your thought processes tend to match your current state, a tense body will mean more tense thoughts and an anxious state will mean more anxiety and worry related thoughts.
Some people try to change their thoughts to change their state, but as your mind deals with feelings, it is a lot easier to change your state, and then learn to be mindful so you can detach yourself from any anxious thoughts, just breathe in, breathe out, observe peacefully and let the thoughts go and focus on something else.
Change your state and your thought processes will change with it and meditation is a great way to help you change your state as well as teaching you to be more mindful, and when you're feeling deeply relaxed, you can use some positive self talk to reassure your anxious mind and change those unhelpful negative beliefs.
Meditation is great for reducing anxiety and stress as it will return your body back to an inner state of calm and ease, so you will have more energy, you will sleep better, you will feel better and you will live more positively.
Take a leaf out of the Tibetan Monk's book but achieve these deeply relaxed states quicker
Tests have been conducted on Tibetan monks to record their brainwave activity at the peak times once they had reached their deepest levels of meditation, the Monks that took part in the trials had between 30 to 40 years of practicing and honing the art of meditation.
When you can reach these deep states of relaxation like the Monks do, you can switch off from the troubles of the world around you and move into your own inner safe haven and place of total peace and tranquility.
The Monks are able to reach such deep states of relaxation, harmony, peace and inner stillness on a daily basis and thanks to their meditation sessions they have been able to move beyond fear, anxiety, stress and all negative emotions as they transfer their awareness to a euphoric place of balance and contentment.
The gamma brainwave results and levels, which they regularly achieve are thought to be responsible for why the Tibetan Monks have been classed as being some of the most stress free, happiest and most relaxed people on the planet which they put down to the amazing benefits they had gained through their meditation practices.
The one thing that stands the monks apart from most westernized people is they are still happy, at ease and content even though they do not have all the material possessions and lifestyles of western people.
This proves that our spiritual needs and emotional well-being should always come first and should always be our number one priority and you need nothing more than to still your mind and relax your body to obtain natures natural and free high.
Countless other studies have also concluded time and time again that meditation is still probably the best way to calm the mind and relax the body which will help you to reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
Although meditation is widely known to help you to reduce stress and anxiety as well as lower your blood pressure the test also revealed that the benefits of regular meditation go far deeper than was originally thought.
Buddhist Monks have for many years now believed that meditation can help to physically change brain functioning which can promote improvements in various cognitive functions.
Recent studies have shown and backed up these claims by stating that meditation can also help preserve and even improve some illnesses as well as help you to break and change bad habits.
Meditation is believed to help change and improve your brain functioning, and some reports have suggested that our genes shrink in size when we are anxious and stressed.
One of the most exciting new studies in the field of epigenetics was published recently, it revealed that mindful meditation alters gene expression in many beneficial ways and meditators have also shown positive and encouraging changes in brain function.
Although you should not solely rely on meditation alone to heal yourself (if you are suffering with any serious illnesses you should always consult with your doctor) when you combine it with modern day medical skills it can be a great tool to further help you to repair the body.
This is down to the natural and soothing effect it promotes which has a calming effect on the mind which in turn strengthen the energy of the body.
For those people who live a relatively stress and anxiety free lifestyle as a general rule will suffer far less with things like everyday colds and many other health related conditions and they will experience a general sense of gratitude and emotional well-being.
Some people claim that they do not have time to deeply relax, but in reality if you consistently suffer with damaging high levels of stress, worry and anxiety then relaxation is a necessity that you need to make time for.
Anxiety and the body
Although many people see the mind and body as two separate entities, they are in fact one whole and both can have an influence on each other, therefore you can use your body to help you calm your active and tense mind.
Throughout our day we come across many physical and stressful challenges which can all have a negative effect on our bodies.
So, it pays to be aware of your body and how it reacts to the many outside stimuli and challenges, because tension in the body caused by tense body postures and movements can increase your anxiety levels and stressful responses.
Tight and tense muscles are linked to the fight or flight response, so if your muscles are tense, this will actually mimic the fear response.
Psychological stress or poor posture habits cause our muscles to tighten because of the still primitive ‘fight or flight' response, which prepares and primes our bodies for conflict or making a quick escape.
Pay some attention to your body, get out of any tense and unhealthy posture by practicing keeping your body in its natural, healthy alignment and balance, so you release any energy blockages and tension which will allow you to experience more of that flow like sweet feeling state.
If you notice your body responding stress-fully to any outside challenges or stimuli, or if it is reacting fearfully to your thoughts.
Do not label it as fear or anxiety, just call it energy, because we classify fear and anxiety has something bad is happening or about to happen.
When you are feeling fearful and anxious, in the absence of any real threats or dangers, you can start to become afraid of the feelings and sensations of fear.
Because you are trying to suppress, stop or resist your fear and anxiety, you mind starts to feel as if you cannot handle these thoughts, feelings and sensations, so it the makes them the threat, from within.
When you detach your focus of attention and you take a step back from these thoughts and feelings and just let them carry on and just observe in your mind and body where you feel the symptoms and sensations.
You have to teach and train your mind, that you can handle and cope with your thoughts and feelings, and you know that your perfectly safe and you're OK with them.
To reduce your anxiety, you will need to learn how to relax your body. This is why meditation is so effective, because it slows down your brainwaves, from Alpha down to low Beta.
The more you use meditation, the more calm and relaxed you will become, leaving you less likely to respond fearfully to external or internal stimuli.
Gradually build up to those deep levels of inner peace
For peace, understanding and clarity of purpose in life you cannot beat good quality meditation.
You may have tried other forms of meditation in the past, and like other people you found it to be time-consuming, boring and ineffective.
The good news is, without doubt, meditation is changing, thanks to modern technology the hard, laborious work that was once required to get you into that sort after peak relaxation state is now done for you.
If you wish to pursue the more traditional type of meditation, but you're finding it hard to relax and focus especially to begin with then it may pay you to shorten your duration times especially to begin with.
Many experts recommend that you do at least twenty minutes a day, but for most people who attempt meditation this proves to be too hard to begin with and they soon get frustrated and end up giving up.
But there does not have to be a time limit put on it and for beginners it may be a far better option to gradually build up their length of time.
So to start off with if you're struggling, just spend a minute or two, then the next day just increases your time to three to five minutes and each day attempt to gradually increase your time to you reach the recommended twenty minutes.
Another popular problem some people have is they claim that they cannot stop all their worry and anxious thoughts.
The thing is, you should not be trying to stop your anxious or worry thoughts, the secret is to allow them to enter your mind, whilst you detach yourself from the thoughts and practice keeping your body calm and relaxed
Your main objective should be not to respond badly to your negative thoughts you should just allow them to drift into your mind and away again peacefully.
Whether you choose to take the easier route of using modern day technology or you persevere with the more older and more time consuming traditions of meditation that does no matter.
Tap into your true spiritual happiness
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Out with the old and in with the new ideal and more happier you