How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety with Meditation? In many of the meditation classes where I teach, this is one of the frequently asked questions.
From the frequency that this question is asked, I can see that many people face stress and anxiety daily.
Today, the world is faced with the coronavirus pandemic. Some people have learned to managed the crisis. And some face it under the duress of stress, and become anxious.
Feeling Stress and Anxious During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Today, the number of coronavirus cases, in the entire world, is 5,207,910. And the number of deaths, due to Covid-19, is 334,848. More than 200 countries have infected cases.
Seeing these numbers can be worrying. I know I am concerned, too. Especially, for my aging mother who has underlying healthy problems. My brother and I have asked our mother to not go outside at all, since December 2019. And her staying home has given us much assurance and comfort.
I know you can be worried for your aging parent, too. Or maybe a family member who is not even getting on with age. There have been cases where people of young age were infected.
Then there are all the concerns that emerged from a lock down. A loss of job, and steady income. Adjusting to work from home. The pressure of suddenly being a parent of a child that needs to be home schooled. All this, and more, can cause chaos to the previously (and relatively) more structured home life.
As a result, you may find yourself facing much stress and anxiety. The future is uncertain, and that can add to the worry, concern and fear.
Stress and anxiety can affect our health and well being. This was proven by a research* back in 1993. They found that stress can increase susceptibility to illnesses.
And prolonged stress can impact your immune system negatively. It can reduce your body’s ability to defend itself against viruses and bacteria.
I have found it to be true that meditation can improve our health. I rarely fall ill. And I believe it is because of regular meditation practice.
How Meditation Can Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety?
Taking care of your health is top priority. During a pandemic, it is very important to take good care of your health, and build a strong immune system.
There are many ways to be healthy. You can eat a nutritious diet. Do regular exercise. Get sufficient sleep. And many more ways.
But that is only taking care of your body. You are made up of the mind, body and spirit. So, you need to take care of your mind and spirit, too. Doing that will help you manage stress and anxiety.
Meditation can help you do that. If you have not tried meditation yet, this might be a good time to start.
There was a review that involved 20 randomized and controlled trials. More than 1,600 people took part. The study found out that meditation can help keep our immune system strong. Maybe even strengthen it.
You can read more about this study here.
#meditation #reduceanxiety #reducestress
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice to focus your mind on a single thought. You simply sit in silence. Focus on your breathing. Do not have any other thoughts or judgement.
What are the Benefits of Meditation?
You Can Be Healthier
When I was a young boy, I had poor health. As I grew older, I jogged and worked out at the gym. But my health was still poor. I would easily catch a cold or flu.
Then I learned to eat healthier. And I turned to traditional Chinese medicine whenever I fell ill. And I progressed to learning meditation, and eventually yoga.
I found that meditation really helped me have better health. I rarely fall ill now. Even when my whole family had the cough, I would still be all right.
One of my first meditation teachers is an elderly man, who is a doctor. When he taught meditation, he would mention the health benefits of it. He would often advise his patients to practice meditation for better health.
He is famous for students who practice under him, and who were cancer patients. After they learned and practiced meditation with him, their cancer went into remission.
The meditation teacher / doctor explained that when you meditate daily, your immunity improves. He said that stress reduces our bodies’ immunity, and cancer may occur because of this. By meditating, we increase our bodies’ immunity, and that helps the cancer cells from taking over the body.
You Can Have Better Memory and Concentration
This is another benefit of meditation that I personally experienced.I attribute my doing well in my further studies to meditation. Back in 2013, I graduated with Master of Science in Marketing. I achieved first class honors, and was the top student of the entire cohort.
Of course, I did it with a lot of hard work and commitment. And another reason is that I was able to focus very well. When I read a book or any study material, I was able to focus very well. I could easily absorb and remember everything I read.
And I believe it was because of meditation.Meditation helped me learn how to focus very well. This is because when you meditate, you are constantly practicing on how to focus on one single thought. It took a while to master this. And like an Olympic athlete training for a long time to be the best. I was able to have a super focused mind after a long time of meditation practice.
Meditation also helped me to have a clear mind. And that was very useful at receiving and absorbing new information. New knowledge. As such, I was able to learn and remember very easily and quickly.
I am sure the same can happen to you. With meditation, you can have a better memory, and good concentration. When you have these skills, you have an increased capacity to handle stress.
You Can Sleep Better
In my meditation classes, I have had students who suffered from insomnia. There was a time one student came to the class for the first time, to experience meditation. Her friend had encouraged her to try it.
I did not know she suffered from insomnia. After that one session, she came to the next session, smiling and was very happy. She told me that she had not slept for a few weeks. And after the last meditation, she slept so well that very night. It was the first time, for a very long time, that she had peaceful and restful sleep.
Whether you suffer from insomnia or not, meditation can help you get a good night’s sleep. And after that, you will feel an increase in energy, and feel lighter, and healthier.
You will also find that it helps with headaches, irritability, aches and pains of the body. All that will diminish as you practice meditation.
You Will Have An Improved Demeanor
As you practice meditation, you will find yourself more patient and calm. You will find that you will be more observant. You will not be so quick to react. You learn to watch an event, ponder about it, then make a decision or action based on insights.
As a result, people will find you to be more friendly. You can even become more charismatic. People will find your personality very attractive.
You Will Experience More Good Health
Many ailments like asthma, neurodermatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and even high blood pressure have been known to be reduced when you continue to meditate. Sometimes, it can totally disappear.
There was a time when I had high blood pressure. Not too high. But enough for my doctor to highlight to me. He prescribed medicine for me. I did not take it. Instead, I meditated more. And in time, my blood pressure normalized. Even till today.
I am not saying you should follow me, and just meditate. Remember I had years of practice. I am just saying that meditation can help alleviate these ailments. It is best for you to consult your doctor, and practice meditation at the same time.
Your Mental State Will Improve
This is a benefit for anyone who suffers mental-emotional effects. After some time, at least six months, of meditation, you would notice less anxiety, neurosis or nervousness.
Meditation helps you to not feel inadequate. In time, you will have more self esteem. Because you will be much calmer than before, you will be less irritable. Meditation has also been known to reduce depression.
Your Spiritual Well Being
As we practice meditation, our connection to the Divine Being becomes stronger. The Divine Being is the higher power whom you believe in. And this improved connection will improve your spiritual well being.
This will help you develop more compassion for others. You will have a greater capacity for unconditional love. I remember the first time I felt this divine unconditional love. It was so wonderful. Unconditional love gives and expects nothing back.
And this spiritual connection is part of the mind, body and spirit that I mentioned earlier. With this aspect of your life included, you become balanced. Life becomes more meaningful.
How to Practice Meditation?
If you have not meditated before, here is a simple breath meditation to start with. It is a guided meditation. You simply sit and listen. Follow what I say. And breathe.
If you are already a practitioner, please do try this meditation too. I hope you will find it enjoyable.
We have come to the end of this article about How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety with Meditation? If you have any questions regarding anything mentioned here in this article, ANY at all, please feel free to ask by adding a comment in the comment box below. I will be more than happy to help.
Wishing you an awesome life filled with abundance, love and light.
* Negative Life Events, Perceived Stress, Negative Affect, and Susceptibility to the Common Cold (Cohen, Tyrrell, and Smith, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1993, Vol. 64, No.1, 131-140)