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Meditation Can Help Reduce and Manage Anxiety and Stress

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Meditation Can Help Reduce Anxiety and Stress by Applied Systems – Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. It can be a natural part of life. But sometimes anxiety and fear can interfere with the ability to focus, complete tasks, engage with others and enjoy life. When this happens, it can leave a person feeling like their brain is running on a hamster wheel of worry. It can even bring symptoms of agitation, lack of sleep and tension.

There is good news. Under the supervision of a physician, diagnosed anxiety can be managed without medication. After analyzing nearly 50 studies, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that meditation helps people manage feelings of anxiety and stress. Through regular meditation practice, individuals become better equipped to recognize negative feelings, regulate emotions, slow anxious thoughts and relax the body.

What is meditation?

By now, most people have heard of meditation and understand what’s involved in the practice. Quieting the mind is one of the key elements to meditation. During meditation practice, you detach from anxious or stressful thoughts by first acknowledging negative thoughts and then setting them aside. For some, that’s easier said than done. But with a little practice – and patience with yourself – mediation can offer many health benefits.

No equipment necessary: the basics of calming the mind

Meditation doesn’t take a lot of time out of your already busy day – that would just create more stress. Committing to a meditation practice for a few minutes every day can help ease stress, help put things into perspective and nurture personal growth. Even as you begin meditation for the first, second or third time, your mind might tell you to quit, get up and do your work, clean the house – quit wasting your time. Don’t listen to those negative thoughts; stick with it and you’ll begin to understand its value.

Are you ready to start? Relax and get comfortable.

There is no single way to mediate and no right or wrong way. Follow some of the basic steps below to help you get started.

  1. Eliminate any distractions. Turn off the TV and your phone, and move away from your computer to avoid being interrupted. Consider mediating while you are lying in bed at night.
  2. Choose your position. Whether lying down or sitting upright in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting in your lap, chose a position that is comfortable for you. Do your best to remain still and close your eyes.
  3. Breathe slowly and deeply. Think to yourself, “breathe in, breathe out.”
  4. Focus your mind by counting your breaths. Be prepared for your mind to wander. Bring it back to the present moment and your breathing.
  5. Anxious thoughts may pass through your mind. Acknowledge them, but then bring your thoughts back to the awareness of your breathing.
  6. Continue for five to ten minutes, even up to 20 minutes. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Meditation isn’t always easy, but it will get easier and you will feel more peaceful. Practice is key.
  7. When you’re finished, open your eyes and smile.

When you first start meditating, it may feel a little awkward. You may find it hard to do nothing. But keep at it. The benefits of a calm mind will come when you stick with it every day.

When you’d like a little free guidance

Meditation has been called “simple but not easy.” If you’re ready to give up because you can’t quiet your thoughts or aren’t sure you’re doing it right, try a guided meditation. Music or voice recordings by experienced meditation teachers can guide you into a relaxed, meditative state. Find them online, through schools, hospitals or at your public library.

Meditation is not a quick fix

If you’ve been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), or you feel your anxiety is severe, be sure to talk with your doctor about your treatment options.

Meditation is a discipline that needs ongoing daily time and attention. It’s a long-term approach to fighting anxiety and helping cope with stress. When stress and anxiety triggers your body’s fight-or-flight response, take a few moments to recognize the cause of these feelings and then begin your journey to a state of restful meditation. Research shows it’s effective in reducing anxiety, lowering blood pressure and achieving restful sleep. Best of all, it costs nothing to try.

This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical or legal advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

Copyright © 2020 Applied Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Meditation Can Help Reduce and Manage Anxiety and Stress
Meditation Can Help Reduce and Manage Anxiety and Stress

Studies show daily meditation can help reduce and manage anxiety and stress. Learn several easy steps to help with your meditation practice.

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About the Author

  • Founded in 1984 as a subsidiary of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), CalNonprofits Insurance Services was established during a time of diminishing insurance options for nonprofits. One of the driving reasons for establishing the association was to use the collective influence of the sector to secure more stable and quality insurance. We have developed, and are known for, our wide spectrum of services reflecting expertise in both the insurance and nonprofit sectors, our superior customer service, and our development of exclusive insurance products, including a highly successful dental and vision trust. We insure more than 1,200 nonprofit organizations throughout California and we are the only California brokerage specializing in insurance for nonprofits. Our clients range from newly established nonprofits all the way to venerable organizations with multiple locations statewide.

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