Guided meditation for anxiety: 4 techniques to become Zen!

What is anxiety?

We all have moments of excessive stress when our anxieties and fears seem to overpower us. This can be defined as anxiety, or “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension and worry and physical changes such as increased blood pressure. However, anxiety disorders are more chronic. If you have an anxiety disorder, it affects almost every aspect of your life in a persistent and intense way. Sometimes everyday events that would not normally cause anxiety in other people can cause you a lot of stress. For example, a person with an anxiety disorder may feel very anxious about leaving the house to get the mail, or about engaging in a brief conversation with someone at the supermarket.

There are different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder or panic attacks, agoraphobia, separation anxiety, and social anxiety.

Symptoms associated with anxiety and anxiety disorders include:

  • Feeling panicky or hopeless immediately
  • Sweating
  • Feeling extremely tired or weak
  • Trembling
  • An increased heart rate
  • Sleep disturbances/difficulties
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms

Meditation for anxiety

Short meditation

All good things come in small portions, and so is meditation. A short meditation —between 1 to 5 minutes in duration — is the perfect way to take a break, pause, and reset your mind.

Whether you’re looking to relieve stress, sharpen your focus, or cultivate more compassion, a short, guided meditation for anxiety at any time during the day will allow you to step away from whatever you’re doing, take a few deep breaths, and recharge. The beauty of these exercises is that you can practice them anytime, anywhere.

Short meditation for anxiety

The benefits of meditation for anxiety

Meditation for anxiety has a positive impact on the physical and psychological aspect of any individual who devotes himself to it:

It helps to overcome anxiety and limits the symptoms of depression. It is also recommended to manage post-traumatic stress, and some hospital services use it to calm the chronic pain of their patients.

It strengthens the immune system and stimulates brain functions (attention, concentration, memory).

It also lowers blood pressure and improves the respiratory system.

The list is long and far from exhaustive.

There are many ways to meditate and it would be futile to list them all. Nevertheless, some techniques are more popular than others and deserve to be considered, such as these 4 methods of meditation and relaxation.

Meditation for anxiety techniques

4 short meditation techniques for anxiety

Vipassana meditation to fight against stress

“Vipassana allows for self-transformation through self-observation”.

An ancestral Indian practice, Vipassana meditation is somewhat the leader of the meditation principles that followed. It is practiced with the eyes closed and focuses on the sensations felt in our body through vision, sound, touch, taste, smell, and mental processes (emotions, thoughts…). It is based on the “here and now” and focuses on the sensations of the body and mind during the whole meditation.

In other words, every auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, or emotional perception must be carefully observed. The anchor to reality is the breath. The very principle of Vipassana is to rid the mind of the “impurities” that pollute it: stress, pain, ruminations, tensions… The idea is to reach, in the long run, a purification of the soul, the body, and the mind.

Vipassana meditation exercise for anxiety

Sitting with your back and head straight, place both hands on your abdomen and breathe normally. With each inhale, your abdomen expands, and with each inhales, it deepens. Stay focused only on the movement of the abdomen. If there is noise or smell, pay attention to it and let go of your concentration on the movement of your abdomen. If nothing around you disturbs your attention, stay focused on the movement of your abdomen for 5 minutes.

Transcendental meditation against anxiety

Transcendental meditation would be more accessible than any other form of meditation. The reason? It is simple, natural, and requires no effort. Nevertheless, it is based on mantras, formulas repeated in silence at a steady rhythm. It is said that these mantras would keep away any dispersion of thought and would allow reaching a peace close to the bliss. Transcendental meditation is taught by a master Yogi. The ritual is always the same: the sessions last 20 minutes and are practiced twice a day, preferably in the morning and in the evening before bedtime.

10 minutes of transcendental meditation to relieve stress

If you want to get started with Transcendental Meditation, this exercise can prepare you: Sit in a peaceful place, out of sight and out of mind. Close your eyes relax and breathe naturally, without thinking or trying to concentrate. Don’t think about anything and repeat over and over again, aloud or mentally, a phrase or word that you feel is soothing. For example, fullness or I am calm and relaxed. After about ten minutes, you will feel a deep relaxation and will have the sensation of being freed from a heavy burden…

Zen meditation to reduce your stress

Also called Zazen, Zen meditation is directed towards a body-mind entity and invites one to completely empty one’s mind, as do other types of meditation. Originating from Eastern spiritual traditions, it represents the incarnation of Buddhism through the lotus posture, dear to Buddha. Here, stillness and silence are the order of the day. Discipline and harmony are combined to reach Nirvana.

Putting Zen meditation into practice to free yourself from your anxieties

Choose a quiet and comfortable place. Sit facing a wall in a lotus position, or in a half-lotus position (cross-legged) on a cushion or a mat. The important thing is to have your knees firmly rooted to the ground. The spine and the head should be straight, the shoulders relaxed and the chin tucked in. The eyes should be half-closed, the left hand resting on the right hand, palms facing the sky. Breathe normally and remain toned but not too alert.

Concentrate on your breathing movements, from your lungs to your abdomen. Don’t move, don’t get distracted, and hold for 30 minutes. Your mind will automatically calm down…

guided meditation for anxiety and depression

Mindfulness meditation to find serenity

When we are stressed, we dwell on the past and speculate about the future. But what about the present moment? Mindfulness meditation is about paying attention to what is happening “here and now”. This can be the heartbeat, the surrounding sounds, and the warmth of the sun on the skin, through breathing exercises but also the darkest thoughts that cross the mind. The idea is to observe without judging or trying to modify what we feel, but rather to accept with lucidity and benevolence. A “conscious” letting-go that is conducive to releasing stress.

Application of mindfulness meditation, an anti-stress remedy

When you feel like your head is going to explode and you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown, there is a solution: walk! But not just any old way. Here, we are talking about a meditative walk-in “mindfulness” (or mindfulness) capable of calming your tensions. No matter where you are, the goal is to put one foot in front of the other. Observe your gait, your feet treading the ground, your breathing, your arms swinging to the rhythm of your steps… Walk slowly, naturally, without style. Concentrate only on the sensations you feel. If your mind wanders, don’t get upset. Just try to come back to your sensations each time. An anti-stress remedy is guaranteed.

Short meditation for anxiety

How does guided meditation help manage anxiety?

So first of all, what’s a guided meditation? Guided meditation differs from other types of meditation only in that it is led by an experienced instructor. In other words, some traditional meditation methods simply require practitioners to sit in silence for a set period of time. In some cases, there may be only one guide at the beginning and end of a session. But with guided meditation, an instructor will guide you and give you direct advice and instructions.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 19% of the population suffers from anxiety disorders. Still, others suffer daily from generalized anxiety and excessive stress.

So how do these individuals – perhaps including you – learn to manage their difficult and intense emotions? Anxiety can be pervasive, dominating all areas of life, forming romantic relationships and friendships in school and work life.

If left untreated, anxiety can even cause physical symptoms. Especially in the area of cardiovascular health. Since heart disease is the leading cause of death for men [and] women, avoiding cardiovascular stress is crucial

Enter: Meditation – specifically guided meditation, a type of meditation that is led by another person, preferably a certified and experienced instructor, can help you reduce your stress levels and achieve your mindfulness goals.

Guided meditation can be very beneficial in many ways for example it helps you concentrate on the present moment.

It is completely possible and conceivable to focus on the present moment in meditation. In fact, that is the main purpose of meditation – that you do not focus on the past or the future, but stay in the present moment. Indeed, the present moment is the only important moment.

This is the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness helps with anxiety management and stress management because much anxiety comes from stressing about the past or worrying about the future. For example, there are situations in which you worry about an argument you had with a friend the night before.

Stress and worry about the past and future are unnecessary and do not change anything. They can even be harmful. So if you improve your focus on the present moment, you will reduce your worries.

guided meditation for anxiety

What To Conclude?

Meditation is proven to be one of the best stress relievers available. It’s easy to practice and can be done almost anywhere. So just take your action and wait for the amazing results.

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