3 Magical Meditation Practices To Reduce Anxiety Tested and Suggested By A Therapist
The pangs of anxiety are hurtful and exhausting. Anxiety has pulled me down in the trenches for many years of my life. My inability to reduce anxiety infuriated me even more and I felt like a total loser who saw many precious years of her life slipping away.
I feel a major reason why I decided to pursue Psychology was that I suffered enough from anxiety and I could empathize with others who were stuck in a similar space. Each one of us feels and experiences anxiety in different ways, and has different ways to reduce anxiety. However, I do believe that the signs of anxiety remain common and there are proven strategies that can really help to reduce anxiety and make us feel calm and in control of our minds.
Going for therapy can be one of the best ways to understand the underlying causes of anxiety and how you can manage the symptoms in healthy ways so you can gradually become free from anxiety and live a calmer and peaceful life.
Research studies have shown a positive correlation between meditation and reducing anxiety. For me personally, meditation never worked until I realized that I was not using the correct tools and techniques.
As a therapist, I continually work to improve my skills and practices so I can provide the best support and care to my clients. If meditation is really that effective to reduce anxiety then I should give myself a fair chance to understand it better.
For those reasons I set out on a personal experiment and experience where I explored 3 meditation practices to see if they are effective in managing and reducing anxiety.
Practice No. 1: The Candle Light Meditation To Reduce Anxiety
The Candle Light Meditation is a simple practice that requires only three things- quite room, candle and your presence.
Sit comfortably in a dimly lit room and place the candle at your eye level.
Take a few deep breaths and bring all your focus to the flame of the candle. As you are focusing your gaze on the candle repeat positive affirmations that directly relate to the concern you are trying to solve. In the case of anxiety, you can repeat
“My body and mind feels calm and relaxed”
“I am free from negative beliefs”
“I feel safe and confident about who I am”
You can reframe and change the affirmations as per your needs and concerns. Affirmations that are relatable and specific are more effective to reduce anxiety.
The Candle Light Meditation definitely helped me to become more mindful about my present moment. Being mindful and grounded in the present reality can prevent getting stuck and frozen due to repetitive negative thoughts. Unfortunately I was not able to stay consistent with the practice otherwise I am sure that it would have availed more amazing benefits.
I would recommended to stay consistent with practice and do it only twice a week. Doing it every day may make it monotonous and take away its effectiveness.
Practice No. 2: The Passing Clouds Meditation
Out of all the three meditation practices, this one helped me the best. It is a simple, unique, and super effective practice to reduce anxiety.
The Passing Cloud Meditation is rooted in Acceptance Commitment Therapy which encourages people to accept their thoughts and feelings as they come without attaching any meaning or importance to them.
Sit in a comfortable and relaxed position. Deep breath using your stomach and gently close your eyes. It is natural that your mind would be flooded with different thoughts and feelings. Instead of pushing them away or forcing them to be positive simply view them as passing clouds.
Envision yourself sitting on the cool grass and the wind blowing gently. The sound of rustling leaves and the ocean waves kissing the shore somewhere in the distance. You feel relaxed, and calm and a sense of inner peace rushes within you. And you are watching the white clouds that look like fully cotton balls passing by.
Observe your thoughts in a similar manner- like clouds passing in the wind.
This practice helps you to remain in control of your anxious thoughts and feelings and saves you from catastrophizing your anxiety.
Translate the practice into your everyday life and I can guarantee you that it will help to reduce anxiety.
Practice No. 3: Music Meditation
A fun and quirky way to reduce anxiety. Many of my clients tell me how sitting ideal is not their cup pf tea. For them meditation feels like a boring and impossible task. And that is completely okay. The end objective of meditation practices it to help you stay grounded and relaxed so when difficult situation arise you know how to stay calm and composed.
We can switch up the means a bit as long as the end goal remains the same, right?
In this practice find a music genre that helps you feel calm, confident and relaxed. Use your earphone and blare up your favorite song as you sit in a comfortable position. Feel the music through your veins and completely immerse yourself in joy and rush it is brining.
Remember this positive feeling. engrave it in your mind and the next time when you feel anxious thoughts invading your mind simply hum the tune or if possible play it on a low volume. Your mind will automatically activate the positive feelings that are now associated with that song.
A fun way to trick your mind to stay calm and reduce anxiety!
the 3 Magical Meditation Practices worked like magic to reduce my anxiety. However, it worked that well mostly because I had resolved my major trigger with therapy support. Hence, if you are struggling with anxiety then you can definitely try out these meditation practices but in combination with regular and consistent therapy.
Regular therapy is effective in resolving the anxiety from its roots and gives a more long-term solution to your existing issues.