For many people, the thought of meditating feels like a waste of time. Our society, which prioritizes getting things done over periods of quiet contemplation, often makes mental and physical stillness seem like a waste of time. However, as the millions of men and women around the world who meditate can tell you, this powerful mindfulness practice can change your life every single time you take part, making you calmer, more focused, and more attuned to the world around you when you’ve finished. Meditation is especially effective among those with anxiety, helping them quiet their racing mind and achieve a newfound sense of peace along the way. Better yet, unlike other forms of exercise or therapy, which require specific practitioners and equipment, meditation can be done anywhere, whether you’re in a high-rise in Brooklyn or on a beach in Belize. Not convinced? Discover the importance of meditation and ways it can change your life.
For many people with anxiety, racing thoughts are a daily occurrence. However, over time, those nagging questions your brain keeps asking, the judgment you feel from others, and the constant sense of uncertainty your anxiety causes can take a toll on you both emotionally and physically. In fact, an analysis of research published in JAMA Internal Medicine reveals that meditation is an effective means of reducing anxiety, stress, and the physical manifestations of those conditions.
Anyone who’s ever suffered from anxiety can attest to the fact that the voice of your anxiety tends to drown out the voice of reason over time. This often means that you waste time doubting yourself, making every task take longer than it needs to. Over time, this actually makes a person less effective, confirming the feelings their anxiety prompted in the first place. The good news? Meditation can help increase your productivity both personally and professionally. According to research conducted at the University of Washington’s Information School, meditation decreased distractions and increased productivity in workers. When enough companies get on board with meditation as a valid form of productivity enhancement, don’t be surprised if you start seeing as many meditation cushions in boardrooms as you do conference tables.
There’s no denying that anxiety can leave a person feeling unsettled both physically and emotionally. Fortunately, meditation can provide a quick fix. That rapid heartbeat, that queasy stomach, and those sweaty palms can all be whisked away by a single session of meditation. Being a physical practice, meditation can help center you physically, relieving those unpleasant anxiety symptoms along the way.
One of the most-cited causes of anxiety is the profound lack of personal time that most people experience every day. Between long hours at the office, appointments, family commitments, and errands, it can feel virtually impossible to find any time that’s just yours. Fortunately, meditation can change this in an instant. Unlike taking a yoga class or going on to therapy, which can occupy hours of your time that you simply don’t have to spare, meditation doesn’t have a finite amount of time attached to it. For many people, meditation sessions take hours, but for others, a minute or two here and there is more than enough to help them feel calmer, more relaxed, and more centered. Allowing yourself some personal time via meditation can also help relieve those feelings of anxiety, even if you don’t have a ton of time to spare.
Doing everything all at once rarely helps with a person’s anxiety. The actual cure to that racing brain and rapid heartbeat that tend to accompany your anxiety? Doing nothing instead. The very nature of meditation means doing nothing more than sitting with your thoughts until you can experience mental clarity. While this does take more practice than you might think, you might just find that experiencing even a few moments of stillness during a hectic day can completely change how you’re feeling both mentally and physically. Try treating yourself to a five-minute meditation every day and you might just be surprised at how different your day feels when broken up with moments of intentional stillness.
When your anxiety has got the best of you, all it takes is a few simple changes to your routine to get your brain and body back on track. Before you shell out thousands for pricey procedures or prescriptions that might not work in the end, consider giving meditation a try. For thousands of years, meditation has been changing the lives of those who practice it, providing them inner peace, increased mental clarity, and a newfound sense of purpose along the way. Embrace your inner om and discover the importance of meditation and how it can change your life today, tomorrow, and for years to come.