How to Meditate to Cope with Anxiety

By Jay Ballew

I struggle with anxiety*.

*definition: characterized by feelings of worry, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities

It took me twenty-six years to fully understand what this means, and I’m still learning more and more each day. One of the habits that I’ve tried to create for myself to help with controlling my anxiety is meditation.

I didn’t really know much about meditation prior to beginning, but I certainly had some preconceived notions about what it meant. In my head, meditation was a path to some magical space with a clear head. This space would entirely calm and allow me to escape the unsettling feelings of anxiety that disrupt my life on a daily basis.

However, I was completely wrong about what meditation entails, but I thought that sharing what meditation means to me may help out someone else with similar problems or misconceptions. Meditation has become an important part of my life.

Here are some tips that will help you to reap the benefits of meditation.

1. Be consistent.

I try and meditate around the same time each morning. For me, it has become an activity that helps me get my day started. Meditation is as much about repetition and practice as any other hobby or activity that you want to master. The more that you meditate, the better equipped you are to extract value from it.This also allows you to see what are the most effective methods for you, and what you like and dislike.

2. Find a comfortable space.

This means being in a room that’s comfortable for me, and even being in a chair that I’m comfortable sitting in. We all have different places that make us feel comfortable, though.

3. Posture is key.

If you’re like me, then you tend to want to slouch down in chairs, but sitting up as straight as possible is very important.

Finally, don’t be deterred! Meditation is hard! You are <strong>not</strong> going to master it overnight. Hell, I am certainly still a novice myself.

Go into every session hoping to get the most out of it that you possibly can. Some days your mind will wander more than others. All of this is perfectly fine. Understand that meditation is not a problem solver, but it can become an essential part of your own personal journey.

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