“Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and spiritual leader, spoke these words. I think they summarize the benefits of meditation for us with anxiety quite well.
Meditation can be extremely helpful because an anxious mind is a mind full of distorted and catastrophic thinking. Anxiety has a tendency to do that, it loves to make mountains out of molehills. It’s not always easy to be rational and remain in control.
But that’s exactly what meditation teaches us to do, to clean up our mind. To take back the control!
Read on to see exactly how meditation can help and how to get started right now!
Our thoughts and emotions are irreversibly linked. This is a cornerstone of cognitive behavioural therapy.
The feeling of anxiety is not a pleasant one, and it’s often accompanied by a long list of very uncomfortable physical symptoms. But what causes the feeling of anxiety? Well, our distorted thinking does.
This is exactly why cognitive behavioural therapy has been so effective. It teaches us to make radical changes to the way we perceive ourselves and our surroundings. Because anxiety is a product of our distorted thinking, it slowly fades away when we adopt a healthier mindset.
Obviously, it’s very easy to tell someone that they ought to stop thinking the worst, and that they should stop overthinking. But actually teaching someone how to go through with it is a whole other matter, that’s why professional therapy takes time and immense effort.
Writing about this actually reminds me of something I heard Lynn Lyons say the other day, on an episode of The Art of Charm.
“Worry says the same thing all the time, about fill in the blank. Your job is to change your relationship with your thinking, rather than try and change your relationship with the content.”
But that’s a very difficult task, to change entire thought patterns and possibly even belief structures. So maybe we should start by searching for an effective way to control our mind, so it becomes easier to calm it down and mend it back to a healthy shape.
If you’re willing to put in the work, that thing might just be meditation!
Meditation isn’t some kind of miracle cure, no such thing exists. But it has the potential to make anxiety more manageable.
I think meditation is one of those things that is either a hit or miss though. If it works for you, it works very well. But if it doesn’t, it probably won’t work at all. The only way to really figure out if it’s your cup of tea is to give it a few honest attempts.
Personally I found the video below very helpful when I first got started with meditating.
Note that the video above is not TheAnxietyLad’s property. For more information, look up the original creator, Improvement Pill.