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What to do in situations when meditation causes you anxiety?

Have you ever attempted to meditate only to feel more anxious and agitated than when you began? You’re not alone in this experience! It is surprisingly common for people trying meditation – especially beginners – to be met with unexpected stress and anxiety.

Many think that meditation is a kind of ‘one-size-fits-all’ remedy that helps ease away worries, but it can result in the opposite effect if done incorrectly or too soon. Today’s blog post will look at why this happens and provide tips on coping with the potential discomfort and reaping the benefits of calming meditation.

How meditation helps with anxiety

From reducing stress to re-aligning the body and mind, meditation is a beautiful practice with many mental and physical benefits. Among these benefits is its ability to help with anxiety compellingly. When practised correctly, meditation introduces awareness into our daily lives, amplifying how we can better manage specific thoughts and emotions.

As we become more aware of how these sensations impact us, we can become better equipped to handle them rather than allow them to overpower us. Learning this kind of mindfulness takes time and practice – but those who stick with it will find that they experience real, tangible relief from their anxiety over time.

Why meditation can sometimes cause anxiety

Meditation has long been cited as a helpful tool to ease anxiety but it can also have the opposite effect. Studies have revealed that, in some cases, meditation can bring up underlying issues that can trigger episode of anxiety.

Stressful thoughts such as worry over relationship or work-related issues may be uncovered when someone meditates, making them vulnerable to heightened fear and tension. Furthermore, meditation can be overwhelming for those inexperienced in mindfulness techniques, causing fear and confusion when the practitioner is trying to find inner peace.

This is why it is important for those new to meditation to start with shorter sessions and focus on breathing exercises or guided imagery until they master the basics.

What to do if meditation causes you anxiety

If you find that meditation makes you anxious, discussing this feeling with someone close to you can be helpful. A friend or family member may have had similar experiences and can offer encouraging words and advice. Other workarounds may help lessen the anxiety associated with meditation if you don’t feel comfortable talking with someone.

You can try belly breathing, which involves placing one hand on your stomach to feel your diaphragm rise and fall as you take deep breaths. It is also beneficial to stretch during or after your practice, as tightening muscles can lead to feelings of tightness in the chest and an inability to breathe deeply.

Lastly, keeping a journal dedicated specifically to your mindfulness practice could help you get better acquainted with the vibrations of your body and provide a sense of security if things become overwhelming.

It is ok to take a break from meditation once in a while

Taking a break from meditation every once in a while is an important part of maintaining one’s practice. There arrives a time when the body and mind need to rest, and it is beneficial to take the day off from meditating.

Setting aside certain days when you don’t have any particular plan of action can be helpful–stay present and observe. During these times of mindfulness, you may find yourself meditating naturally or merely engaging in activities that bring joy and peace.

Refreshing your practice with periodic breaks will help keep you inspired and motivated, feeling refreshed and energized to encounter the challenges of meditation.

Trick is to not give up on meditation in the start

Meditating can be challenging, as it requires one to sit quietly and reflect with minimal distractions. It also often means pushing away notions of expectations and allowing oneself to be in the moment. However, don’t let the initial difficulty discourage you; many who have taken up meditation have found solace and clarity in the silence that comes with quiet reflection.

With consistency, those just starting will discover that this practice brings peace, insight and balance that is worth the effort. The trick is to not give up on meditation in the start; persevere through any blocks or moments of restlessness until you reach a state of regular meditative bliss.

Going on a break from your practice once in a while is alright. This could help you build a fresh perspective and make the process more bearable. But no matter how challenging it gets, don’t give up on meditation. Keep reminding yourself of its benefits; it is sure to bring peace of mind.

With consistent practice, meditation can become an essential companion in managing times of anxiety and stress. In time, it can open you up to life’s possibilities – new beginnings and better ways to navigate through tough times. Take your time with this journey, but remember why you started it. You have so much potential within – explore it through meditation.

Annmarie Everette

Annmarie Everette has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 20 years. She discovered her passion for helping others find peace and stillness in their lives while she was raising her three kids. Annmarie now lives in Los Angeles, CA, and spends her days teaching meditation and yoga to people from all walks of life. When she's not spreading the love of mindfulness, you can find her skiing down a mountain with reckless abandon.

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