How To Start Meditating When You’re Anxious

Health & Wellness By Karla

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Calming your breath and tuning inwards is probably the best thing you can do when you're feeling anxious, so why does it seem almost impossible? Can you actually stop your heart from racing and start meditating? Yes, with a tiny bit of preparation.Being in a state of anxiety means you're extremely stressed out, all of your senses are heightened, you're sensitive at every possible stimulus, and you're feeling like you're not in control of your own body and mind. That's why regaining control is the first step towards getting a hang of it.

You're In Control

The most important thing to remember whenever you're feeling like your heart will beat out of your chest and you're so frantic you don't even know what to think, say or do next, is that you're in control. Anxiety is an inner state and although triggered from outside sources, it's actually created by you. No one and nothing can "put" you in panic mode, only you can do that.That's also the reason why no outside sources can tone it down, only you can do that. Many people search for products and tools to help them deal with anxiety when the reality is, they all have them at their disposal - and they're completely free of charge. When things get tough and the stress you're feeling gets overwhelming, remember you're the one in charge, and it's up to you to figure out how to tap into your own anxiety treatment and find the "pill" that works.

Everyone Is Different

Just because someone says something works for them doesn't mean it will work for you. As a matter of fact, it probably won't, as dealing with anxiety is completely individual. Just like certain triggers cause it for some and not for others, the same goes for finding relief.Which form of meditation will work in your case depends only on you and no one else, so reading through a bunch of anxiety forum responses and listening to others say what worked for them can be helpful only if you're prepared to try it and possibly fail. Don't expect to find a solution overnight and there are no step-by-step tutorials in how to find your zen. It's all just trial and error, and the sooner you accept that the better your chances of finding success will be.

Different Types Of Meditation

There isn't only one type of meditation out there, so expect to try a few before you find the one that actually manages to calm your mind. Maybe you'll need a bit of "preparation" and set the overall mood like lighting up candles, dimming the lights, and putting on some relaxing music; maybe you'll need to get out for a 5-mile run before you sit down cross-legged and close your eyes; and maybe you'll schedule 20 min of watching comedy shows and funny memes to start feeling your shoulders relax.After you get yourself in the right headspace to even start meditating, now is the time to explore all the different types of meditation. From guided to instrumental, app-based to class-led, mantra-focused to breath-counting; there are hundreds of options available to try out and get familiar with. Widen your horizons and open yourself to different possibilities; you might be surprised with the result.

Listen To Your Breath

The only way you'll actually know you're on the right track is if you've gotten yourself to a situation where you're actually paying attention and listening to your own breath. It sounds simple once you put it in words, but tuning everything else out and listening to your own inhales and exhales is anything but.The moment you find a comfortable seat and close your eyes, your mind will think it's the perfect time to send every possible thought into your head; at the same time. Whether you're prepared for it or not, it will happen. Why, you may ask? Because most people spend their days multitasking and bringing their stress levels up, aggravating anxiety and holding their breath, so once they actually stop and deepen their inhales and exhales, everything starts flooding in.Learning how to turn your attention inwards and focus on your breath instead of everything else is a constant process, as you'll undoubtedly be attacked by dozens of thoughts at the same time...all the time. Remembering that you hold the reins and that you're in control of your own actions, but also reactions, is key to mastering the practice of meditation. Always keep coming back to your breath, even if it means constantly counting it.

Will It Work Every time?

No. In times like these, when everything is challenged and doubted on, this is probably one of the only things that's known for sure. It most definitely won't work every time.As your meditation practice evolves, it will get easier to find your zone and you'll probably be able to calm your mind much faster and in various circumstances, but there will still be times when you might be struggling. And you know what? That's ok.Although calming yourself down and finding some peace and stillness is completely under your control, there are many outside factors that aren't, and there will definitely be situations in your life when you won't be able to lessen their impact. Learning not to force it, take every day as it is, and fight through the storm is what life is all about, so find a way to accept that every time you close your eyes and start focusing on your breath might be a little bit different. And you're not the only one feeling that way. Finding the right way to meditate is completely personal and depends on so many different factors.

Learning to meet yourself where you are every time you're in an anxious state is making it all so much more manageable. The goal is only to breathe in and breathe out.

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