Today’s living is fast and hectic which makes more and more people feel stressed. With the demands of modern life, de-stressing seems to be impossible. We are often so busy that we feel there is not enough time to stop and take some time off. Our minds keep on processing a lot of things: for example, worry about the future, and this alone is stressful.

A lot of ways to relax and free the mind from racing thoughts have been emerging. One of these ways is through meditation. Meditation has become a popular practice to reduce stress. It has been known to provide spiritual, mental and health benefits to those who practice this. These benefits have been backed by science as countless studies validating its results to our health have been conducted. They have proven that meditation has helped in improving one’s life especially in the mental aspect. Meditation involves sitting comfortably in a position that enables you to relax in a tranquil place away from distractions, taking deep breaths, focusing, and then letting your mind reflect and calm. So how does meditation reduce anxiety?

Everyone experiences anxiety at least every day. We are born as people who are taught to worry. While some worries disappear after a stressful event ends, there are other worriers who experience chronic anxiety. Being in this state can severely affect one’s daily activities. When anxious, one thing we know is that fearful thoughts are continuously running in our minds, and shaking them off is extremely difficult. This is when meditation kicks in. Meditation helps this by quieting the overly active mind. Taking deep breaths and centering your concentration to the sensation of breathing will help calm the mind. Focusing on breathing helps to make you “come back” when the mind wanders. When meditating, it is normal for the mind to wander but if it gravitates towards problems and worries, then it defeats the purpose of your meditation. That is why it is vital to meditate in a quite place. For beginners, a short time of meditation, usually 2 to 5 minutes and with a “support” is a good start. A sense of calm may seem difficult to attain since we have this perception that anxious people are restless, but the keys to overcome this are patience and commitment. Over time, meditating helps to strengthen our focus and paying attention becomes better and better. With this, diverting your mind from the rapid thoughts of your brain to silence may be easier.

Numerous studies have found meditation to be effective for reducing anxiety. The brain is the center of all mental activity and a group of neuroscientists at Stanford University studied this part. They have found out that people who practiced meditation for eight weeks were more able to turn down reactions of anxiety in the brain. The same result: was echoed by researchers from Harvard University.

While anxiety is ultimately unavoidable, meditation can help ease it. It may not fully and permanently remove this from our system, but it lessens its reactions to our health and makes our day-to-day activities much easier to face.

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