Meditation is a great tool for helping us relax, find peace in our mind and hearts, and transcend the physical world. However, there are many different ways to use meditation, and many different meditative states. But how can we meditate when we feel so anxious?
If we’re just starting out it helps if we can identify how we can use meditation to meet our current needs! So this article is for those who suffer from anxiety, and don’t know how to best use meditation therapeutically.
When we suffer from anxiety, because our fear-based mind processing controls our future, our mind can feel like it is in control of us! The blend of anxious thoughts perpetuate anxious emotions, which can propel our fear-based fight and flight response, which activates even more fear and anxiety thoughts. This process then becomes habitual, where it feels as though our life is lived on a roller-coaster of high/low anxiety states, that overtake our creativity, and often leaves us exhausted.
It is this exhaustion that can be most helped by using meditation to calm our thoughts. But if you’ve never attempted meditation before, or failed to be able to use it with good results in the past, then rather than giving it up as a bad job, it may help to understand how to best work with meditation, whilst we are anxious.
Step 1 – Why Meditate?
The first step for anxiety meditation is to understand why you are doing it! So, if you are overwhelmed by anxiety, the reason you would use meditation would be to calm your mind. But if you’ve got loads of anxious thoughts entangled in your mind, how can you feel calm? So you need to understand what happens when we meditate, when we are highly anxious.
Step 2 – Understanding The Process!
When we are anxious, our mind is filled with ever-increasing, provoking, reactive thoughts, that stimulate our reactive behaviour – whatever that may be. Including anything we use to make ourselves feel better, that helps our attention escape from our mind, emotions and problems. However, if you’re sitting quietly, trying not to think anxious thoughts, the first thing that will happen is that a flood of anxious thoughts will automatically and naturally rise, and fill the empty space that has just appeared in your mind. This is simply your mind feeding your habitual anxiety thinking, and is nothing to be alarmed about. Although distressing, it is still a process, that we can learn to manage, that will make life so much easier! We just have to learn how to become the observer of our own energy!
Step 3 – Watching The Energy Release!
So, whilst you are sitting quietly, and the anxious thoughts have started to pour into your mind, instead of catching the thoughts, thinking about and analysing them, thus feeding the habit which will increase your anxiety, there is something else you can do with them! As however distressing the thoughts may be, when you recognise that internal pressure created from the thoughts in your mind is just ENERGY, you have the power to release it, and thus feel less anxious and exhausted!
This energy release is accomplished by using the space that meditation provides, to facilitate our ability to conceptualise energy in a tangible form, which we can consciously and deliberately manipulate to best suit our needs, by the use of visualisation.
If you doubt your ability to visualise, imagine this now… See yourself holding a couple of red balloons on a long string. Are they large, small? See them bounce in the breeze. Then let them go, as you watch the balloons drift away in the sky! Anyone can visualise – as whilst you may not actually see through your eyes, you just have to all
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ow yourself to imagine in your mind’s eye! You do it all the time – that’s why you get so anxious! You believe what you think is real – so use this approach when working with energy!
There are a couple of methods I find really helpful, which involve using visualisation. Here is one of them….
*Whilst we can work this way with any part of our body, this example is based on the pressure in our mind.
Feel the tension in your head (or any other part of your body). Imagine the bombardment of thoughts in your mind as an energy form, say something like a grey or black cloud.
You have the intention of releasing this energy, so keep your focus on the cloud – not on the contents of your thoughts.
As you see the cloud of anxious thoughts in your mind’s eye, see it as a stream of energy that has a beginning and end, rather than a cloud shape. Although you may be able to see the wispy beginning of the stream, you probably won’t be able to see the end yet – it will be too dense!
The beginning of this energy needs to find the nearest exit point, to be able to leave your energy system. This can be through your mouth or through the top of your head – the crown chakra point, or other chakra points. Identify which exit route your dark energy naturally flows toward, then mentally watch as the stream of dark energy starts to move away from your mind, through the exit point, out into the universe where it can be transmuted and healed. If you have problems identifying an exit point, simply direct the energy to the top of your head and use that one!
As you sit quietly, acknowledge the increasing anxiety thoughts that rise, keeping your focus and attention on the stream of dark energy exiting your mind, watching it flow, slowly, quickly, until the river of dark energy comes to an end. Where as the end of the river disappears from view, you know by the way you feel that the healing has been completed for that time. If more anxious thoughts start to rise, repeat the process of anxious energy release.
How Much Time Will It Take?
You can choose to allow a specific amount of time to work with your energy, or give it as much time as it needs to be released from your system. It can take just a few minutes to bring enormous relief, once we’ve developed the ability to focus our mind clearly and explicitly! However, when I first devised this method of working, it wasn’t uncommon for me to sit for a couple of hours, as I learned how to work with my energy, and feel the benefit of negative energy release. Until gradually, instead of using meditation for anxiety release, I was able to insert another purpose, governed by my needs at the time. Always remember though - you are in control of it!!
Meditation practice involves allowing our mind (or consciousness) to roam free. However, when anxious, depressed, paranoid, or in any other heightened state of emotion, it’s not a good idea to expose ourself by jumping in at the deep end this way, whilst we’re working with spiritual or universal energy. Maintaining focus on our intent, by using visualisation, helps keep us on track to self-healing, and keeps us safe.
To increase our protection, it’s also wise to image ourselves wrapped in white energy, whilst working with the unfamiliar aspects of universal consciousness.
Meditation is a wonderful tool, that serves so many purposes. So when we ask ‘How Can We Meditate When We Feel So Anxious?’ if we remember to start slowly, with the purpose of releasing toxic energy from our energy system, we can gently learn how to allow ourselves to find the peace and tranquility we yearn for.
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