Anxiety and Stress: 3 Ways Meditation Can Help
Let’s look at ways meditation can help with anxiety and stress. Anxiety affects approximately 40 million Americans, and meditation, along with therapy and medication, can be a helpful to address anxiety and stress. Anxiety and stress have concrete effects on the physical body, triggering the release of stress hormones and impacting parts of the brain.
3 ways meditation can reduce anxiety and stress
1. Interrupt Negative Thought Patterns. Anyone with anxiety knows the constant stream of negative thoughts racing through one’s mind can lead to even more anxiety and stress. By bringing your attention back to one constant focal point, such as your breath or the physical sensations of the body, the constant negative thought pattern is interrupted. Meditating consistently will make it easier for you to break this pattern more frequently, and reduce those racing thoughts.
2. Meditation May Effect Brain Chemistry. There is some evidence suggesting that meditation can increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of happiness, and decrease cortisol, a stress hormone that contributes to anxiety, depressions, sleep disorders and memory loss.
3. It Can Be Simple. If the thought of adding one more thing to your daily routine is enough to send you down a stressful path, do not worry. The positive effects of meditation can be seen in as little as 10 minutes a day. It also does not have to be complicated. It can be as simple as sitting down for a few minutes and paying attention to your breath.
If you are curious about meditation, and want to learn simple techniques that you can use in every day life, try our all-level yoga and meditation classes. Perfect for any level student, these classes incorporate simple meditation techniques at the beginning and end of class. You can also have private lessons with our yoga instructors and/or work with our Stress Reduction Coaches to learn other relaxation skills and techniques.
Kara Unal, JD, RYT
Yoga Instructor (classes and private lessons)