You feel uneasy, worried, and afraid of the future. These issues hinder your productivity and make it difficult to enjoy your personal life. In these turbulent times, the rates of stress and anxiety are skyrocketing among people. However, at the same time, mental health awareness and better lifestyle choices are picking up pace. One essential practice to help you relax is guided meditation for stress and anxiety.
What Is A Guided Meditation For Stress and Anxiety?
Guided meditations are usually presented in an audio or video format. These meditation tools, such as creative visualization, imagery, and instruction, help you effortlessly reap the benefits of meditation. Meditation has acquired different meanings, but it essentially refers to a state of mind with higher consciousness. In this state, one is more detached from their mental processes(thoughts, emotions, etc.) and able to focus on the present reality. Visualization, in particular, guides you to focus on positive outcomes and improves your mood through imagination. Instructions on meditation help guide your concentration, for instance, from your breath to the expansion of your lungs.
How Does Stress and Anxiety Meditation Help You?
Research by Sophie. B and others showed that mindfulness meditation apps and accompanying meditations could improve well-being and make people less distressed. These effects were recorded over time, and many other studies also support anxiety-reducing effects reduction through meditation.
For instance, a study by Kim Rod published in the National Library of Medicine recorded the benefits of mindfulness meditation for a year. The study monitored 47 patients who showed improvements in depression, anxiety, dealing with chronic pain, and global change.
Another meta-analysis by David W.O.J showed that transcendental meditation is especially effective for patients with higher anxiety. This mediation involves detaching yourself from anxiety, focusing on a mantra, or performing other yogic rituals to achieve self-confidence.
Alternatives Or Supplements To Stress And Anxiety Meditation
While guided meditation for stress and anxiety, it is far from a perfect or complete solution to these issues. The following alternatives(or supplements) can help boost your mental health.
Deep breathing exercises
Meditation is focused on bringing your attention to the present moment. Breathing exercises are one of the easiest ways to meditate. In these exercises, you can focus on breathing in, expanding your lungs, breathing out, and releasing your diaphragm. Pranayama is a combination of yoga poses and breathing practice that focuses on breath control. The term “prana” in yoga refers to life, hinting that breathing is intimately connected to life. By focusing attention and learning to regulate your breath, you become better able to control your emotions and maintain your composure. Although, a word of caution, too much exercise might be challenging, and it is necessary to know your threshold.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy(DBT) is a form of CBT that focuses on dialectical thinking and mindfulness. It has successfully treated many mental illnesses, and distraction is one of the tools DBT employs. There are different forms of distraction, but they all focus on removing your attention from the source of your anxieties to the present moment. You can remember the distraction tool through the synonym “ACCEPTS”
Activities – Positive activities, including repetitive and atomic habits that shape your routine
Contribute – Helping people or working for welfare in your community
Comparison – Comparing yourself to people with more challenging circumstances
Emotions – Finding a sense of happiness, a positive mindset, or humor in your situation
Push away – Removing the cause of your stress away from your mind and focusing on something else
Thoughts – Diverting your mind from the cause of stress
Sensations – Having an intense sensory experience to distract yourself, for example, taking a cold bath.
Validating your emotions, and looking at them objectively, also known as self-validation, is another vital skill in DBT. By validating your feelings and allowing yourself to experience them, you may find that your stress and anxiety have disappeared. This solution helps you understand yourself and get to know yourself better. Hence, it is best to self-validate whenever you have the mental resources.
Best Sources For Stress And Anxiety Meditation
Now that you’ve learned how guided meditation for stress and anxiety can help you let’s look at the different sources for said meditations.
1. Online Music
Many different music genres provide a relaxing and engaging vibe. Some in particular, like lo-fi, can help take your attention away from your worries without causing or increasing mental burdens. Music therapy has various benefits and is recognized as a clinical supplement or, in some cases, a partial replacement for talk therapy or other forms of treatment. It can increase concentration and focus, stimulate creativity, improve physical mobility and sports performance, uplift your mood and help you fall asleep. More importantly, music for mental health can also help relieve stress and anxiety.
Applications like Calm, YouTube, Headspace, Meditation Apps, and other lifestyle apps can guide you to a less distressing life. Many of these applications come with a schedule and a wide variety of selections to help you practice guided meditation. They often also contain tips, workable steps, and insights to help you manage your energy better.
Many podcasts cater to providing guided meditations or calm-down visualizations. As these are audio-only mediums, they work best when you are meditating with your eyes closed. Conversely, you can also use these podcasts when practicing mindfulness. Spotify is one of the most widely used podcasts or audio aggregator platforms where you can access most of the podcasts available online. Or you can refer to the podcast website for a more personalized experience.
Many websites offer resources that help you engage in guided meditations for stress and anxiety. Resources can also help with deep relaxation, sleep, and study practices. However, the best and most preferred of these websites is YouTube. With the large assortment of videos, including stunning visuals and guided meditations, it’s the best option for anyone considering guiding meditations. Following are some channels and videos to help you meditate better.
YouTube Guided Meditation For Stress And Anxiety
You can discover many good youtube meditations, but subscribing to a channel that provides them makes this process much more manageable. Here are our top picks for meditation channels to help you relieve stress and anxiety.
1. Headspace: As discussed above, Headspace is an app, website, and multi-platform organization that helps people through meditation. Here you can find tips, guided meditations, and other resources for better sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, and better mental health.
2. Calm: Calm is an organization with the mission of making the world happier and healthier through… you guessed it, the power of calm. The benefits of meditation have been well-researched and documented in various trials. And calm, among many others, has harnessed these benefits to support mental health worldwide.
3. The Mindful Movement: This channel supports a movement and a community with the mission to bring people closer to their inner calm. You can explore their products and platform to practice mindfulness. Or keep to their guided meditations if you’re going to reduce distress.
4. Great Meditation: As the name suggests, this channel is focused on providing meditations. They already have a large amount of content uploaded and upcoming videos(almost five every week).
5. The Honest Guys: This channel provides “guided visualizations” to help people relax, sleep, or meditate effortlessly. The recordings of these guided videos are free for all and made with care and a mission to help people.
To get started with guided meditation for stress and anxiety right away, here are some of the top-ranking videos you can access right now, classified based on their duration.
1. 5-Minute Meditation for Stress and Anxiety
2. 10-Minute Meditation for Stress and Anxiety
3. 15-Minute Meditation for Stress and Anxiety
4. 20-Minute Guided Meditation for Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Guided meditation for stress and anxiety is a tool that can help you become less distressed and enjoy life further. However, many people struggle with overwhelming anxiety or stress that is difficult to handle. If you or someone you know is suffering from stress that makes it hard to function normally, it is advisable to opt for therapy. Here is a list of the top five affordable online therapy platforms to help you do the same.
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