By: Julie Sekachev, M.Ed, LPC Associate
Supervised by Melissa Barton, MA, LPC-S
Have you ever wondered if you would benefit from meditation or being more mindful, but don’t know where to start? Do you ever have racing thoughts that won’t go away? Maybe you finally settled in for the night, and suddenly visions of dread about the day ahead or past events creep in. You try your best to redirect your thoughts, but you can’t seem to find peace no matter how hard you try. Maybe you’ve heard of meditation or mindfulness before but had little success with it. Perhaps meditation worked for a while, but you found it hard to stick with it. This blog will look at five easy ways to get started with mindfulness meditation to help you deal with anxious thoughts and regain peace of mind.
What is Mindful Meditation?
Mindfulness means being present and aware of our recent experiences. When we are mindful, we fully pay attention to the present moment. Usually, when we are anxious, we think about the future or the past, therefore escaping the present moment. Being mindful means, we are willing to allow experiences to come as they are, without the urge to judge or change them. We can change our responses to the situation through mindfulness meditation instead of changing the events.
5 Mindful Meditation Techniques for Anxiety:
1. Tune In To Your Body and Mind.
Find a quiet spot where you can be undisturbed for 20 minutes. Close your eyes, find a comfortable position, and do a quick body scan. Check to see if you feel any discomfort or tightness in the body. If you are feeling anxious or worried, acknowledge those feelings as well. Be present with the feelings and sensations that arise and let them be. Let go of the urge to figure out why you feel them.
Bring your attention to your breath. Where do you feel your breath the most? In your chest, your nose, your stomach? You can count the breaths as they come in and out. If you find your mind wandering, gently bring it back to your breath. Practice deep, diaphragm breathing. You can start by breathing in for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 4 seconds, and breathing out for 8 seconds.
3. Riding the Wave.
Riding the wave is a technique you can use as your anxious feelings arise. The idea is that you do not need to banish or change your negative feelings but instead practice “surfing your emotions.” Like a surfer does not fight the ocean wave but moves with it, you can proceed with a wave of emotion to its natural conclusion. As thoughts or feelings of anxiety arise, practice fully accepting them. Our natural inclination may be to distract ourselves, control, or escape this unpleasant state. Part of mindfulness meditation is to allow emotions to rise and fall and observe. Remember that this feeling is temporary, and just like a wave, it will peak and decline.
4. The 5,4,3,2,1 Technique.
This mindfulness technique can help you calm your mind when you are stressed out or overthinking. This technique grounds you in the present moment by engaging your senses and breathing. To practice this, take deep breaths and name five things you can see nearby; four things you can touch; three you can hear; two you can smell; and one you can taste. By practicing engaging with our senses, we can be more grounded in the present moment.
5. Take a Meditative Bath or Shower.
A warm bath or shower can be a perfect place to practice meditation. Bring your attention to your breath, and visualize the water washing away stress or anxiety. To enhance the experience, you can add essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus to a diffuser or use scented candles to remind you to engage your senses. You can combine all the other techniques as you are doing this one as part of your night or morning routine, or pick your favorite one and begin there.
The key is to practice meditation regularly or incorporate it as part of your morning or evening routine. With regular practice, you can start to reduce stress and anxiety. To learn more about the benefits of meditation, click here.
Begin Counseling at Our Center in Katy, TX!
If you would like more help getting started with mindfulness, meditation, or anxiety therapy, one of the therapists at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch can help! To begin counseling in Katy Texas, follow these three steps:
- Contact our office to set up an appointment or to get more information mindfulness or reducing anxiety.
- Meet with one of our caring therapists
- Find other ways to reduce your anxiety with therapy today!
Other Therapy Services We Offer:
Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch, we offer counseling services for people of all ages in areas including counseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, couples counseling, eating disorder treatment, men’s issues, women’s issues, anxiety treatment, depression therapy, trauma counseling, family therapy, and group counseling. We provide helpful information on a variety of mental health topics. Our therapists strive to post blogs regularly. To learn more about our therapists and counseling services, please reach out to the Counseling Center today!