Anxiety is an apprehension, a state of physical and mental tension that can negatively impact our health, behavior, peace of mind and even relationships.
Feelings of anxiety or anxiousness if left to continue unresolved can lead to or contribute to mental disorders, anxiety attacks and so forth. Anxiety can be existential anxiety, test of performance anxiety, stranger or social anxiety, trait anxiety, choice or decision anxiety and paradoxical anxiety, so it can manifest in different situations and to different stimuli.
Anxiety can have physical impact such as causing palpitations, fatigue, breathlessness, nausea, weakness, raised blood pressure, etc. Emotional impacts may include mood swings, irritability, and so on; whereas even one’s behavior, cognitive levels and productivity may be negatively impacted.
Excessive anxiety can affect quality of life and one of the best and most holistic treatments for controlling anxiety is thought to be meditation or what is sometimes known as mindfulness meditation. This is a technique used to focus the mind on the here and now, to center and focus it so as to be in better control of the mind. Learning such control of the mind is vital since it can help a person resolve their anxieties and worries and reduce instances of panic attacks and severity of phobias.
Meditation as a means to control the mind not only helps one reduce anxiety it can also be a helpful coping mechanism that lets a person react to stressful stimuli in a healthy manner. Consider for instance someone with an eating disorder – their disordered behavior such as binging and subsequent purging is often triggered by a stressful situation or instance. The inability to handle a problem has them turn to food which obviously doesn’t help; rather serves to exacerbate the situation.
However learning an effective coping mechanism such as meditation can help a person develop a healthy and non-destructive response to stresses and strains that cause anxiety.
Meditation for anxiety can be practiced on its own or along with associated practices such as yoga and breathing techniques. Meditation involves calming down of the mind and the body, of focusing one’s energies, thoughts and body in one direction – it is the attempt to live in the present. This is different from living for the present and requires you to be mindful of yourself, your body, your thought process and your consciousness.