Ann Arbor Psychotherapy: Meditation for Stress and Anxiety

Did you know that meditation can help you manage your stress, anxiety and make you more productive? Meditation can positively impact your mental health by increasing mindfulness, reducing stress, rumination and even mild depression and anxiety. The practice of mindfulness can help people change their perspectives and assist them in considering other options. Meditation can help people get to know themselves better and become more attentive and focused.

Where do you start?

Make a spot for yourself to sit on the floor where you will be comfortable or sit in a chair with an upright posture. You can use a pillow or some type of cushion if need be.  Your posture should be in an upright position but not tense, try to have a gentle, relaxed posture.

Meditate first thing when you wake up. Many people say it is easier to add this into your daily routine right when you wake up to set intention for the rest of the day to come. Set an alarm, write a note and place it by your bed, somewhere you will see it, to remind yourself.

Start by meditating for small amounts of time at first in order to get used to the process. It is recommended to begin meditating for 2 to 3 minutes a day. After you do that for a couple weeks, increase your meditation time to 5 to 10 minutes. Keep increasing as you get more and more comfortable.

The most important thing is to just start. It can be easy to get caught up on the best way to meditate. The best thing to do is find out what works best for you by beginning. Meditation is not a one size fits all practice and should be tweaked to fit each person. Once you start for your first 2-minute meditation you will find the right sitting position, breathing technique and mindset that fits you.

First things first, once you are in a seated position, check in with yourself and where are at emotionally. Are you feeling tired? Anxious? Stressed? Is your body tense? Are you nervous about the day to come? Checking in with yourself before you begin meditating is a good way to see what you are bringing into your meditation. Setting an intention for your meditation session can be helpful as well.

Once you have checked in with your feelings, focus on your breathing. Start your breath through your nose until you feel your lungs have filled and then exhale.  Begin counting one as you inhale and two as you exhale. Repeat this breath pattern until you have counted to ten and then begin again.

You may be worried if your mind starts to wander, but this is absolutely normal and will happen on and off. It can be frustrating but when you feel like you are drifting just take a moment and calmly return your focus to your breathing. Try not to critique yourself as you meditate, there is no perfect way to meditate so don’t focus on doing it perfectly, you’re doing it for you!

If you or someone you care about is experiencing stress, anxiety, depression or other similar symptoms, seeing someone for therapy may be helpful. If you’d like information about our services here, please contact us for more information.