Sep 10, 2014
Meditation for Anxiety Reduction may be Better than Traditional Talk Therapy in the Long Run
Many people arrive at our Meditation Center here in Chicago looking for a way to overcome feelings of anxiety or hoping to quiet their overactive mind. These are truly rampant conditions for a lot of people regardless of how old they are. Often we hear that meditation for anxiety is a good way to tackle these issues and this motivates people to find us. The good news is that meditation is a great way to mange these conditions and possibly even eliminate anxiety altogether if you make it a regular practice. We provide a very well thought out method to get started in our Level 1 Meditation Course.
Anxiety can be described quite clinically by psychologists. The formal definition is…a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. I think we are all familiar with what it feels like to be anxious. But we want to look at it more from a spiritual perspective. This is how meditation for anxiety and related conditions will help you to address what is going on at a deeper level. We teach that anxiety is a form of fear and fears have life in us so long as they remain hidden and unexplored. Meditation is a way to delve into your subconscious and identify the root source of the fear. Once this is done, first off, the charge of the anxiety will often reduce significantly. Fear feeds on the unknown. So long as we are facing the unknown, the imagination comes up with all sorts of scary possibilities.
I have done traditional talk therapy and of course, anxiety was discussed. I had good experiences in therapy too, just so you don’t wonder if I am cutting it down. I’m not. The reason I have concluded that meditation for anxiety might be better than psychotherapy is that while in meditation, you have an experience of the anxiety but in a controlled atmosphere, meaning within yourself. You are in a meditative state and thus you can stir up the anxious feelings while part of you knows there is no threat or danger. In this way, you can explore what sort of falsities are active and creating anxiety. Anxiety is often about a kernel of truth and a whole lot of exaggeration about what MIGHT happen. We project dire negative outcomes and then we get worried.
Isn’t it curious why the mind doesn’t do the same on the positive side meaning projecting all sorts of good outcomes? In fact, the current mass mind way of thinking is more prone to negative and fear based thinking. But we don’t give in to that! Once you begin to identify what you are afraid of, your next step is to investigate if the fears are justified. You can learn a meditation technique to dissect or contemplate how much reality is in your fear and if being anxious all the time is a valid response.
It can sound silly when we break it down this way. We weren’t meant to live in fear. Fear is a built in response to warn us if a genuine threat is present. If so, what is our action plan? Just letting the fear dominate and create a disturbance to the nervous system is not helpful. But for some reason, this is what many people do. You can learn to settle into a meditation (and that won’t require that you shut your mind down completely which is what many have been told) and reflect on what is creating your fear. When you realize what you are anxious about, you need to move yourself into action mode. Consider what is within your control and what isn’t.
Learning this process is amazing. It’s highly reliable and once you’ve got it, it’s free. Just have to develop some will power in order to take on this practice. Hopefully you would like to give it a try.