Don't meditate when you're anxious

anxiety meditation Feb 17, 2021

I know it sounds like the perfect time to meditate, but it’s not. 
Meditating when anxious can work, sort of, but it's very temporary, and often it’s just one big struggle keeping still (in mind & body).

That’s because when you’re stressed or anxious, you’re in fight-or-flight mode. Try closing your eyes, getting still, and focusing on your breath, or a mantra, or a visualization technique while your house is on fire. 

 

You can’t.

At this point, your natural instinct is to put out the fire.  

You don’t wait to have a cavity to start brushing your teeth (hopefully!). Similarly with meditation, the magic is in incorporating a simple practice into your life now and not wait until you’re in pain

 

  1. Practice when you’re less anxious, when you’re able to go into a more curious space to see what rabbit hole you can go into when you close your eyes and sit.

  2. Practice at the same time every day. Your mind and body likes habits, and it begins to know what it’s supposed to do the moment you sit on your cushion. Which means that, eventually (and sooner than you think), it will take much less time to drop into that meditative space

 

Before you know it, your anxiety no longer controls your daily life and you’ll be able to tap into that meditative space standing up with your eyes open

When anxiety becomes the less frequent visitor, your mind will be trained to listen and respond to it with loving care rather than go into flight or flight (aka internal freak out) mode. 

This translates into: you’ll move out of stress shockingly fast.

   

Here's what you can do if you’re anxious now and can’t tap into that meditative space…

  • Drink water (not iced - if you want iced, take a cold shower instead).
  • Drop what you think you need to do that you can’t focus on and move your body. Exercise, do yoga, stretch or dance for at least 3 songs.
  • Fix that thing you’ve been meaning to fix. 
  • Connect with members in your spiritual community in a meaningful way. Contribute your good energy there.  
  • Help someone, or make someone’s day. 

Then habit stack: immediately follow any or all of the above up by going into a breath or mantra meditation, and let yourself go into the rabbit hole of curiosity. 

 

Love, Savitree



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