Meditation techniques to calm an Anxious mind


Lori Deschene

Meditation exercise is sought after to quiet the racing thoughts in your mind. It can produce a deep state of relaxation and tranquillity. The four earlier discussed practices included Alternate Nostril Breathing, The 100-Breaths Technique, Full Body Breath Scan and Lip- Touching Breathing.

Here are four simple practices to help you:

Walking Meditation: Though you can practice this any time you’re walking, you may want to find a peaceful place to stroll, in nature. If it’s safe to walk barefoot, this will give you a sense of being more connected to the earth. Stand with your spine straight, with your shoulders and arms relaxed, and take a few inhalations and exhalations to breathe in calming energy and breathe out tension. Now begin slowly moving forward and sync your breathing with your steps – right foot, inhale; left foot, exhale. Use all of your senses to fully experience where you are – the warm feeling of sun on your face, the soft sound of wind rustling leaves on trees. The goal is not to arrive at a destination; it’s simply to be present in the experience of walking.

Meditative Shower: It’s easy to let go of all other thoughts when you’re standing under a stream of water, set to the perfect temperature for you. Take this time to tune into your senses. Choose a soap you love so that the scent is intoxicating. Enjoy the sensation of the water on your skin, and feel it drip down your back, your calves, and your heels. Notice when you begin thinking about the day ahead (or behind you). Don’t judge the thoughts or yourself for having them. Instead, visualise them going down the drain and then

bring your focus back to the experience of cleansing your body and mind.

Chore Meditation: Whether you’re vacuuming, dusting or washing dishes, it can be your meditation if you immerse yourself completely in the activity. Washing dishes, for example, can be both satisfying and grounding. Feel the warm water on your hands; let yourself enjoy the experience of making something dirty clean again. Don’t think about finishing or what you’ll do when you’re done. Focus solely on the doing and see if you can find a sense of acceptance and presence in doing it slowly and well.

Mindful Eating: Instead of eating quickly with one eye on your food and the other on your phone, turn mealtime into meditation. It doesn’t take long to eat, so why not put everything aside and take this time for you? Your texts, emails, and social media pages will still be there when you’re done.

Breathe deeply and try to identify the different nuances of scent in each item on your plate. When you’re eating, take deep breaths between each bite, and think about your meal like a foodie, appreciating the different flavours and textures. If you find your thoughts wandering to things you’ve done or have to do, bring your attention to the feeling of the fork in your hand. Then breathe deeply, take a bite, and focus on savouring the food in front of you.

Any of these techniques can be incorporated into your day to begin to reap the benefits. And it really only takes five minutes, though you may be tempted to do more once you get started. Mindfulness just feels that good. In a world where it’s all too easy to get distracted and caught up in your thoughts and fears, there’s nothing quite as calming as a few moments of pure presence.