Stress and anxiety are increasingly common complaints in today’s fast-paced world. And not dealing with stressful events or anxiety attacks can lead to more severe and often debilitating physical and mental issues.
Anxiety is a cognitive state which is linked to an incapacity to control or regulate your emotional response to stress. However, while this may seem like a very limiting condition, there are tools and practices such as yoga and meditation, which can help you to combat anxiety and lead a calmer, more relaxed, centred and stress-free life.
Today, the benefits and advantages of meditation have been scientifically proven to strengthen cognitive ability, quieten the overactive mind, regulate emotions and provide profound rest to the physiology, thus in turn dissolving and essentially removing the stress.
Multiple studies and surveys have been carried out by world renowned institutions, including Stanford University, where a group of neuroscientists found that chronic worriers often demonstrate an increased reactivity in the part of the brain associated with regulating emotions, including fear. The study followed participants for eight weeks and found that those who practiced mindfulness meditation for the duration of the period were better equipped to turn down the reactivity of this area. Another study put together by a group of researchers from Harvard, discovered that the practice of mindfulness through meditation can actually physically reduce the number of neurons in the fear-triggering part of the brain.
"Practice makes Perfect"
Just like yoga there are multiple different types of meditation which can be learned and practised at home. By adopting a regular meditation practice you will allow your mind to slowly start developing new habits including the ability to detach from your fears, worries and anxieties.
Through regular practice, you will become more centred and able to detect the things which trigger stress. By meditating and calming your mind, these triggers can be rebuffed and will become less and less likely to affect you or cause serious anxiety.
And the beauty is that everyone can meditate. Although it may seem impossible to still your mind at first, the important thing is to be gentle with yourself. Take your meditation practice one small step at a time; be patient and know that practice makes perfect.