Brand new to meditation and wanting to learn to reduce stress and anxiety? Read this!

One of the biggest beginners mistakes happens this way.

We're finding ourselves over stressed, maybe dealing with anxiety, and we've decided to try meditation for relaxation to reduce stress.

So you learn some simple techniques, such as deep breathing, etc, and we decide to start trying them when we feel stressed and anxious...


here's where we've gone wrong already.

When you're first learning to meditate or induce a relaxation response in your body, the hardest time to get to that state, is when you're at your most stressed. Once you've learned how to meditate, and how to enter a meditative and relaxed state through your practice... THEN apply it to reduce stress during times of high stress and anxiety.

When you are still in the learning stages, try instead to practice meditation and relaxation techniques when you are at the most relaxed time during your day/week, rather than the most stressed.

Once you are able to go from a regular state of mind to a relaxed and meditative mind state easily, then you can start to use meditation and relaxation techniques as an effective strategy to reverse stress and anxiety.

It is a bio-chemical phisiological impossibility for the body to experience the state of anxiety - flight or fight response, and be in the relaxation response or meditative state, at the same time. Once you learn how to create a relaxation response or meditative state in body and mind, you can even stop a panic attack in it's tracks.

So make the learning process faster and easier, and pick times to meditate and relax to begin with that are naturally more relaxed times for you.

Likewise, start with very comfortable positions and simple techniques. Postures for meditation that are uncomfortable to prevent sleep are great for people past that beginning stage, but may actually hinder you from entering a relaxed or meditative state if you are still learning how to get into that state.

So kick back when you're feeling pretty good and find the most comfy position you can and make your beginning steps into meditation as smooth and easy as possible.

Happy Meditating!

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Replies to This Discussion

I use several different things to help me get into that relaxed, meditative state. One of them is the flame of a candle. By staring into the flame until I feel relaxed, almost falling asleep. Once I reach that level, I know I am ready to meditate. I also use varied sounds of water, softly dripping water, soft to heavy rain from a gentle rain to a full blown thunder storm. I also use the sound of a gentle ocean, ebbing and flowing or an angry surf crashing up against the beach or shore. I use the sounds of the wind, from out on the desert or deep in a canyon or that of a storm whistling by. I also use the sound of my own breathing, getting lost in it to that relaxed state so that at that level I know I can finally start to meditate.

There are many different ways to meditate, these are only but a few. And as Leila said, you first should practice getting comfortable before you are already panicked, anxious or your mind is too racey to quiet. When you are already in one of these states, it is not the time to try to practice relaxation or meditation unless you already know how to quiet your mind and calm yourself enough to relax and meditate.

Excellent tips, thanks for sharing what works for you. :) I haven't tried meditating using flame yet, though I can see how the way that flame dances would be very trance state inducing, it's something I'd like to try.



Thanks Robin Ann. I can get so lost in the flames of a bonfire or fireplace. And have learned to dial it down to candle flames. Nice touch!



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