5 Meditation Tips to Combat Stress and Anxiety in a More Chaotic World
As the ongoing pandemic leaves our world suspended in fear of the unpredictable tomorrow, it is no wonder that so many of us are left pacing in our self-isolation from anxiety. However, in order to find some semblance of calm amidst the chaos we can choose not to focus on what we cannot control and instead look within ourselves to find the answers that only we can know to be true. It’s all about shifting to that internal locus of control and understanding and acknowledging the roots of our anxiety so as to keep those worrying thoughts at bay. So, with what seems like the infinite amount of time that this indefinite period of self isolation brings, it can be exceptionally beneficial to re-center ourselves and our perspective on our current situation through meditation. Here are five calming tips for self-practicing meditation reflection in self-isolation.
- Find a Clear, Calm Space
First of all, in order to put yourself in the best position to heal your mind and soul, you need to find a space that mirrors the clarity that you would like to achieve within your mind. You cannot initiate that path to inner peace if you are surrounded by the material distractions of clutter or mess. Try to find a space within your home as far away from the center culmination of distractions as possible. The spot you choose should be comfortable and quiet enough for you to be alone with only your thoughts and desire not to give in to anxiety.
- Recognize and Root Your Anxiety
What seems to perpetuate the feelings of anxiety is the notion of not knowing. It is the uncertainty of our current situation that leaves us in an overwhelming sense of dread for the future. But dealing with this anxiety means acknowledging that it exists and that the feelings and emotions that it brings are valid as well. It is important to stick to the facts of what you do know as opposed to what you don’t, in order to root your anxiety in something substantial and decidedly not fantastical. By focusing on the facts that are known from reliable sources, it helps drive away any anxiety-riddled fantasies that may cloud your judgement and catapult you back into that state constant worrying. This is a process of re-centering the mind and, by remembering to stick by the facts and not fantasy, it becomes harder for your mind to slip back off center. If you can identify exactly why you are anxious about the pandemic, you can know how to best react after fully thinking it through.
- Shift Your Focus to What You Can Control
During this time, it can be extremely easy to zero-in on just how much is out of our control as opposed what is in our control. Instead of focusing on the fact that you cannot control how long the pandemic lasts or how other people react to it, you can choose to guide yourself in the mindset of what you can control. Part of this self-calming process is accepting that you have no control over how other people act and finding comfort in the fact that you have complete control over how you react and choose to play your part in reducing risk. Sometimes, it helps to itemize the problems that you have in an organized (or chaotic, it’s understandable during these equally chaotic times) list and then create solutions where you can. If there is no perfect or concrete solution to a matter, consider whether or not it is worth worrying about. This is a step of pruning and ensuring that you are focusing your attentions on things that you actually have the ability to change.
- Put It in a New Perspective
It can sometimes also be helpful to understand your place in the world of the pandemic. Remember that most everyone is facing challenges that may seem smaller, larger, or equal in importance every day and that in most cases there are solutions to overcoming them. Part of putting the pandemic into perspective is treating it as a problem and doing what you can to be part of the solution and not an aid in furthering fear. A new perspective can also mean shifting your outlook on your personal situation. Choosing to view this period of self-isolation as a slowed-down moment of respite from your otherwise hectic daily working schedule can help shift your oeuvre from a negative to a more positive light. Reframing can do wonders for the mind and can open up your eyes to new creative opportunities that would have never been feasible during your usual schedule.
- Center Concentration Through a Chant
One of the most effective ways of centering your mind in positivity is through positive affirmations, chants, or mantras with power in repetition. Feeling the benefits of a positive mindset starts when you truly believe in that positivity and so devising a positive chant can serve as a much needed reminder that you have soared over countless hurdles in the past and will not stop now. A chant grounds you in the present and gives you the confidence to tackle your present situation with the same unwavering tenacity that you always have. As you repeat your mantra, focus all of your attention inwards on yourself, your breathing, and the present moment. Be aware of all that surrounds you and all that is within you whilst continuing to breathe inwards and outwards at your own pace. It is with these self-centering reminders that we will be able to march towards tomorrow not shackled by fear, but strengthened by self-love and positivity.