How to Meditate to Calm Anxiety (and why you should)


A regular meditation practice can rewire your brain to help calm anxiety and find greater peace of mind. Below is a step-by-step guide to get you started, even if you’ve never tried before.

Why should you meditate?

Our brain’s job is to keep us safe, not to make us happy. So, anxiety is the result of our brain being on the constant lookout for potential dangers. When you're anxious, you tend to get caught in negative thoughts that repeat over and over. These may be worst case scenarios, worries about the future, or endless"What ifs?"

In this context, the purpose of meditation is not to clear your mind. The purpose of meditation is to practice coming out of your anxious thoughts and into the present moment. Our negative thought patterns represent well-worn neural pathways in our brain. During meditation, we practice coming out of this loop of anxious thoughts, over and over and over again. By doing this, we create a new neural pathway. The path out of anxiety.

10 Minutes a Day is Enough to Change Your Brain

Meditation is a lot like exercise for your brain. Strengthening a new neural pathway is like strengthening a muscle. It takes consistent practice. Just like you can’t strengthen your biceps by reading about exercise, you can’t change your brain by reading about meditation. And you can’t just go the gym once and expect results. In order to retrain your brain, you have to keep it up. Over time, through practicing meditation, it will become easier for your mind to come out of the loop of anxious thoughts. You can start to rewire your brain for greater peace of mind. Research shows that 10 minutes a day is enough to change your brain.


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Step-by-Step Guide to Start Meditating Now

Step 1: Choose an anchor.

In meditation your anchor is your focus. Your job in meditation is to keep your attention on your anchor. Each time you notice your mind has wandered, you simply bring your attention back to your anchor. That’s it.