I have a friend who has been having anxiety issues. She's had them for a while and was on medication, then she quit taking it for about a year, started taking it again and recently the anxiety has gotten worse and they have almost doubled her meds. This has all been over about a five year period. She told me she doesn't want to be on all these meds and asked my opinion. My idea was exercise and meditation.
She knew both of these answers but like most of us, it's more effort than we want to put out. I told
her that meditation isn't all that hard. People make it sound so mysterious and for those that have never done it, it would complicated and hard. Trust me it doesn't have to be.
I'm no expert, by any means, but in my many years of experience you can meditate in many different ways. You can do it the way every one talks about by sitting and trying to empty your mind. If you are new to meditation, this can be hard and frustrating. I suggested three different, much easier options.
1. Count your breathing. Count your inhale 1-4 or 5 whichever fits you best and again, count your exhale 1-4 or 5. You concentrate on your counting and keeping your breath equal, keeping your mind busy and not wondering from subject to subject.
2. Think of a scene which relaxes you and paint it in your mind. Just as if you were painting your favorite scene, only in words and thoughts. Decide the subject and the entire environment surrounding it in detail. Picture it as you go.
3. Create a mantra. Doesn't matter what it is. It should probably be something that pertains to you and your goal. If you are wanting to relax, pick something like "I am calm and relaxed". Very short and/or a bit of a rhyme makes it easier to repeat without having to work at it. Use whatever works and feels good to you.
Before you start get comfortable. That can be laying down, but if it's night be ready to fall asleep. It can be sitting in a chair or on the couch or the floor. Just make sure you can be comfortable for anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour. If you feel fidgety, then do some exercises first. Do 10 push-ups, or go for a walk or lift some weights. You are trying to expend some energy before you get started, so you can choose what works best for you.
You don't need any kind of ritual to get started. Sometimes people will have a ritual but this is only to get your body and mind into what you are doing. Just like anything else, if you do the same thing over and over, when you start a certain set of actions, your body will see where you are heading and get itself ready and you can relax easier once your body/mind knows what you are doing. But this isn't necessary.
When you're finished, breath deep several times, open your eyes and sit there for a bit slowly moving around. You probably won't sit there very long when you start. But after you've done it a while, 30 minutes will pass before you know it. Getting up may take a few more seconds than it did before. There shouldn't be a rush. Then drink some water if you've not fallen asleep. I don't know that this is a necessary thing medically, but it just always tasted very good and seemed the the right thing to do.
As times goes on you'll find other ways to meditate. In my opinion, meditation is anytime you put all your thought and energy into doing something that is relaxing and enjoyable. That leaves the door open for a LOT of things we can do throughout the day.
Let me know all the different ways you meditate. Learning something new in a day, makes it a good day.