Meditation for Anxiety

meditation for anxiety

Meditation and Mindfulness, a form of meditation, are now well established in the American lexicon and can be heard in almost all areas of life from television advertisements to corporate America. Meditation, in all its forms, is a growing trend as people seek to live healthier and grounded lives in a busy and stressful world. So what is meditation and how can it help you?

Many strange and fantastical images may arise when we think about meditation so it may be easier to begin with what meditation is not. Meditation is not just some exotic man in robes meditating in a remote cave abandoning the world. It is not difficult, inaccessible, or a means to escape from life’s problems. It is also not only practiced in the confines of religion or spirituality though it can be if that is what you are seeking.

Though some of the images that arise may be accurate, it is not complete without including images of business professionals who need to reduce stress and increase clarity, or an athlete wanting to improve performance, or even a friend who wants to reduce anxiety and be more present in life. Meditation is a means of transforming the mind that goes back at least 5,000 years. It encourages and develops positive qualities like concentration, clarity, positive emotions, and calmness. It is a means to take responsibility for our own states of mind and improve them by acting as an antidote for our fears, anxieties, and confusion. Meditation also cultivates positive thinking in negative situations which helps to increase coping skills. It also fosters awareness, being present with life as it is, and being open to life as it unfolds.

“Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.”  -Sharon Salzberg

There are many meditation traditions that use different skills to help the meditator relax and be still. You are welcome to explore the traditions or simply learn to follow the breath and just “be.” Whatever the method you use, meditation trains you to be present with whatever is happening as well as observing thoughts, feelings, and sensations in a nonjudgmental way. This process helps experience thoughts, emotions, and situations with more balance and acceptance.

The benefits of meditation are inclusive of the mind/body dichotomy. It has to potential to increase our physical and mental health. Physical health benefits founded in science include lower blood pressure and hypertension, lower cholesterol levels, restful sleep, increased oxygen intake, and increase in the anti-aging hormone DHEA.

Meditation – Backed by Research

Cognitive and emotional benefits of meditation and mindfulness meditation backed by research are improvements in memory and stress regulation, provides a sense of calm and peace, and brings new perspectives on stressful situations. Meditation, including mindfulness meditation, also helps us to be more present and let go of distressful thoughts, prevents “worry” while increasing “problem-solving,” and help to manage anxiety, depression, and pain.

Mindfulness meditation has been researched extensively and is now included in many clinical interventions and becoming more popular in clinical settings. Boca Raton therapists find that Mindfulness can enhance the tools learned in the therapy session and is a skill that brings its own rewards. One of the many goals of meditation, or mindfulness meditation, is developing “witnessing awareness” which means to watch our actions and thoughts as an observer. This is beneficial because it allows us to take a step back and look at the larger picture. It helps us to recognize negative patterns and behaviors so we can make more nourishing choices.

Meditation is a gift that keeps on giving. It is an oasis in an increasingly busy world. Invest in your own wellbeing and reap the benefits. Whether anxiety, depression, or other difficult situations in your life are leading you to seek assistance, be open and know that change is possible.

Mindfulness is one of the many skills that Morgan Center teaches to enhance a client’s capacity for change and wellbeing. For more information about our treatment approaches, visit Morgan Counseling. For more information about mindfulness or therapy in Boca Raton, contact Jody L. Morgan, LCSW or visit http://morgancounseling.net.

EMDR Therapists in Boca Raton

EMDR Therapists Boca RatonEMDR Therapists Offer an Alternative Treatment

“Whether problems are a source of suffering or a source of growth depends entirely on our attitude, both to the problem and to ourselves”

-Richard G. Carston

I read this quote recently and it struck a chord in me. Both the simplicity and the veracity that our perceptions color ideas of self and the world ring true. This simple truth led me to ask what do we do when our attitudes are tinged with guilt, shame, fear, and negative beliefs about oneself and how do we begin to break free from painful memories that seem to permeate our deepest beliefs but manifest in our physical self as well?

Wanting answers to these questions led me to seek training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Experiences in life, especially traumatic ones, inform our reality and block the natural healing process. This means that daily experiences, though mundane, can trigger the memory of past trauma causing one to feel the negative mental and physical sensations in the present. EMDR therapists recognize the connection between trauma, the negative and self-limiting beliefs resulting from the negative event, and the ongoing emotional and physiological suffering. The goal of EMDR is to release these memories that are stuck in the nervous system by challenging the negative and self-limiting beliefs causing distress, and naturally replace them with more adaptive and empowering beliefs.

In my experience, EMDR is not a magic cure. It does, however; provide skills one can use daily to self-regulate stress, fear, anxiety, and worry. It also reduces the distress caused by the negative beliefs (I’m not good enough, I’m not loved, I’m worthless, I’m responsible) and then provides a path for letting go of painful memories. This process, when practiced with trained EMDR therapists, provides hope.

Hope is an important factor in changing your attitude and believing that you can heal. Hope comes in the form of new insight and perspectives on the past as well as seeing yourself as resilient. In the process of healing, the negative influence the past has on the present often fades allowing new resources, perspectives, and more realistic and empowering beliefs to emerge. EMDR therapists are trained to work with the client to heal these past negative influences through an innovative process.

Though EMDR is not for everyone, it certainly helps you gain insight into core self-limiting beliefs that inform how we feel and behave in the world. This change in perspective guides onward on the health journey.

As one of the trained EMDR therapists in Boca Raton, I provide access to this type of treatment if it is appropriate for clients.  I am a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional helping people to heal from traumatic and painful events.  EMDR has proven effective in alleviating symptoms associated with PTSD, depression, anxiety, grief and many other issues that keep you stuck in old behavioral patterns that no longer serve you. Many have found that it opens the door to hope in the form of new insights as well as deepening understanding of their own resilience.  It allows for new resources, perspectives, as well as for more realistic and empowering beliefs to emerge that lead to healing.

If you are interested in learning more about EMDR therapy contact Jody Morgan, LCSW at 561-366-2476 or visit http://morgancounseling.net.