How To Do Meditation For Anxiety Relief? Benefits, Techniques & Challenges

Meditation For Anxiety Relief - Oriel

Anxiety is a common mental health issue that can manifest as stress, panic attacks, overthinking, fear, and even depression. It can be debilitating and impact every aspect of a person’s life. The good news is that meditation has been shown to be an effective tool for managing anxiety and its symptoms. In this comprehensive guide we will learn about how to do meditation for anxiety relief and explore different techniques.

Understanding Anxiety and the Benefits of Meditation

Anxiety is not just a mental state; it also has physical effects on the body. When a person experiences anxiety, the anterior cingulate cortex in the brain is activated, leading to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and shallow breathing. These physical responses are part of the body’s natural “fight or flight” response to perceived threats.

Meditation has been found to have a calming effect on the brain. This is because meditation can help regulate the anterior cingulate cortex, reducing its overactivity and subsequently lowering the physical symptoms of anxiety. 

Additionally, meditation has been shown to increase the activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for rational thinking and decision-making. This can help individuals better manage their anxious thoughts and reactions.

Meditation offers a range of benefits for anxiety relief, including reduced stress, improved emotional well-being, and better coping mechanisms for dealing with anxiety triggers. It can also help in managing symptoms of depression and other anxiety disorders.

Getting Started with Meditation for Anxiety Relief

Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can practise meditation without distractions. This could be a corner of your home, a peaceful outdoor spot, or any place where you feel at ease.

It’s important to approach meditation with an open mind and realistic expectations. Understand that it may take time to experience the full benefits, and it’s okay to start small.

Select a time of day that works best for you. Some people prefer to meditate in the morning to set a positive tone for the day, while others find it helpful to practise in the evening to unwind and relax.

Exploring Different Meditation Techniques

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves focusing on the present moment and being fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and surroundings without judgement. It encourages individuals to observe their thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them, which can be particularly helpful for managing anxiety. 

By developing a non-judgmental awareness of the present moment, individuals can learn to respond to stress and anxiety in a more balanced and calm manner. Mindfulness meditation can be practised through various techniques, such as focusing on the breath, body scan meditation, and loving-kindness meditation, allowing individuals to find the method that best suits their needs.

Guided visualisation is a meditation technique that involves creating a mental image or scenario to promote relaxation and positive emotions. It is often used to reduce anxiety, improve focus, and enhance overall well-being. 

During guided visualisation, individuals are guided through a series of calming and peaceful images, such as a serene natural setting or a place of personal significance, to help them relax and let go of stress and tension. 

This technique can be particularly beneficial for those struggling with anxiety, as it provides a mental escape from worrisome thoughts and encourages a sense of calm and tranquillity. Many people find guided visualisation to be a helpful tool for managing anxiety and cultivating a more positive and peaceful mindset.

Loving-kindness meditation, also known as “Metta” meditation, is a practice that involves cultivating feelings of love, compassion, and goodwill towards oneself and others. It is often used to promote a sense of connection, empathy, and kindness, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals struggling with anxiety and self-criticism. 

By repeating phrases or mantras that express well-wishes for oneself and others, such as “May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be at peace,” individuals can foster a sense of inner warmth and positivity. This practice can help shift the focus from negative self-talk and worries to a more compassionate and loving mindset, ultimately contributing to a greater sense of emotional well-being and resilience in the face of anxiety.

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Creating a Personalised Meditation Practice for Anxiety

Set clear intentions for your meditation practice, whether it’s to find calm, cultivate self-compassion, or manage anxiety symptoms. Having a purpose can guide your practice.

Breathwork is a fundamental aspect of meditation and can be particularly helpful for anxiety relief. Focusing on deep, intentional breathing can calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety.

Mantras or affirmations can be used to redirect negative thought patterns and promote a positive mindset. Choose words or phrases that resonate with you and repeat them during meditation.

Overcoming Common Challenges in Meditation for Anxiety Relief

It’s normal to experience racing thoughts during meditation, especially when dealing with anxiety. Instead of trying to suppress them, acknowledge the thoughts and gently guide your focus back to your meditation practice.

Physical discomfort, such as restlessness or tension, can arise during meditation. Practice self-compassion and make adjustments as needed, such as changing your posture or taking a short break.

Consistency is key to reaping the benefits of meditation for anxiety relief. Start with small, manageable sessions and gradually build up your practice to make it a sustainable habit.

Additional Resources for Meditation and Anxiety Relief

Music For Anxiety Relief

 Listening to calming music can also be a helpful addition to your meditation practice for anxiety relief. Many people find that soothing music can further enhance relaxation and create a peaceful atmosphere for meditation. Look for instrumental music, nature sounds, or specifically designed meditation tracks to support your practice. Experiment with different types of music to find what resonates with you and contributes to a sense of tranquility during your meditation sessions.

There are numerous books and podcasts available that delve into the topic of meditation for anxiety relief. These resources can provide valuable insights, guided meditations, and practical tips for incorporating meditation into your daily life.

Joining a meditation community or group can offer support, encouragement, and a sense of belonging. It can also provide opportunities to learn from others’ experiences and share your own journey.

While meditation can be a powerful tool for anxiety relief, it’s important to seek professional help if you’re struggling with severe anxiety or related mental health issues. A mental health professional can provide personalised guidance and support tailored to your specific needs.


In conclusion, meditation is a valuable practice for managing anxiety disorder and promoting overall well-being. By understanding the science behind anxiety, exploring different meditation techniques, and creating a personalised practice, you can harness the power of meditation to find calm and relief from anxiety. Remember to be patient with yourself and seek additional support when necessary as you embark on your meditation journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How effective is meditation for anxiety?

Meditation has been shown to be highly effective in reducing anxiety. Studies have shown that regular meditation can help decrease symptoms of anxiety and improve overall well being. Many people find that incorporating mindfulness and meditation practices into their daily routine can significantly reduce their anxiety levels. 

Can meditation alone improve anxiety?

It is important to note that while meditation can be beneficial for anxiety, it is not a standalone treatment and should be used in conjunction with other forms of therapy or medication if recommended by a healthcare professional.

What is the most effective meditation for anxiety?

The most effective meditation for anxiety varies from person to person, as different techniques may work better for different individuals. However, some popular meditation practices for managing anxiety include mindfulness meditation, lovingkindness meditation, and guided visualisation. 

How does magnesium help relieve anxiety and stress?

Magnesium aids in anxiety and stress relief by regulating neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which play crucial roles in mood regulation. Additionally, magnesium supports adrenal gland function, helping to modulate the stress response. Its calming effect on the nervous system promotes relaxation, easing symptoms of anxiety and stress.

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