9. Mantra meditation for anxiety relief
23 October, 2014
Rachel in Anxiety, Emotional intelligence and mindfulness, Mantra, Meditation, Meditation for wellbeing and health, Mindfulness, Stress management

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. She used meditation to help her overcome panic attacks & first began practising meditation in 1987. She still practises on a near daily basis.

Anxiety can be very scary, can’t it?

Developing emotional intelligence includes developing the ability to manage and transform our emotions. Mindfulness practice and meditation are two of the many ways that we can develop our emotional self-management.

They are particularly important in helping us to learn how to reduce and manage anxiety.

Some of us hate anxiety so much that we go to great extremes to avoid it. It is important, therefore, that we can overcome our fear of anxiety and gain a sense of control over it, so that we soften its attack and reduce its occurrence. 

This is where mindfulness and meditation can help.

I have used meditation very successfully in managing my own anxiety and curing myself of panic attacks.

I have written about anxiety and meditation elsewhere, and in this article I want to focus on one particular type of meditation that has provided many people with anxiety relief: mantra meditation.

Emotional intelligence 1: What is mantra meditation?

Nearly all meditation has the same core concept: to practise keeping your attention on a peaceful, calm meditation focus. Then, when your mind drifts away to gently bring it back to the meditation focus again.

A mantra is simply one of the many possible items upon which you can focus your attention.

A mantra is a single word or short combination of words that you silently and repetitively think to yourself and focus upon while meditating.

You say it to yourself over and over again, silently inside your head.

A mantra is most often a soothing phrase or word that conjures up relaxation or peace.

The choice of word is yours. All that matters is that the phrase you use resonates inside you to evoke an atmosphere of peace and quiet.

For example, it is unlikely that the phrases, “I am not going to cope”, “I hate terrorists” or “Stupid idiot” are going to be the type of phrases that will put you at ease!

My favourite is the phrase "Peace & calm".

One of the most popular guided meditations on our MP3s is the "Peace & calm" mantra meditation. I used it to help me overcome panic attacks and sleeplessness. If you would like to follow a guided meditation I recommend it to you.

MP3s: $29 (US). Add to Cart

Emotional intelligence 2: What mantras are there?

In addition to the phrase "Peace & calm" some of the other phrases I have repeated to myself and used as mantras have been:

Another set of mantras that I've been using recently is from one of my meditation teachers. He uses phrases to do with the impermanence of all things. For example, "A tree is impermanent by nature" or "Sensations are always changing".

This helps us to let go of trying to keep everything in our lives the same. When we expect and want things to be permanent and unchanging, we can evoke much anxiety.

Emotional intelligence 3: How to use a mantra

How can you use such phrases as mantras? It depends on the phrase, so let's take "peace & calm" as an example. We simply and silently say one word on the breath in, and one word on the breath out. Then we do this repeatedly. It would go something like this:

As you breathe in silently say to yourself the word “peace”.

As you breathe out silently say to yourself “calm”.

As you breathe in again silently say to yourself “peace”.

As you breathe out again silently say to yourself “calm”.

As you breathe in again silently say to yourself “peace”.

As you breathe out again silently say to yourself “calm”.

If you ever drift away or become distracted, e.g. by your back hurting, concerns about what the children are doing or having to meet the boss tomorrow, then gently return to silently saying “peace & calm”.

As you breathe in silently say to yourself “peace”. As you breathe out silently say to yourself “calm”.

Thus it continues, for 5 minutes, 15 minutes or 30 minutes.

If you prefer to be guided through a "Peace & calm" mantra meditation, there is one for you to follow on our meditation MP3s "Happy not hassled". You can get them here:

MP3s: $29 (US). Add to Cart

Emotional intelligence 4: Gaining anxiety relief

Over time the more you practise, the more the anxiety may lessen. Your thoughts may start becoming more peaceful and less agitated by anxiety.

Even when people are feeling anxious this mantra meditation can be done. The more people focus on "peace & calm" the less room there is for anxiety.

I've found that if I’m feeling anxious and I practise the "peace & calm" mantra, the anxiety may be there but my anxiety or fear about the anxiety lessens. I am no longer so troubled by the anxiety itself. It is just there but I am more at peace with it. Then there is nothing to fear.

What words or phrases can you say to yourself, inside your head, to help you gain relief from anxiety and boost your emotional intelligence?

Please note: Anxiety occurs to varying degrees; it can be very minor to completely debilitating. Please seek the professional help you need. People with long-standing or crippling anxiety may need to seek the help of a good psychologist, medical practitioner or psychiatrist. Meditation is not a cure-all for all anxiety problems.

Want to practice meditation? You can do it now using our professional recordings "Happy not hassled". There are four guided meditations of different lengths and types for you and instructions on how to meditate. 

MP3s: $29 (US). Add to Cart
Article originally appeared on The Emotional Intelligence Institute (http://www.theeiinstitute.com/).
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