What if I told you that in only 5 minutes per day, you could eliminate anxiety?
Probably sounds too good to be true.
After all, most people who suffer from anxiety have tried a million different things over many years with little to no help.
Maybe you have gone through countless hours with a counselor; maybe you have tried medications; maybe even yoga and breathing exercises but nothing seems to have helped.
For most people, these things do work and will decrease anxiety, but for a lot of people out there no matter how many different things they try the anxiety is still there.
The fact is, things like breathing techniques, yoga (which I'm a fan of, don't get me wrong), medication, etc. often don't get to the core of anxiety.
They likely help at the moment, but then soon after you are right back to worrying about this or that like nothing ever happened.
You may have even experienced calm and peace while in your counselor's office but by the time you get home your tools just do not seem to cut it.
Well, I have good news for you.
The 5-minute daily exercise I'm going to give you today will change all of that.
This tool not only decreases anxiety at the moment but also reduces anxiety in the long term too.
It improves positive emotions, lengthens attention span, and also lowers blood pressure.
What is this miracle tool?
That's right, it just takes 5-minutes of daily meditation to end anxiety.
I know what you are thinking, "I've tried daily meditation before and it didn't work, it just made me more irritated."
There are two reasons it didn't work, you didn't have specific enough information and no one told you what to expect.
Let's resolve both of those now starting with the specific information.
Anxiety is, first and foremost, worrying about things that haven't happened yet.
That worry is a protective feature to help keep you safe from threats.
That's a positive thing to have to work for you, except there aren't very many real threats to you; almost nothing that evokes anxiety in you is life-threatening (likely).
So, what's going on?
The amygdala is part of your brain that is responsible for threat detection resulting in impulses of fear and anxiety.
But, your amygdala is nearly 200 million years older than your prefrontal cortex (responsible for logic, planning, and language).
So, it's a little outdated for our modern living, it simply gets things wrong.
Left unchecked and unchallenged the amygdala will continue sending those pulses of fear and anxiety, but it's not set in stone.
You can directly impact the amygdala functioning through daily meditation.
I know I know, you said you've tried it before and it didn't work.
This brings us to the next problem to address, you weren't properly told what to expect the process to be like.
So, allow me.
5-minute daily meditation is extremely simple, but, as I always say, simply does not mean easy.
Most people go into meditation thinking, "I'll be calm and relaxed in no time, I can't wait!"
Then they sit and meditate only to find it extremely agitating.
Almost everyone I've talked to about meditation has said that it ended up making them less patient and irritable so they quit.
And that is exactly what should happen (minus the quitting).
Once you really try to quiet the mind, you quickly notice how noisy it truly is.
It is very difficult to stay focused with all your thoughts running around causing problems– destruction after distraction.
But, this is all part of the process, and you have to trust the process.
As you continue practicing daily meditation, it isn't that you have fewer thoughts swirling around vying for your attention, it's that over time you are less severe with yourself.
In other words, you will absolutely still get distracted, but instead of being angered by that, you just become more flexible and more at peace bringing your attention back to where it is supposed to be.
In a nutshell, expect to be frustrated, that means you are doing it right.
Letting go of that frustration is the next step and only comes through time and effort.
Now that those two issues are resolved we can move on to the actual practice itself!
The moment we have all been waiting for, the how-to of the 5 minutes to end anxiety.
There are two methods you can use, or alternate using as I do.
The first method is turning your attention inward, the second is turning your attention outward.
For the former, sit or lay down in a comfortable position somewhere that you won't be interrupted.
Set a time for 5 minutes, close your eyes, then focus your attention on locating your heartbeat.
Your mind will wander to other thoughts because let's be honest focusing on your heartbeat is boring.
When it does wander simply, and gently, bring your attention and focus right back to your heartbeat.
This is where it can get very agitating because this will happen a lot, like way more than you think in 5 minutes.
But here's the good news, the more you have to re-focus your attention, the more benefits you are getting from the practice!
That friction of becoming distracted and then re-focusing is what strengthens your attention span and decreases anxiety.
The second method is done the same as the first, but instead of focusing on your heartbeat, let your gaze fall to a certain spot or object and hold your focus on that spot or object.
Again, your mind will wander, expect that and welcome it, then refocus on that spot until the timer runs out.
Over time, this type of daily meditation quiets the amygdala and suppresses the fear and anxiety impulses that it sends out.
This allows you to feel more at peace and calm even in anxiety-provoking situations.
But it takes daily practice, stick with it, it's only 5 minutes!
Daily meditation works, it will dramatically decrease your anxiety in a matter of weeks, but it takes the daily part of daily meditation to get the maximum benefits.
The amygdala is responsible for fear and anxiety, this daily meditation of only 5 minutes quiets the amygdala and suppresses those fear and anxiety impulses allowing you to experience calm in a whole new way.
Most people give up on meditation because they don't expect it to be irritating and they don't stick with it.
Now you know better, and you know the power that daily meditation has.
Stick with it, and watch your anxiety become a thing of the past.
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