Even in the best of times, anxiety is no stranger, so it’s no surprise now in the worst of times. There is plenty to be anxious about; I was talking to a friend earlier today about the current protests and she said, “Older generations have seen this before — the riots in the 1980s, 1960s, etc— but this is the first time our generation is experiencing something like this,” and of course let’s not forget are good friend coronavirus. Personally I think civil unrest is necessary if we want systemic change, but that doesn’t take away the stress and anxiety that comes along with it.
I wish I had a post about positivity and brighter days ahead but that would involve completing dismissing the current situation we find ourselves in. Instead, I’d like to offer some relief and quiet from the constant inner chatter.
What’s Mantra Meditation?
Out of the three types of meditation practices I’ve tried, I’ve liked mantra meditation the best. A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated aloud or silently over and over again during seated meditation. According to Mindworks, Buddhist’s use mantra meditation to help focus the mind and remain in the present moment. More recently, mantra meditation has also been used in by the secular world as a soothing way to calm an anxious or distressed mind.
Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor, a cushion, or a chair. Check in with your body— are your shoulders relaxed?; are you in an upright position?; are you holding any tension in your jaw or neck?
Next, pick a mantra. Sometimes a mantra will align with your intention and sometimes it will just act as a tool to help you concentrate and stay in the moment. It can be a phrase —”this too shall pass,” or a sound— “om,” or a word— “peace.” You can even try a set of phrases, such as, “I am kind, I am strong, I am worthy.”
Over time, I’ve found meditation to be really grounding and anxiety reducing, but what it definitely is not, is a quick fix. There is no quick fix in life. Everything worth doing takes time, effort and patience. That said, medication can bring the kind of calm and clarity people search for their entire lives.