When an anxiety attack comes on, it can be hard to think of ways to get yourself out of those anxious feelings. Some try counseling through platforms like BetterHelp; others take pills and call it a day.
If you need anxiety attack help, being proactive and helping yourself to stay calm in all circumstances is an important skill. Meditation can help you deal with difficult situations that may arise in your life.
Many people may think that meditation has to last for long periods of time and that your mind has to be totally clear of any thoughts while practicing it. They may have tried meditation and cannot clear their minds of all thoughts for a long period of time so they abandoned the practice. Those parameters are not true. Short meditations can be just as effective as a longer practice. Also, meditation is not controlling your mind so that is free of thought; it is not letting the thoughts control your mind.
In meditation practice, thoughts can just come and go. If you have any type of thoughts during meditation, just acknowledge them and then let them go. Guided meditation may be the perfect option. In guided meditation, you listen to someone who gives you cues on what to concentrate on, gives you mantras to repeat or gives you situations to think about that take your mind away from the issues that may be bothering you. Ben Martin, Psy.D says “These techniques help you pay attention to tension in your body and release it with exercises that help quiet your mind and relax your muscles.”
You can research a guided meditation that will be helpful for anxiety attacks. There are many options available. This can teach you tools to use when anxious moments occur so you can be proactive and avoid anxiety attacks.
FINDING MEDITATION RESOURCES
YOUTUBE: YouTube is a great resource for guided meditations. You can watch videos before you engage in the meditations. There are thousands of videos that tackle anxiety attacks. You can view several until you find a guide that you connect with. You can view and listen to these videos on a computer, your phone or a tablet.
PODCASTS: There are also many free podcasts that you can download that are specifically for meditation. This is another option that you can have on your phone or tablet. Since they are free, you can try several until you find a guide that you connect with.
APPS: There are a plethora of apps to choose from, but many of them are fee-based. You may be able to listen to a limited amount of guided meditations before you have to start paying. Unfortunately, the meditations that are offered for free are more general and not specific to anxiety. Any meditation can be helpful, but if you are looking for specific meditations for anxiety and you don’t want to pay, apps may not be your best option. Tanisha Ranger, PsyD once said “If a person is actually in need of therapy, these can be a great supplement, but they cannot take the place of engaging with someone who can offer individualized interpretations and insights that an app cannot provide.” Also, if you pay and then don’t like the guide, it can be a letdown.
BOOKS: If you are more of a visual learner and like to read about how to meditate, there are many great books on the topic. You can research meditations specifically for anxiety and you will get a list of books to choose from. If you aren’t sure which book would be best for you, read the reviews and the thumbnails about the book. Checking them out of the library may be a good idea if you aren’t sure which book is best. You don’t want to pay for a book that isn’t going to be helpful to you.
PLAYLISTS: There is an abundance of playlists on music apps and sites specifically for meditation. They won’t have the guided piece, but if you feel that you want to meditate without a guide, a meditation playlist can be a great support in your practice. “Therapy doesn’t have to be talk-based; there are some modalities, like music therapy and art therapy, that can help you get those in tune with those emotions without having to cough them up verbally,” says Hannah Goodman, LMHC.