Meditation goes as far back as the 3rd and 6th century B.C., linked to China and India as an age-old practice of “training of the mind” and “guarding tranquility.” It has been well-researched and documented by many as a way to cope with anxiety and depression symptoms. For those who practice it daily, meditation has been known to elicit a relaxation response in the body. Benefits to the nervous system include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved blood circulation
- Lower heart rate
- Less perspiration
- Slower respiratory rate
- Less anxiety
- Lower blood cortisol levels
- More feelings of well-being
- Less stress
- Deeper relaxation
However, according to Buddhist philosophy, it is not the benefits to the nervous system that make meditation so powerful. Rather, it’s the mental liberation from the external facets of life we cannot control. Through meditation, we can achieve a relaxed and calm mind, capable of living in the present.
Meditating is simple, though it does require discipline, practice and—most importantly—patience. Here is a beginner’s guide to get started with meditation:
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable place.
- Close your eyes.
- Focus on your breath, breathe naturally at first. Place one hand on your stomach.
- Pay attention to how the breath feels as it rises up and own with your body with each inhale and exhale.
- Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Notice your chest, rib cage and belly expanding.
- Keep breathing slowly and focusing just on breathing and nothing else. If your mind wanders, that’s okay, bring it back to the breath when you can.
- Try to do this for 3-5 minutes at first. Extend to 10 minutes as you get better at focusing on the breath.
- Notice how you feel after- is your body more relaxed? Do you feel less anxious?
While meditation is a great daily practice for anyone, if you suffer from such severe anxiety that it interferes with your daily life, it is best to seek professional help in addition to beginning a meditation practice. A professional may employ a variety of treatments, including talk therapy, medication or ketamine infusions. Ketamine infusions benefit those who don’t respond to traditional anxiety medications, and patients oftentimes notice a significant improvement in their symptoms after 1-2 infusions.
Contact Kismet Ketamine
If you or a loved one is suffering from anxiety, our psychiatric practices and ketamine clinics may offer a solution. Contact us using the brief form below, and a member of our clinical team will respond shortly to answer you questions and determine the most appropriate course of treatment for you.