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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

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Ease Anxiety

Mindfulness and meditation are powerful tools for managing anxiety. Not only can they decrease anxious thoughts over time, but they can also offer in-the-moment support for those times when you need quick anxiety relief. Explore our music, meditations, talks, and in-depth courses for managing anxiety.

Browse Ease Anxiety Library
If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.

—Amit Ray

Shamash Alidina

Be the Mountain Meditation

Meditation · 10 mins4.4

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a mental and physical state of uneasiness, worry, nervousness, or dread about what’s going to happen or what might happen.

Whereas fear is a reaction to something happening in the present, anxiety is about anticipated threat or unpleasantness.

We can experience anxiety in several ways, but the most common symptoms are racing thoughts, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling, feeling extremely tired, or having difficulty concentrating during the day and sleeping at night.

How Does Meditation Help Reduce Anxiety?

Meditation works to relieve anxiety in a couple of key ways.

The first is by bringing our attention back to the present moment. Since anxiety is a future fixation about what might happen, mindful meditation gently redirects our focus to what is happening right now: our breathing, surroundings, sensations.

This redirection of attention affects the brain in significant ways. It decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for wandering, racing, and self-referential thoughts. And simultaneously, it activates the parts of our brains responsible for boosting executive function, increasing empathy, and calming reactive thoughts and emotions.

The result is a sensation of stepping off that spinning hamster wheel of anxiety and giving your mind and body a chance to rest, ground, and reconnect.

Try the following meditations to help ease anxiety.

Cory Muscara

Deep Relaxation

Meditation · 5 mins4.5

A Different Relationship with Anxiety

Life is filled with uncertainty. It’s inevitable that we’ll feel anxious at some point.

Mindfulness isn’t about eliminating anxiety. It’s about transforming your relationship with anxiety so that, instead of the anxiety driving your life, you are managing it in a way that allows for fuller living, deeper peace, and greater happiness — even when life is uncertain.

To learn more about what it means to transform your relationship with anxiety, check out this in-depth course with teacher and author Shamash Alidina.

Transforming Your Relationship With Anxiety

Explore a 7-day course, meditations, and daily practices with Shamash Alidina, the international bestselling author of Mindfulness for Dummies.

Get Started

How Does Mindfulness Help Manage Anxiety?

Mindful living does in small daily ways what meditation does: it redirects our attention to the present moment. It activates the parts of our brains that quiet our anxious thoughts and calm our body’s reactivity.

So even though it might seem unrelated to dealing with anxiety, even simple things like choosing to be in the moment as we’re doing the dishes, driving to work, or playing with our children can reduce anxiety in our minds and bodies.

As mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn says our biggest meditation practice is life itself.

Try this 5-Minute Meditation

Cory Muscara

Befriend Your Anxiety

Meditation · 5 mins

Music to Calm Anxiety

Not only is music soothing and pleasant to listen to, but certain frequencies send calming signals to the brain that release dopamine and encourage relaxation.

Whether you love piano, classical violins, ambient music, or nature soundscapes, we have a selection of playlists that are perfect for easing anxiety and releasing tension.

Calm Your Nerves

Calming Ombre Sky

Music

Deep Forest Beckoning

Music

Mindfulness, at Your Fingertips

Bring Mindfulness Into Your Life

The Mindfulness.com app offers access to guided meditations, talks, courses, calming soundscapes, and micro-practices for in-the-moment support — plus encouraging daily dispatches from Melli and Cory. It’s the perfect companion for the journey.

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