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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

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Calming Anxiety

Kelly Boys






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Calming Anxiety

Enjoy this soothing meditation for stress and anxiety, and leave the session feeling refreshed and at ease.


Let's start by finding

a comfortable position.

So you may be seated with your

hands comfortably in your lap.

Your eyes closed, both alert and relaxed.

And if you'd like to, you can feel free

to also lie down during this practice.

The theme of this meditation

is calming anxiety.

So let's begin the meditation by noticing

the flow of the breath in and out.

Can you begin to follow the breath

in, perhaps the belly rises?

And follow the breath out.

Perhaps the belly falls?

Just rising and falling of

the breath of the belly.

Taking a moment to notice if there

is a sense of worry or anxiety

or stress right now, which may

be why you chose this meditation.

And if so, simply naming

inwardly what's present.

Oh, I'm feeling anxious or feeling

stressed and acknowledging the presence

of any activation in your nervous system.

That's step one.


Now come back to the

breath, flowing in, out.

And begin to lengthen the exhalation.

One easy way to do this is to

breathe into the count of one.

And out to the count of two.

Beginning with a breathing practice like

this helps us to very quickly downregulate

perhaps an activated nervous system.

Taking three more breaths where

you're lengthening the exhalation.

The inhale comes naturally.

As you breathe, notice is there any

tension or holding in your body?

You may squeeze your fists and

then release with the exhale.

Now let's do a soothing practice so that

we leave this session feeling at ease.

We've connected with our breath

with any presence of activation in

our nervous system, acknowledging

it, any anxiety or worry, and now

let's do a body and breath scan.

And work to calm the anxiety by inviting

in this quality of rest, of ease.

I'll name a body part and when I do so

simply feel the felt sensation when I

name that body part, whatever's there.

There's no correct way to do this.

So let's try it out together.

Sensing your jaw, mouth.

Notice, if there's any tension or holding.

And you begin to release any

tension as I name body parts.

Sensing your ears.

Flow of the breath in and

out of your nose or mouth.

Sensing your eyes.

Notice if there's any tension or

holding in or around your eyes.

If you notice any, can you

begin to release the tension

simply through the noticing.

There's no need to force relaxation.

We're simply feeling felt

sensations in the body.

Sense now, just behind your eyes,

take an inhale and then exhale all

the way back through the midline of

the brain to the back of the head.

Allowing attention to drop from the back

of the head, down to the back of the neck.

Again here, noticing any tension.

When you do, any holding or muscular

tension, can you allow your body to

begin to gently release the holding?

It may be holding unnecessarily as a

result of an activated nervous system.

So we're simply allowing this invitation

of our body to relax and release tension.

Bringing attention now

to your left shoulder.

Take an inhale.

Exhale all the way down your left

arm into the palm of the left hand.

All of your attention is absorbed

in your left arm and hand as

you breathe in, breathe out.

There may be thoughts coming

and going and feelings.

That's okay, but allow

your attention to rest.

Arm, hand, perhaps squeezing

your left fist and releasing.


Now bringing attention

to your right shoulder.

Take an inhale.

Exhale all the way down your right

arm to the palm of your right hand.

Breathing in and out.

You may squeeze and release

the palm of your right hand.

Allowing all of your attention to be

absorbed in your right arm, right hand.

Now let's do both simultaneously.

Inhale, both shoulders.

Exhale, both arms, both hands.

So you breathe in and out.

Perhaps you may close your

fist and then release.

Notice what you feel in your whole body as

we're a few minutes into the meditation.

Noticing all the sensation inside your

torso, your chest, your belly, your back.

Here too, are there any pockets of tension

you can feel into and then release?

Be with the breath.

Feeling into a particular

place of tension in your torso.

Breathing in.

And then with the exhale release

worry, release the stress or anxiety.

No need to hold this in

your body in this moment.

Bringing attention now to your left hip.


And exhale, sense your

whole left leg and foot.

So now as you breathe in and out, all

of your attention is absorbed entirely

in your left leg, your left foot.

A thought may come, but can you gently

reorient attention back to your body?

Simply feeling the felt sense.

What do you come upon?

What's here?

It may be numbness.

It may be tingling.

Or you may simply visualize

your left leg and foot.

However you do it is fine.

Bringing attention now to your right hip.


Exhale your whole right leg, right foot.

Attention absorbed in your right leg

and foot as you breathe in and out.

Noticing what you come upon.

Bringing attention to both hips.


And then exhale, both legs,

both feet, simultaneously.

Feeling the quality of sensation

in your legs and feet as

you breathe in, breathe out.

Feeling now your entire body globally.

So your legs and feet, arms and

hands, torso, head, neck, face, whole

body breathing in, breathing out.

So you may picture your

body or visualize it.

And then can you let go of the picture and

simply feel the felt sense of being here?

Thoughts coming and going, any emotions

or feeling tones are welcome to be here.

But our focus is on our

breathing and body sensation.

As you feel your whole body,

notice is there any place of

tension that wants to be released?

So do a scan.

Again with your breath, with the exhale,

releasing any tension that's here.

And now welcome in the felt

sense of ease, of wellbeing.

Acknowledging inwardly, in

this moment all is well.

Can you feel your body, your mind

begin to relax and be at ease.

We're inviting our nervous system

to relax, our mind, to relax.

Not forcing, but this is an

invitation toward the felt sense

of peace, wellbeing, and ease.

What do you find when you

invite these feelings in?

Perhaps a relaxed shoulders, open belly?

Your jaw is relaxed.

Can you allow this feeling, if

it's here, of ease and wellbeing

to saturate your whole body?

Notice as you do this, perhaps your mind

comes along and, and rests or relaxes.

But perhaps it doesn't, no worries.

Simply being with what's here as

it is, acknowledging any remnants

of worry, but also feeling grounded

and a quality of ease, peace,

wellbeing in your body and your mind.


We'll close here.

So begin to reorient your

attention to the room.

And thank you for your practice.

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