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Nov 01

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The Role of Meditation and Prayer in Combatting Anxiety

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The Role of Meditation and Prayer in Combatting Anxiety

Are you losing sleep at night due to worry or fear? Are you plagued with racing thoughts that won’t seem to go away? You don’t have to. Meditation and prayer have proven to play a powerful role in helping to combat this part of anxiety. Numerous scientific studies have found that meditation helps with quieting an overactive mind and reduces stress.

Anxious people have a tendency to shy away from meditation and prayer. They usually struggle with feeling too restless or having too many thoughts while trying to pray or meditate. The truth is anyone can meditate, even if at first it’s awkward or has to be kept short. Through regular practice you can get to a place where you can detach yourself from thoughts and feelings and gain peace of mind.

All mental activity has a physical response in the brain and chronic worriers have an increased reaction to the area of the brain associated with regulating emotion. Studies have shown that regular meditation or prayer for eight weeks or more actually turned down the reactivity in this area. Researches have been able to pinpoint the positive physical responses in the brain and have proven that meditation can actually change the physical structure of the brain and how your brain responds to stress.

Prayer and meditation are age-old methods used to help you relax and combat stress and fear. The mindfulness technique can help you stop the worrying and view thoughts differently. Both prayer and meditation elevates mood by increasing levels of serotonin which is necessary for happiness.

Spirituality or faith are more than just comforting rituals. Faith generates optimism, enhances interpersonal relationships and quality of life. Scientific research is showing promising connections between religion, faith and spirituality and the impact on mental health. Faith can provide a sense of purpose and allow us to connect to something greater than ourselves. All of this can reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mental wellbeing.

Faith is a way to expand ones social network. It has been proven that the more supportive relationships a person has, the happier they are. Faith improves your overall health with tangible mental and physical results. Prayer is a way of sharing your worries and getting them off your chest, in can be a great source of comfort and relief. It can combat feelings of despair and loneliness.

If you are regularly experiencing anxiety, depression or just have an overactive mind, I encourage you to give mindfulness, meditation or prayer a try. There is hope for overcoming stress, worry and fear and with a conscious effort you can overcome it and build a life with the peace and calm that you deserve.

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14 comments

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  1. 1
    Debra Holloway

    Prayer and meditation often reaches ones spirituality, and this can have a positive influence on one’s mental health. It also has a calming effect.

    1. 1.1
      Colleen

      So true Debra!

  2. 2
    Stephanie

    This may sound strange but reading is the easiest way for me to release my stress.

    1. 2.1
      Colleen

      No Stephanie that is not strange. It helps the mind to focus and calm down.

  3. 3
    Dotty J Boucher

    I love what meditating is doing in my life, I can honestly say my anxiety was in full swing, like right down to me even losing hair and all, But through meditating every day , my anxiety has gone away almost to none.
    @tisonlyme143

    1. 3.1
      Colleen

      Awesome Dotty! Thanks for sharing and I am so glad your anxiety is under control 🙂

  4. 4
    Tamra Phelps

    Many years ago, I dealt with a lot of anxiety due to health issues. I definitely think that prayer/meditation helps! It helps you ‘get inside’ your own head & change the thoughts that are just feeding the anxiety. It can be a great way to calm those thoughts.

    1. 4.1
      Colleen

      Thanks Tamra, I agree meditation and prayer are great ways to “get inside” your head to help with calming anxiety.

  5. 5
    alicia szemon

    I have very bad anxiety so i think i will give meditation a try. Sounds very relaxing and helps relieve stress

    1. 5.1
      Colleen

      Meditation has to be practiced. It takes abit to get into the “zone”.

  6. 6
    Arlene

    I KNEW ABOUT PRAY (/meditation)I KNOW NOTHING,i must find out how to keep attention my mind wanders

    1. 6.1
      Colleen

      Arlene with my OCD I had to practice alot to keep my mind from wandering. I had to actually visualize a stop sign when I’d wander.

  7. 7
    Terry Poage

    I will admit that I don’t meditate but I am sure it has to be helpful.

  8. 8
    Kelly

    Praying, for me, is the best cure for anxiety and stress. I do have a tendency to go off in a zillion directions with my thoughts, so I have to really work on that. It does get easier the more I do it.

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