I used to be very skeptical of meditation as a relaxation method until I tried it. There’s a reason it’s been practiced for over 3,000 years. Meditation was originally based in spirituality. The goal of meditation is to learn how to avoid automatic self-defeating thoughts and replace them with freeing thoughts. My anxiety disorder was a classic case of lack of self-esteem. I would begin thinking I’m really not a very good person and that I have a right to be afraid much of the time. There’s so much to worry about after all!
What learning to meditate did for me was give me a tool for analyzing my thoughts so I could stop creating my own turmoil. No one else was purposely making me anxious. I was doing it all on my own. Meditation forces you to take the time to explore your innermost thoughts and feelings, while avoiding reacting as you would if you were not in a meditative state. This disassociation between emotions and thoughts is the perfect treatment for anxiety. As I learn to enter a deeper state of calm through practice, I now find I can almost view myself from a distance. So I picture myself calm and at peace.