Spending even just a brief time meditating can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, OCD/overthinking, and insomnia. Guided meditations work to actually re-wire the brain to learn which thoughts are unimportant, do not require emotions to be attached, and which thoughts may even be unhelpful.
Meditation for Overthinking (Great for OCD)
I routinely recommend this meditation to clients who are engaged in overthinking or who are experiencing intrusive OCD thoughts with mental compulsions. This meditation is a helpful adjunct to the strategies you learn in therapy with me to avoid engaging in mental compulsions.
Investigating and seeking reassurance are often mental compulsions associated with OCD. Researching online may lead you to unhelpful sources and may even perpetuate intrusive fears. I recommend clients challenged with OCD (and their loved ones) seek OCD-related information solely from the following 2 sources: https://iocdf.org & https://theocdstories.com.
Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercise
When you begin to have anxious thoughts or feel anxious in your body (rapid heart rate, sweating, chills, trembling, difficulty breathing, tingling or numb hands, chest discomfort, stomach pain, or nausea) take at least 4 diaphragmatic breaths while pushing your feet firmly onto the ground. I recommend you practice diaphragmatic breathing every morning when getting out of bed, just before bed, and every time you feel anxious throughout the day. You want to have this practice as a go-to strategy for when you experience anxiety symptoms.
This meditation is helpful if you feel frustrated with guided thought meditations, notice your busy brain while meditating, believe you are “bad” at meditation, or have body aches/pains.
Meditation for Sleep (aka Yoga Nidra)
Prepare for sleep and listen to the meditation in bed. If you awake and have difficulty falling back to sleep, turn on the video and listen to the guided meditation.
Unlock the Unlimited Power of Your Mind
I find the information presented by Dr. Joe Dispenza in this interview to be educational and hopeful. The material explains why we are holding emotions from the past, which are attributing to our mood, and ways we can begin to break this cycle. The strategies outlined in this interview include both meditations as well as a new way of contemplating our mindset around our experiences.
Meditation for Kids & Tweens
Often, kids and tweens are resistant to the thought of sitting still and engaging in meditation. My experience is once they engage in the meditation on a regular basis, kids/tweens feel more relaxed, regulated, and focused.
Sitting Still Like a Frog is a favorite of many of my younger clients.
Meditation does not need to consume hours of your time to be effective. You may feel overscheduled already and cannot conceive of how to fit in ‘just one more thing.’ Adding daily deep breathing, a short meditation, or even a statement of gratitude will all help allow you to feel more present, focused, and calm.