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MeditationManaging Anxious Moments

Managing Anxious Moments

Learn to be present with the feeling of stress and tension being released.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

It's no secret that stress and anxiety is a natural part of life. We all experience it to varying degrees and at various times. And remembering that even though stress and anxiety are often used interchangeably, they aren't exactly one in the same. Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Whereas anxiety often occurs in response to a stressor and is characterized by a persistent worry, intention in the mind and body, even when the stressor is not present. Furthermore, oftentimes we are super focused on the need to manage the stress and anxiety. Or ignore it, or even face it with resistance. What we may not often do is notice how good it feels when it's reduced some. What we're going to do today is practice being purposely present with the feeling of stress and anxiety being released. And being that it's in the body that we often feel this stress and anxiety, this meditation is going to focus on the body as we purposely release and let go of any stress, anxiety, or tension that presents in each body part. During the practice, thoughts may arise and pull at your attention. So remembering, this is completely normal and natural. Allowing yourself to notice the thoughts without judgment, perhaps labeling them simply as thinking, and then returning the attention back to the body part you left off with. And knowing you can always repeat this process as many times as necessary without judgment. And so dropping into practice now, adopting a comfortable and dignified posture of awareness. Allowing the feet to be flat on the floor or legs comfortably crossed if you're on a cushion. Hands resting on your knees or in your lap, whatever is most comfortable for you. Noticing your sit bones grounding on the surface beneath you. The back is nice and straight, not too tight, not too loose. Perhaps shrugging your shoulders up to your ears, rounding them back, and then gently dropping them. And allowing your eyes to establish a soft open gaze, looking slightly downward, but not really focusing on anything in particular. Or it may be more comfortable for you to close your eyes. That's perfectly fine, too. And as you sit in this posture of awareness, bringing to our awareness that different parts of the body. Allowing them to release and let go of any stress, anxiety, or tension that may be present. So starting all the way down to the toes, sensing each of them completely releasing. And now the entirety of the foot. The bottom of the foot, the top, the sides, the heel and the ankle. Completely releasing and letting go. Attending now to the lower legs and the knees. Aware of any tension, stress, or anxiety dissolving away. Letting go completely. Continuing to the thighs, noticing them soften, loosen, and relax as they also completely release, letting go of any tension. And bringing our...


Duration8 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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