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VideoStress While Meditating

Stress While Meditating

Kessonga answers some of your most frequently asked meditation questions — including the old favorite, “Is this working?”

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

Hi, and welcome to Headspace. My name is Kessonga Giscombe and I'm joining Headspace as a new meditation teacher. I'm also a trained psychotherapist with an expertise on stress resilience and managing anxiety. Today, I'll be answering your questions about how mindfulness can help us better deal with stress. Let's get started. Our first question comes from Virginia. "I have a lot of anxiety and my mind wanders or fixates on other thoughts during meditation. Sometimes I reach the end of the meditation and realize I've barely focused on meditating at all. Am I still getting the benefits of meditation if this is my experience sometimes?" This question is one of the most common concerns people have about the mind wandering. In short, yes, you are still getting the benefits of meditation. It sounds like your experience of anxiety sometimes causes your mind to wander, which may increase your anxiety, which may cause more distraction and mind wandering. And a cycle begins to form that may spin out of control. What might be helpful to remember is that whatever you experience during meditation is perfectly okay, whether it's an emotion or a physical sensation or the mind wandering. I invite you to be aware of the expectations and judgements you are bringing to your meditation practice, and perhaps gently letting them go. Remember, there is no such thing as a good or bad meditation. The meditation practice is about noticing what literally shows up in that present moment. We now have a question from Kai. "The fear of social interaction keeps me in fight or flight a lot. I'm worried I'm not good enough and struggle with the confidence to be myself. Do you have any suggestions to combat this?" Fear is considered one of the core emotions that we all experience at some point in our lives. And it's perfectly okay. In fact, Kai, I invite you to congratulate yourself on being aware of this experience. The next thing I invite you to do is be aware of the resistance that you're bringing to the situation. With any kind of stress, whether physical, emotional, or mental, increased levels of resistance leads to increased levels of suffering. And so how does this resistance look? This resistance can take the form of the stories you're telling yourself about the situation or about yourself. Worrying about anything at any time does nothing but produce more stress and actually hinders change from occurring. So recognizing when you are in that space of worrying and gently shifting out of it can make all the difference. Then you'll be able to implement an exercise like mindful breathing or using the Headspace app for anxiety before going into these social gatherings. Our final question is from Kate. "Whenever I can not do a meditation session one day, I feel like I have to catch up the lost session the day after, or I don't feel even with my ideal meditation schedule. How can I let go...


Duration5 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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