Health & Diet

10 Minutes a Day to Beat Anxiety

By Lola Augustine Brown

If you deal with anxiety, a mere 10 minutes of meditation each day can help you to stay on task in your daily life, according to a small-scale study conducted at the University of Waterloo.

Those with anxiety often have trouble focusing as a result of “mind-wandering” as their inner worries intrude. The study results, published in May in Consciousness and Cognition, suggest that “mindful” meditation can help, mindfulness being a deliberately cultivated focus on the present moment—the here and now. Meditation works by teaching us to stay in the current moment, and to quiet the internal judgmental voice that leads us down the road of negative self-talk.

If you think yourself too old-fashioned for meditation, you should know that it‘s very mainstream these days. Free yourself of that image of George Harrison sitting cross-legged with his guru—top CEOs and other non-crunchy granola people swear by meditation for helping them to succeed.

And they’re more likely to be relying on an app than on a guru.

If you have a smartphone, you can download an app such as “Headspace” or “Calm” that will guide you through meditations to help you learn how (because clearing your mind is not the easiest of tasks). These apps offer free meditations, but should you want to delve more deeply into your meditation practice, there’s usually a membership fee. Of course, you can always find a meditation group near you.

Photo: iStock/michaeljung.