5 Meditation Techniques That Can Help You Manage Anxiety

5 Meditation Techniques To Help You Manage Anxiety

by | Jun 27, 2018

I’m a person who is definitely prone to feeling anxiety, stress and those yukky off-feelings! It’s one of the biggest reason I’ve made a commitment to living healthy every day and why I incorporate ‘mindfulness’ and meditation into my online health program Body By Finch.

In this day and age, we are exposed to a multitude of factors that contribute to our anxiety and stress levels. Technology, schedules, demanding work commitments, always needing to be ‘on’, wanting to be a great mother, wife, friend… the list goes on. I think it’s more important than ever that we take time to tune into our bodies and focus on just being present. 

When I started incorporating meditation and mindfulness into my life, I noticed a huge improvement on the days I felt more susceptible to anxiety or stress and I think it’s something we should not be embarrassed or ashamed about speaking of or reaching out for help for. At the end of the day we’re only human and we’re all the same…

Some of my meditations tips and tricks that I love and find effective include:

1. Deep belly breaths

I never underestimate the power of taking long, slow and controlled belly breaths. This has been so powerful on some of my most challenging days! It’s instantly calming and helps me get back to feeling present and in touch with my body. Simply breathe in deeply, filling your lungs and belly with air, then slowly release. Repeat.

2. Box breathing

This beauty has been a technique I’ve used for a couple of years now. It’s simple but oh so effective. It involves breathing in for 4 counts, holding the breath for 4, releasing for 4 and holding on the bottom again for another 4 counts. I repeat this ‘box’ rhythm for as long as I can, and it has an incredible effect on how my body feels. My heart rate drops and I feel a lot more at ease. I can even do this while I’m sitting in traffic.

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3. Active meditation

I practice this if I don’t have time to sit in a quiet space and meditate with no distractions. I can incorporate ‘active meditation’ while I’m walking Dom in the pram, practicing yoga, brushing my teeth or simply walking down the street. It involves being completely aware of my surroundings and not letting the mind wander anywhere else. I focus on my body and where it is, the sounds, smells, and textures of objects around me. I can do this for up to 30 minutes at a time.

4. Grounding

A great way to get more bang for your mediation buck is to practice ‘grounding’ while you’re meditating. I lay outside on my balcony or when I can on the earth in the park or at the beach. This immediately makes me feel safe and connected and there are studies that discuss the relationship of the electromagnetic fields in our body during this process.

5. Sand bag muscles

While I meditate I aim to drop all the tension from my body so that I’m not holding on to anything and giving my body a space to repair and restore. On every exhale I imagine all of the muscles in my body being heavy like bags of sand, dropping toward the earth. On every breath I feel heavier and notice this makes me feel so much more relaxed and at ease.

RELATED: The 7 Biggest Myths About Meditation, Busted By An Expert

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 

Nike

Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 

Tracksmith

Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 

Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?