How To Meditate To Decrease Anxiety

By Kevin Schoeninger
Have you heard of “Inner Smiling”? It’s a simple, inner Qigong meditation technique that can be used to connect to the healing power of your heart.
You’ll release stress, feel more calm and joyful, improve your immune response and connect with your own inner clarity and intuitive guidance system. You create all of this in your life by consciously generating feelings of acceptance, trust, gratitude and care.

Health Benefits of Inner Smiling:

Inner Smiling can lower your blood pressure, calm your nervous system, improve your brain function, improve hormone balance, and give you a positive feeling of well-being. These positive benefits begin by bringing your heart rhythms into balance which facilitates coherent brainwaves and integrated whole brain function. Generating an inner smile also brings your parasympathetic nervous system online, which is your relaxation and recovery mode.

When you activate your “relaxation response”, your levels of muscle tension decrease, your digestive system receives more blood which helps it perform better, and your immune system gets the energy it needs to function at a peak level.

When you relax your body you decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol, and increase DHEA production, which regulates your body’s healing and repair abilities.
Your higher level brain functions also come online. In contrast, when you feel fear and stress, you actually shut down your higher brain functions.
It simply feels amazing!

4 Simple Steps to Practice Inner Smiling

  • Step 1 — Close your eyes and take several slow deep breaths.
  • Step 2 — Imagine that you are breathing in and out through your heart to focus your attention there.
  • Step 3 — Smile into your heart with acceptance, appreciation, gratitude, and care.
  • Step 4 — Imagine and feel your Inner Smile expanding from your heart to infuse every cell in your body.
Bringing your mind to someone whom you care for unconditionally can help you generate Inner Smiling in your heart and body as a whole. You may think of a child, partner, parent or pet. You can also think of doing something that you love or being with someone who makes you smile.
Bring your appreciation for those people, pets or events into your heart and then send this love and appreciation outward into your whole body. If you find this challenging at first, spend a little extra time focusing on deeply breathing in and out through your heart. Allow any feelings of tension or irritation to dissolve in your breath.
Next, imagine someone or something you effortlessly appreciate or simply accept yourself and whatever is happening unconditionally. Be grateful for “what is.”
Merely putting a little smile on your lips may be enough to bring an Inner Smile into your body. Inner Smiling is a doorway to feeling your inner essence and transforming your life from the inside out.
Enjoy your practice!

About the Author

Kevin Schoeninger graduated from Villanova University in 1986 with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. He is Certified as a Personal Trainer, a Qigong Meditation Instructor, and as a Reiki Master Teacher.

Kevin’s life work is self-development and spiritual growth through daily practice. He has written several programs including Core Energy Meditation that are available through The Mind-Body Training Company.

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