3 Guided Meditations To Help Take Your Mind Out Of Election Panic Mode
Election Day is nearly upon us, and there's no question tensions are high. We're here with three quick guided meditations and exercises for handling pre-election anxiety. They're each around 10 minutes, so block off some time; find a comfortable, quiet space; and get ready to release all of (well, at least some of) that stress.
The Inner Smile meditation guided with Pedram Shojai, OMD.
In this Inner Smile meditation, doctor of oriental medicine and author of FOCUS: Bringing Time, Energy, and Money Into Flow Pedram Shojai, OMD, begins by getting the body relaxed using deep diaphragmatic breathing. This meditation is very visual, involving picturing a smiling face emanating all throughout your body bringing positive energy to every cell.
"The nexus of control isn't in Washington—it's in you," Shojai notes. "Now is the time for meditation and true community [...] Hatred and vitriol are not the solution. Peace, love, and forgiveness are the foundations of civil society. That starts with you."
A guided visualization & breathwork exercise with Serena Poon.
Here, reiki master Serena Poon offers a brief visualization, a breathwork technique, and affirmations, that all come together for a quick grounding practice that can help get you out of an anxious funk. The visualization involves first physically moving locations, to help bring you into a literal new space, before visualizing something soothing, comforting, or protective.
"I like to imagine I'm enveloped in a bubble or aura of bright white light from Source," Poon tells mbg. Then, you'll do some rounds of box breathing, a simple breathwork where you inhale for four counts, hold for four, exhale for four, and hold again for four breaths. This activates your parasympathetic nervous system.
"Now, you are in a state of calm, peace, and open to receive," Poon says, and you can recite some affirmations or declarations. "I like to use declarations modified from our five reiki principles," she adds. "For example, 'Just for today, I release thoughts of worry,' and 'Just for today, I choose to be gentle with all beings, including myself."
A heart anchoring meditation with Jessie May Wolfe.
In this meditation, it's all about dropping into your heart center. According to Jessie May Wolfe, speaker and founder of HeartRise Movement, "Your heart is the great equalizer. Your heart knows how to recalibrate you." Everything is energy—including anxiety—she reminds us. And when we learn to listen to it, lean in to it, and feel, heal, harness, and repurpose it, we can transform our anxiety.
Emotion is energy in motion, and in this meditation, Wolfe guides you to invite the fear and anxiety to be moved through as your fuel. "It can actually be your guide and your grounding within," she says. "Learning how to anchor within is key in these uncertain times—and setting our own natural rhythm with the heart helps to regulate and recalibrate us."
When it feels like everything is out of our control, that's when we come back to ourselves and identify the locus of control within ourselves. Whenever you're feeling tense, about the election or otherwise, these tools and many more are always available to you.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.