Anxiety is dwelling on past, current, and future fears that may never come to pass. It’s nearly impossible to not worry about the future in some way. Moreover, thinking about the future can serve as a positive and proactive thing. For example, as long as you are putting everything into perspective, it can be beneficial. However, anxiety becomes a problem when these thoughts spiral out of control and prevent you from taking action. Learn more about mindfulness for anxiety.
There is hope out there, mindfulness for anxiety can benefit you in many ways. Mindfulness is the act of staying in the present moment and allowing thoughts to pass without placing judgment on them. This is essentially the opposite of anxiety. However, by practicing mindfulness, you can reduce negative thoughts and feel more centered.
Overall, anxiety robs you of present joy. As a result, using mindfulness for anxiety may be the most effective tool. However, if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you are not alone. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. In addition, this organization estimate that 40 million adults in the U.S., 18.1% of the population annually, suffer from anxiety.
How does Mindfulness for Anxiety Work?
For instance, when a person is feeling anxious, they may let their thoughts spiral out of control. The act of mindfulness allows them to have and experience those thoughts as if they were observing them from a distance. As a result, when you practice mindfulness, you are aware of thoughts and feelings without letting the emotions overwhelm you. With this in mind, it can provide relief to those with anxiety.
Moreover, dealing with anxiety using mindfulness can help you think about your thoughts in a less fearful way. For example, ask yourself why you are having that thought. How likely is what you are fearing going to happen? As a result of continued practice of mindfulness, the experience will change over time. It is likely that you will be less stressed by thoughts that once overwhelmed you.
The Sky and The Clouds
Quite a few mindfulness teachers will use the sky and the clouds metaphor. For instance, you are the sky and the clouds are your thoughts. Watch them as they pass by. Moreover, if any dark clouds approach, you can wait them over until the storm passes. As a result, this provides those who suffer from anxiety with a greater sense of control. Overall, this leads to dealing with anxious moments in a healthy way.
Mindfulness Exercises to Help Improve Anxiety
For instance, if you feel that your anxiety is really wearing you down, try to stay in the present moment. Importantly, remember when you first start, your mind is likely to wander as you adjust to the new routine. Don’t worry, this is normal!
Try creating a mindfulness room or a meditation space in your home. For example, if you do not have space to dedicate an entire room to the practice, consider a quiet corner in your residence. Overall, anywhere you can let go and focus without distractions will work.
- Breathing. Importantly, breathing is at the heart of most mindfulness exercises. Begin by acknowledging the anxious feeling. Then, truly notice yourself breathing. In fact, by noticing your breathing, you will breathe more deeply. When you are experiencing anxiety, your breaths tend to be quick and shallow. A breathing exercise can help you slow down your breathing until the anxious feeling passes. However, the goal is not to slow your breath down, it is to observe your breath.
- Guided meditation. If you are having trouble focusing on your own, try to listen to a guided meditation video. For example, a guide can lead you through a meditation that will help you stay relaxed and focused.
- Go for a walk. Lace up your sneakers and take a walk around the block. For example, focus on your feet on the pavement and the noises of nature around you.
- Color. For instance, there is a good reason why adult coloring books have become so popular in recent years; coloring is soothing.
- Focus on an object. Try focusing on one object around you. For example, it can be a stress ball on your desk. What does it feel like? What does it look like? Describe the texture. By focusing on one object, you can center your mind quickly. Another example is using essential oils. For instance, inhale the scent and pay attention to how it makes you feel.
One of the greatest advantages of mindfulness is that you can do it anywhere!
Mindfulness for Anxiety in Children
Adults with anxiety are not the only age group that can benefit from mindfulness activities. Children with anxiety also stand a lot to gain from mindfulness activities! In fact, they benefit in the same ways adults do. For instance, a child who practices mindfulness can learn how to focus on the present moment instead of their emotions to help soothe themselves. Children who have anxiety often think about scenarios that are far removed from their reality. In addition, they stress about what they have no control over. Moreover, by practicing mindfulness, children can center themselves. In fact, many schools are even now incorporating mindfulness into their curriculum.
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