Managing anxiety with mindfulness
Anxiety is a general term but the experience is as individual as the people experiencing it. It can manifest as worrying, apprehension, nervousness, or fear. Anxiety can express itself as real physical symptoms.
Anxiety can be simply vague and unsettling to physically debilitating, and everything in between. Managing your anxiety, whether briefly uncomfortable or life-changing, is a workable goal for most people.
You can start by managing your anxious thoughts. Be mindful.
Mindfulness means you’re aware of what’s going on in your heart, your mind and your body. Being more aware gives you more choices on how you react.
An Exercise to help ….
A short, easy exercise as a starting point in using mindfulness to manage your anxiety is called STOP – Stop, take a breath, Observe, Proceed. You can do this anywhere, any time.
Some people think they are too busy to stop but interestingly these moments are likely when you need to stop the most. Just stop. Just for a moment.
When you take your breath, it’s sometimes helpful to place a hand on your stomach and focus on how it goes in and out and you breathe. That focus takes you away from the emotions, thoughts and sensations.
Now that you’re focused, concentrate on any physical discomfort; feel it and accept the discomfort. Don’t judge or label what you’re experiencing. Once you’ve concentrated and accepted any physical discomfort, move on to your mind and emotions. Accept your thoughts and feelings.
Now you’re ready to proceed. Repeat these steps as often as you need.