Anxiety is a condition that affects many and can be quite debilitating. It is excessive worrying and fear about a future event, or what may happen. Examples of anxiety are the fear before a public speaking event thinking of the possibility of messing up, going into a public space and having people look at you, fear before a job interview, the list goes on.
Anxiety comes with many ‘what if’ scenarios where the person will think endlessly about what could go wrong in the situation. They are envisioning the worst outcomes of a future event. Anxiety is all about future events and what could happen, but not so much what is happening right now. This is where mindfulness can come into play.
Mindfulness is the state of being in the present moment. You don’t think about the past or the future, but let them go and live in the present moment. We live in the present moment, but our mind tries to hang onto the past or replay past traumatic memories, which causes depression. Our minds also try to think about the future and what may happen, creating ‘what if’ scenarios that are unhealthy and cause anxiety. Mindfulness on the other hand focuses on the here and now where neither depression or anxiety exist, but rather peace and calmness.
So how can you learn to live in the present moment and let go of the past and future? It’s not as hard as you think. Your mind will naturally go towards mindfulness if you let it, but the conscious mind often prevents this from happening. One of the first steps is a form of meditation that focuses on the breathing. Take a moment from all distractions and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and focus on the gaps between the breath. The reason for focusing on the silence is because that’s often the time that your mind will wander. With each exhale, let go of stress, tension, and anxiety. Imagine it leaving your body with each exhale. Then with each inhale, breathe in positivity and relaxation. Practice breathing from the top of your head and exhaling into the ground, then inhaling from the ground into your body and exhaling from the top of your head. Keep repeating this.
When intrusive thoughts emerge, breath into those thoughts and exhale to let them go. Imagine a stream of water and the thoughts are leaves going downstream. Just let them flow down without trying to hold onto them. Another analogy is trains on a train track. Each railcar represents a thought as you observe it passing you by without holding onto it. Holding onto it would not be possible and cause more stress instead of just letting it go.
This technique will take time, but the more you practice, the better you’ll be. Practicing helps develop your skills and learn to rationalize your thoughts. So stick with this and with enough time you will be able to practice mindfulness during some of the most stressful situations. This doesn’t have to be difficult if you keep at it and know the reason you are doing it.
Mindfulness is one of the best techniques that helps with anxiety. It’s something we can all do and is the natural way our mind works. By letting our thoughts go, we can be mindful and patient as we live a healthier life free of worry.
Let me know how this works for you. Have a great day!
Mindfulness has been one of the greatest techniques for me. These days it’s so easy for me to stay calm in stressful situations because I know how to let negativity go. It’s a remarkable thing since I used to be overwhelmed with anxiety and depression, but mindfulness has helped me immensely. I live almost every day free of stress, but even on the worst days, staying busy helps and learning to let go of stress is what’s most important. I know anyone who practices mindfulness can also feel this amazing calmness.