Reducing Anxiety Through Mindfulness
If you’re struggling with anxiety, you may benefit from practicing mindfulness.
As Coach Kasey says, mindfulness sounds like “woo woo” stuff, but it’s not. There’s a lot of research to back up the benefits of mindfulness for everything from behavior change to reducing anxiety.
People may be skeptical that something so simple would be so beneficial. But once you try it, you’ll experience immediate calming effects and will hopefully be more open to the idea.
Essentially, mindfulness for anxiety is using mental tools to create a space to tell your body and your brain that you are, in fact, safe.
Mindfulness helps a lot of people through moments of anxiety.
Here are some tips on practicing mindfulness and reducing your anxiety.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is being fully present in the moment.
What is your body doing? What is your body feeling? What is your heart feeling? What is in your brain?
For many individuals, when they experience anxiety, it's usually rooted in what they’re afraid will happen, what has happened before, or what may have happened to others.
There may be multiple terrible scenarios that immediately manifest themselves when you’re experiencing anxiety.
Instead of letting anxiety control you, you can ask yourself:
"Am I anxious about what I'm doing right now?"
"Am I safe?"
"Do I actually feel sick right now, or am I scared I will feel sick in the future based on past experiences?"
Asking yourself these questions can bring you back to reality and stop the dangerous cycle of negative thoughts. You may have to repeat it several times, but that’s okay!
Mindfulness also involves being kind to yourself and being accepting of your thoughts. Doing so can help you become more aware of your anxious thoughts and feelings, which can help you find better ways to manage them.
The Benefits of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a powerful tool to help reduce stress and anxiety.
When you practice mindfulness, you become aware of your thoughts and feelings. You can then let go of unhelpful emotions or worries that might be taking over your mind.
Mindfulness can also help you build self-respect and acceptance.
You can recognize your strengths and weaknesses and accept your imperfections without judgment. This process can help reduce anxiety by allowing you to take a step back from overwhelming emotions and take a more rational approach to problem-solving.
By focusing on your thoughts and feelings, you can slowly become more aware of what causes you stress or anxiety and how to best manage these feelings.
How to Practice Mindfulness
There are many ways to practice mindfulness. What works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa.
Here are some forms of mindfulness we’ve found that tend to be helpful for individuals who are dealing with anxiety.
Try different tactics to see which ones work best for you. And just because one method doesn’t work the first time doesn’t mean it won’t ever work.
Mindfulness takes time and practice. Don’t give up on it.
Some other tactics that work for our clients are belly breathing, getting fresh air, and identifying the 5 senses around them.
Ask yourself what you can taste, feel, smell, see, and hear. This method is sometimes referred to as grounding and has made a noticeable difference in our clients’ anxiety in the past.
More Mindset Help
You may want to try journaling if you’re working on improving your mindset and increasing mindfulness.
KJO Coaching has FREE gratitude for growth journal prompts. You can use these journal prompts to practice gratitude and mindfulness to reduce your anxiety.
Get your free journal prompts here.
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