Category : mindfulness

How You Can Use Mindfulness To Battle Anxiety

Most people have some anxiety in their lives, usually relating to their personal relationships, financial situation, and work obligations.

It’s perfectly normal to be anxious about these issues from time-to-time.

However, if you often find yourself in a state of intense worry or fear about everyday problems, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Fortunately, there are several mindfulness techniques available that can effectively ease your anxiety and improve your mood.

This post will share the best of these techniques.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the ability to focus your attention on the present moment, becoming fully aware of where you are and what you are doing.

You can bring your awareness to bodily sensations, your immediate surroundings, or your thoughts and emotions to enter a mindful state.

When practicing mindfulness, your mind will be firmly focussed on the present instead of being anxious about the future or dwelling on the past.

This can eliminate the repetitive negative thoughts which often lead to feelings of anxiety.

The effectiveness of mindfulness to treat anxiety has been supported by a growing body of research.

Scientists have found that mindfulness can actually change the way the brain operates as it alters neurones in the amygdala, which can dramatically reduce the amount of anxiety that you experience.

Using Mindfulness To Beat Anxiety

Anchor Yourself

Anchoring is one of the best mindfulness techniques for beating episodes of anxiety that occur throughout the day.

Whenever you feel anxious, focus your attention on the bottom half of your body.

Start by focussing on your feet and how they feel in your shoes or against the floor.

Are they cold or hot?

What do your socks feel like?

Are your feet numb or sensitive?

Slowly move your focus up your legs over the course of a few minutes until you reach your lungs.

At this point, you should begin to focus on your breathing.

Take note of how the air feels as it passes your lips and enters your lungs.

Feel your lungs contract and expand.

If you mind drifts, simply tell yourself “that’s OK, it’s normal” then refocus on your body once more.

You will gradually feel a calming sensation and your anxiety levels will be greatly reduced.

Perform a guided mindfulness meditation

One of the simplest ways to practice mindfulness is through guided meditation.

There are various apps which offer guided mindfulness meditations and you can listen to a guided meditations on YouTube.

As you walk through the steps in the meditation, you will find your feelings of anxiety gradually disappearing.

Make a cup of tea with mindfulness

You can even make the act of drinking a cup of tea mindful.

The key is to focus your attention on every aspect of the tea making process.

How does the tea bag feel against your skin?

How does it smell?

When you pick up the tea cup, is the porcelain cool against your skin or warm?

What does the water sound like as it boils?

When you stir your tea, listen to the sound that the spoon makes against the cup.

How does your brewed cup of tea taste?

Before you know it, you will be so absorbed by your cup of tea that your anxiety has disappeared.

Breath counting

Breath counting can be used in conjunction with other mindfulness techniques including meditation and anchoring.

As you take a breath in, count to 6, then as you breathe out, count to 10.

This will slow down how quickly you are breathing, which increases your oxygen levels and reduces your heart rate.

It is an easy way to calm down and reduce your anxiety levels.

If the numbers 6 and 10 don’t work try another ratio.

Just make sure the out breath lasts at least 2 seconds more than the in-breaths.

Embrace your artistic side

Mindfulness can also be achieved by turning your focus to an artistic endeavour like drawing, playing music, sculpting, or painting.

If you don’t consider yourself artistic enough to create art in one of these ways, purchase a mindfulness colouring book and simply add some colour to it.

Creating art is a wonderful anxiety-busting activity.

Go for a walk outside

Spending time outdoors is incredibly effective at reducing feelings of anxiety.

It works by distracting your mind from any internal dialogue that is causing you to be anxious.

To get the most out of your walk, focus your mind intently on the smells, sights, sounds and physical sensations you experience.

You may be surprised by how effective this simple technique is.

Enjoy some sky-gazing

Most of us live such busy lives that we forget how beautiful the world actually is.

Remind yourself by taking some time to lay on the grass and watch the sky.

You can watch the clouds go by during the day or enjoy the constellations in the night sky.

As you lay there, focus on what you are looking at or how your body feels.

Finger breathing

Hold a hand in front of you, with your palm facing upwards.

Use your index finger of your other hand to trace up to the top of your thumb as you breath in.

Pause at the top of your thumb then trace down the other side as you breath out.

Continue along your fingers until you complete your little finger, at which point you can trace back towards your thumb.

This technique can be combined with breath counting to make it even more effective at grabbing your focus.

Thanks for reading How You Can Use Mindfulness To Battle Anxiety.

Give these mindfulness techniques a try the next time you are feeling anxious.

You will be surprised by how well they work.

Best Mindfulness Book List For 2019

Reading books about mindfulness is one of the best ways to learn more about the topic. 

You can read each book at your own pace, highlighting important passages that resonate with you, and keeping particularly useful books nearby for easy reference. 

 To help you learn more about mindfulness, this post will share the best mindfulness books for 2019. 

These books are inspiring, informative, and will help you effectively incorporate mindfulness into your daily life. 

Meditation Is Not What You Think: Mindfulness and Why It Is So Important By Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, which helps people reduce their stress, anxiety, depression and pain through the use of mindfulness techniques. 

He has been writing about mindfulness for more than 40 years and has helped to bring mindfulness techniques into the mainstream. 

In Meditation Is Not What You Think: Mindfulness and Why It Is So Important, Kabat-Zinn explains why mindfulness meditation is such a powerful practice and why it should be added to your daily routine. 

He shares the science behind meditation and how it can improve a person’s health.

Kabat-Zinn also explains why paying attention is extremely important how mindfulness can even change the world.

Learn more. 

Mindfulness & Grief: With guided meditations to calm your mind and restore your spirit by Heather Stang

In this book, author Heather Stang explains how mindfulness can help you get through periods of grief. 

It is a step-by-step guide for using mindfulness to alleviate your pain, honour the memory of your lost loved one, and show yourself the self-compassion needed during the healing process. 

It covers a variety of topics including dealing with anxiety caused by loss, managing fear and sadness, and rediscovering who you are after a major loss. 

The book shares inspirational stories, scientific research, and guided meditations to help you get through the grieving period.

It is a wonderful read for anyone who has suffered a loss.

Learn more. 

Declutter your mind: Life-Enhancing and Stress Management Techniques for Increased Energy, Clarity, Focus and Joy by Paula J. Harrison

This book is packed with practical tips which will help you regain control over your mind using mindfulness. 

It includes tips for preventing negative thinking, focusing on priorities, incorporating mindfulness into your daily life, meditating more effective, eliminating procrastination, and much more. 

If you often feel overwhelmed or mentally exhausted, this is the book for you.

Learn more. 

Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence–The Groundbreaking Meditation Practice by Dr. Daniel Siegel

This New York Times bestseller delves into the science behind mindfulness. 

It is written by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. — a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and co-founder of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. 

Dr. Siegel introduces the reader to the “Wheel of Awareness”, a tool for cultivating more presence, focus, and peace in your daily life. 

Because this book is so heavy on the science of mindfulness, I would only recommended it for people who already understand the basics of mindfulness and want to understand why it works.

Learn more. 

The Mindful Day: Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm, and Joy from Morning to Evening by Laurie J. Cameron

This book is packed with useful ideas for incorporating mindfulness into your daily life. 

The author starts by helping the reader understand how mindfulness can be incorporated into morning activities like showering, brushing your teeth, and eating breakfast.  

He then shares ways to use mindfulness while at work, including leading mindful meetings, using mindfulness in difficult work conversations and so on. 

The ways that mindfulness can improve productivity and reduce work-related stress are also touched on.

Finally, the book turns to using mindfulness when in other aspects of your life, from improving the quality of your relationships to getting a better night’s sleep. 

It is a very handy book that is easy-to-read.

Learn more. 

Be Mindful & Stress Less by Gina M. Biegel

Chronic stress has become one of the most serious health problems. 

It has been linked to a variety of deadly diseases including diabetes and heart disease. 

This book is focused on using mindfulness to relieve stress and live a healthier life. 

It is written by Gina Biegel, a psychotherapist and the creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens. 

Gina shares identifies several mindfulness techniques for easing anxiety and stress.

She then explains how to integrate these techniques into your daily life. 

The book is simple to understand and offers many effective stress-relief strategies.

Learn more. 

Thanks for reading. 

Have you read any great books on mindfulness this year? 

Let us now in the comments below.