The present world isn’t always a place of serenity and calmness. But your body and mind are much like filters- you can tune out the noise and create a safe haven…a place of solace within your own mind. For some, the noise doesn’t come from the outside but more from the insides. Understand that anxiety can be a killer. Your mind digs holes in itself, burying seeds of doubt and uncertainty. Rather than seeing all of the good happening around you, your mind sees the world through a looking glass- a looking glass of fear and negative thoughts that blind you from the sunshine and positivity around you.
It is important that you attack anxiety early on. These low rumbles of stress often enlarge and affect other aspects of your life. Think of it like dominos- a cascading effect is created and this eats into your emotional and mental wellbeing.
There are millions around the world who have to battle with their own minds, and you would be wrong if you said that you were on your own. But how do you silence your own thoughts? How do you say a resounding YES to yourself and not a feeble, No? How do you put your fears behind you and walk ahead with your chin up and your head held high?
Mindfulness can help you do just that.
What Is Mindfulness?
The question of “what is mindfulness” has been asked far too often and the answer has been long and complicated most of the time. Simply put, it is when you put your mind squarely on what you are doing, seeing or hearing and nothing more. I repeat…nothing more!
That is all mindfulness is about.
You are mentally involved and fully present in what you are doing or where you are at, without being overwhelmed and reactive. The secret is not to react, but to respond, tuning out the external stimuli, and keeping your mind, body and soul as one.
Now the question comes: What mindfulness techniques can you do to help you stay calm and fight off anxiety? Let us tell you.
Calm Down Your Anxiety In Simple Steps:
If you are a beginner then it is wise to find yourself a silent spot. A silent place is conducive in helping you attain a balance or harmony with yourself. The lesser the noise and resistance around you, the easier it is to tune them out. Think of it simply as someone trying to learn juggling-they would start with 2 pins. Then slowly to 3 and then to 4…and so on.
As you get better at tuning more noise out, then you will be able to slip into a deep seated state of mindfulness even while you’re sitting in the back of a cab, during a bustling 9 AM traffic jam on a Monday.
So the first step is to find a silent spot, away from your phone and TV.
Next, would be to bring attention to the present moment. You can listen to the chirp of birds with your eyes closed, or count beads on a pearl necklace. Anything and everything to ground you to the experience you are going through at the moment. Become a container for the sensations you are feeling at that moment-not a moment that happened an hour ago, two days ago or two years ago. A moment ‘in the present’.
Focus on your breathing. Bring your focus on something more concentrated and centered. Keep track of how your chest expands and drops. Place an ear on the air entering into your nostril, feel the air going out. Keep focus on every time you inhale and exhale.
Bring your attention to your body. Be aware of what you are experiencing at the moment. Tune into what your sensations are. Feel the cool breeze lightly gliding off your skin. Hear the distant chatter of the kids or the cars honking on the road. Focus on what you smell at the moment and try to figure out what that smell is. Be careful, however, to not let your thoughts trail.
A New Way Of Doing Things
The idea of mindfulness is to create a space for yourself where your anxiety can soften and fade. It is in this space that you feel empowered and your worries diminish to a speck. Like every skill that needs time and effort, mindfulness requires consistent work put into it. Over time, it becomes a habit and you get better at it.
Mindfulness helps you safely explore what the underlying cause of the stress and anxiety could be. If you know all too well what this cause is, you can either choose to act on it or simply not expend energy trying to control it, especially if it is something that isn’t in your realm of control.
“It is sometimes hard not to hold on, but to let go”
Let this be your first step to letting go.