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Living with anxiety can be crippling. Being overwhelmed with anxious thoughts and feelings can leave you exhausted and fearful. Everyone deals with anxiety at some point, and it’s a normal part of life. However, it becomes an issue when fear rules your life. If you have persistent anxiety that doesn’t go away, this may indicate an anxiety disorder.
Signs of an Anxiety Disorder
Symptoms of common anxiety disorders include:
- Feeling restless or on edge
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Pounding or racing heart
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
- Sleep problems
- Being irritable
- Trembling or tingling
It’s estimated that 31.1% of adults in the U.S. experience an anxiety disorder at some point throughout their lives. If you’re struggling with anxiety, you’re not alone. There are tools you can utilize to help ease your symptoms. One of these tools is called mindfulness.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness involves being fully aware of the present moment instead of living in the past or worrying about the future. It’s about giving whatever you’re doing your full attention and being present for each moment. Being mindful is about being conscious of your thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
Many people go through their busy lives never fully living in the moment, and when adding anxiety into the mix, they’re even less likely to be present and in touch with reality. Practicing mindfulness allows you to reconnect with yourself.
How Mindfulness Eases Anxiety
When you’re worrying excessively, it can be difficult to relax. Mindfulness can calm your mind. By practicing non-judgmental awareness, you’ll learn to accept how you feel in the moment and see things for what they are. You’ll be aware of your surroundings, which will help ground you.
Practicing mindfulness allows you to slow down and let go of worries about the past or future.
During mindfulness, you’ll be able to observe your emotions without labeling them as good or bad. It can also help you get to the root cause of your anxiety.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Some other benefits of mindfulness include:
- Increased energy levels
- Improved sleep
- Reduced stress
- Improved mood
- Better concentration
- Increased self-awareness
- Lowered blood pressure
Regular mindfulness practice allows you to experience peace and lead to a more fulfilling life.
How to Practice Mindfulness
There are many ways to practice mindfulness. Here are six:
#1 Practice Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is an ideal way to focus on the present moment. During your practice, you’ll work on accepting what is while focusing on your breath. Meditation calms both your mind and your body by being focused on the now.
If you’re new to meditation, it may be helpful to search online for guided mindfulness practices. However, if you want to try it on your own, you can start by finding a comfortable place to sit or lie down and setting a timer for five to 10 minutes. Next, close your eyes, become aware of your breath, and pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest or stomach as you breathe in and out.
Lastly, direct your attention to your thoughts. Instead of trying to stop them, just observe them. It may be helpful to imagine them floating by on a cloud.
#2 Practice Grounding
Grounding is a helpful skill when you’re having a hard time. It helps to soothe overwhelming feelings of stress and anxiety.
The techniques used in grounding work by engaging the five senses to distract you from difficult thoughts or feelings.
A few grounding techniques you can try are:
- Standing barefoot outside
- Breathing deeply
- Taking a walk
- Doing a body scan
- Repeating kind phrases to yourself
- Paying attention to your surroundings
- Listening to music
#3 Limit Screen Time
Many spend a generous amount of time on electronic devices. Between scrolling on social media, checking email, and using computers for work, humans are constantly staring at a screen. What can help with this is being more mindful of the time spent online. You can do this by setting timers when using social media or logging out of your emails at a certain time.
Something else to try is being more mindful on social media by paying attention to any feelings that arise while you’re switching between apps.
#4 Pay Attention to the Little Things You Do Each Day
Sometimes it helps to give all your attention to your small daily tasks. This includes activities like brushing your teeth, driving, and washing dishes.
The next time you go to wash dishes, focus on the feeling of the water on your hands as you clean each item. When your mind starts to wander, breathe deeply for a few moments. Then turn your attention back to the task at hand.
#5 Move Your Body
Exercises like yoga can help you connect with your body while calming your mind. During yoga, your main focus is on each pose you’re doing and your breath. Both of these will help you feel more at ease and keep you present.
Keeping a journal can help you manage your emotions. By writing down your thoughts and feelings, you’ll be able to release and process them. Journaling also gives you a chance to examine what’s going on in your mind and allows you to come up with potential solutions to any problems you’re facing.
Live More Mindfully
A study published by the National Library of Medicine concluded that mindfulness-based therapy is promising for treating anxiety. If your anxiety feels uncontrollable, various treatment options may help.
While anxiety is difficult to live with, it doesn’t have to defeat you. Practicing mindfulness by engaging in activities like the ones listed above will free you from your worries.
Anxiety can often make you feel like you want to hide from the world. Excessive worry can be draining and negatively impact your mental health. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help you live more mindfully. If your symptoms are persistent and interfere with everyday life, help is available. Alter Wellness Care, located in Laguna Beach, California, treats various anxiety disorders. We offer outpatient programs where you’ll have a chance to engage in holistic healing modalities like yoga and meditation that can help reduce your anxiety. We also provide different therapy options, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, to assist you in treating your symptoms. Our team of mental health professionals is devoted to ensuring you receive the care you need. Anxiety doesn’t have to hinder you from living a quality life. For more information, call us at (866) 311-3510.