8 min reading time
It’s estimated that 1 in 5 adults suffers from anxiety, depression, or both. Many people who are suffering turn to prescription drugs for relief but this is not the only solution. Eight Mindfulness ways for anxiety is a practice where you become aware of your thoughts and feelings without judging them as “good” or “bad.” It can help relieve stress and anxiety while also improving concentration and emotional resilience. In this post, we will discuss 8 ways mindfulness can be used to reduce symptoms of mental illness including anxiety and depression!
1. Mindfulness can be practiced in many ways
Mindfulness can be practiced in many ways including through Conscious Breathing, Meditation, Yoga or Focusing your attention on the moment and just slowing down.
There are also mindfulness apps that provide guided meditations for you to listen to wherever you are! Here is a list of the top mindfulness practices and how they helped me get relief from my anxiety.
2. Mindfulness ways for anxiety,Stretching Exercises
There are many stretching exercises that can help reduce stress and anxiety, including the Yoga sun salutation! Yoga is a form of mindfulness as you focus your attention on breathing while stretching. My favourite way to stretch my body out is through stretching my muscles and tendons.
It all depends on just how flexible you are. Age doesn’t matter, flexibility does. The first and most important rule is don’t overdo it! Take it slow and gentle but take it. Make a promise to yourself that every morning you will do some stretching. It doesn’t have to be yoga just move that body of yours for at least 5 mins.
3. Mindfulness Breathing Exercise
Stop whatever you’re doing and just take three deep breaths. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice how those deep breaths help the feeling of tightness or heaviness release and become less.
This again is a kind of Rescue Remedy. It wakes you up to exactly what is going on in your life at the moment and really that’s all there is to life. Wake up, take responsibility for everything in your life and own it all. Then turn it on its head and make your life what you want it to be. Be the champion of your life. For you may as well just be yourself because guess what…. everybody else is taken… be authentically you.
Start breathing, mindfully, on purpose every time you feel things are getting on top of you. It works. just keep trying it. make it a habit of your new life.
4. Mindfulness Long Breathing Exercise
Using your breathing as a focus of attention is a simple and effective way to activate your mindfulness mind.
Sit quietly in a comfortable position. Breathe deeply and slowly, counting five seconds for your inhalation and another five seconds for your exhalation.
As you do this exercise, focus on the sensations of air entering through your nose into your lungs; feel how it moves down to fill up every part of your chest before moving back out again.
Do this sequence 3 times and then stop and relax. Repeat this process another two times, three times in all.
After finishing allow yourself to just rest your attention on what you can see and feel around you. The sensations you are feeling right there and then. Gently, quietly and softly.
5. Mindfulness Stopping and looking
If you feel a wave of unease or tension beginning to arrive in your mind, just stop there and then and focus on an object in your vision.
Focus on that object for a few seconds to a couple of minutes, then release your attention. The object does not have to be anything special or pretty or interesting. In fact, the more boring the object is the better for this will reduce your desire to judge it and analyse what you’re looking at.
As you look at the object feel your breath, listen to your breath coming in and out of your lungs.
There is nothing special about your breath or watching it or feeling it. I use it because where ever you are, day or night, inside your home, at work, on holiday, you always have your breath with you.
- Your breath is always available.
- Your breath is always in the exact present moment.
- Try this….. Breath in right now…. This is the moment of your life right here and now.
- Now Breath out… and the moment, this moment has turned into the out-breath.
Your breath is your Rescue Remedy. Something you can use anytime anywhere, a true and lasting friend.
Here is the exciting mindfulness part.
When you are focused 100% in this present moment( watching your breath) then you are not doing anything else!!.
- Did you realise that your conscious mind can only do one thing at a time?
- Did you realise that your anxiety, stress, uneasy feelings, tiredness ALL come from your own thoughts in your mind BEFORE you feel anything in your body? and only because you are focusing on those thoughts do they happen!
- So, if you are 100% focused in the present moment then you are not, by definition thinking of those other thoughts.
To test this hypothesis, (which is correct), stop for a moment … please write down how you are feeling as you read this paragraph. Now think of your worst fear, really get into it… ouch so uncomfortable… how do you feel now? Can you feel your reaction to that thought of the fear?
It ain’t real it’s just a thought but by heck, it will stimulate your brain to go into reactive mode and protect you… that’s when you lose all your energy and begin to feel those aches and pains and tummy tightness, chest tightness or whatever is your particular cocktail of ugly nasty feelings which you have grown used to.
A Mindfulness note.
Mindfulness is a way of retraining your mind and brain to wake up. Take stock. Get a handle on how you, yes you, are the one who is creating your life your health your wellbeing.
Sometimes things go awry
Always and all the time your brain is listening and learning. Learning to help you, your ego-mind, to find the best way to survive, thrive, be happy and healthy. And guess what, sometimes it gets it wrong and things all go imbalanced. No blame, no judgement, it is just what it is. Just follow these rules of the Eight Mindfulness ways for anxiety.
Mindfulness recalibrates the brain
Mindfulness is the process to recalibrate your brain and mind, consciously. Watching your breath, focusing on something random, being in the present moment for as long as you can hold it is the first step in this recalibration.
6. Focusing on what you are drinking or eating is another of the Eight Mindfulness ways for anxiety.
We eat and drink frequently throughout the day, but rarely pay attention to it. In reality, what we eat and drink is a major contributor to the chemicals in our brain that regulate moods. However, a greater affecter is the way in which we pay attention to our food and drink.
Hurrying our food, having our minds elsewhere when we are drinking or, talking with our mouths full, stresses our physical digestion. This also confuses and misguides our minds. What foods you eat really matter but also how you eat those foods matter too. In these cases, we need to slow down and simply be present.
The mind needs time for reflection and digestion as much as our stomach does. Too often our thoughts are racing with no space in between them, making it hard to separate one from the next. We do not savour the moment nor the taste of our life.
7. Mindfully noticing when you are becoming anxious or depressed
Anxiety arrives when we are doing one thing and thinking of the consequences of another. Depression arrives when we have done this so often that it becomes an ingrained habit and overwhelms us as if by its own volition.
- Your consciousness slips down into a neural pathway of unconscious autopilot.
Mindfulness helps us notice the process and open ourselves to the value of conscious awareness and the benefit of practicing doing just one thing at a time.
8. A mindfulness ways for anxiety just walk
Often we feel there is no time for even a simple walk let alone a mindfulness walk. But there is always time to take time. Just prioritise your health and wellbeing and do what is good for yourself. Taking the time for just 20 minutes of peace and quiet will have an immediate effect on how we feel about our day, moment-to-moment stress levels.
- Mindfully stopping and looking can be integrated into the walk.
- Mindfulness breathing can be included in the walk.
Recently I was teaching mindfulness to a successful businessman and part of the sessions was to take him out into a traditional Victorian square near to my treatment rooms. I asked him to spend 10 mins walking around the square. Slowly and deliberately. I asked him to touch the trees and hold the leaves in his hands. I asked him to feel the breeze on his face, to feel the gravel path under his shoes.
I sat on a bench and did my breathing exercises and soon he returned. He was in shock. He had worked for 15 years in an office overlooking the square and he realised that he had never seen the giant plane trees which grew in the square, let alone touch the bark or leaves. He felt completely different for doing the exercise.
His homework became to walk through the square every morning on his way to work and to see how things change with the seasons!
There are gifts all around us which we can use to heal our pain and anguish. You to can change your life for the better, for the happiness you want in your life.
In this blog post, I have outlined Eight Mindfulness ways for anxiety and depression. I hope these tips will be helpful in your journey towards a healthier mind-body connection. For more information on how you can become more mindful or bring mindfulness into your life, please reach out to me with any questions about my services or programs at the contact page of the website. It would also be great if you could leave a comment below letting me know which tip resonated most with you, and which one worked best.