Combatting Anxiety: 3 Ways to Use Mindfulness When Starting the New Year
Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years, but it’s more than just a new trend. The practice of mindfulness, when done correctly, can help with a variety of different issues, including combatting anxiety.
As you’re starting the new year, you don’t have to continue to live with anxiety and its symptoms all the time. Using mindfulness to fight against it can help you to get rid of those anxious, fearful thoughts—or at least help them to become more manageable.
Simply put, mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment. You don’t worry about the past or future. Rather, you allow thoughts to come and go freely without clinging to them.All images are used for illustrative purposes only. Any person shown is used as a model only.
With that in mind, let’s look at three different ways you can use mindfulness this year to fight anxiety.
1. Observe Your Thoughts at Least Once a Day
We all have busy schedules, and sometimes it’s hard to step back and focus on one thing at a time. But, if you don’t allow yourself moments throughout the day to actually observe and acknowledge what you’re thinking, all of those thoughts can become overwhelming and make you feel more anxious.
Instead of spending your day focusing on the past or future, take a pause. Observe your thoughts without judgment, and without thinking of them as “good” or “bad.” Instead, let them float by and continue about your day.
Doing this can bring you back to the present and help you to feel more grounded where you are.
2. Take a Breath
Breathing is often associated with meditation, but it’s a great way to be more mindful too. Practice more deep breathing, especially when you’re starting to feel anxious.
When you focus on slow, deep, purposeful breaths, you’re less-focused on scrambling thoughts. Focusing on your breath allows you to hone in on that particular moment and how you feel, how your breath sounds, how your body reacts, etc.
Being more in touch with your body is another way mindfulness is valuable. It helps to remind you of where you are and how you’re feeling at a particular moment.
3. Try Meditation
Speaking of meditation, if you struggle with anxiety, meditation can be extremely helpful when you start your day.
Meditation ties many elements of mindfulness together. You focus on your breath. You allow thoughts to enter and leave freely. Most importantly, it keeps you centered on the present, rather than attaching yourself to a particular problem of the past or concern over the future.
Don’t let some of the stereotypes surrounding meditation deter you. You can make it a part of your daily routine for just a few minutes a day. Before long, it will become a habit you can regularly use for combatting anxiety.
There are many meditation apps you can download directly to your phone if you need help getting started. They can keep you centered and focused for a specific period of time or offer certain breathing exercises you can use while you’re meditating.
Seeking Help for Anxiety This Year
Anxiety impacts millions of people on a global scale. Unfortunately, it’s a mental health condition that won’t go away on its own, but not everyone seeks treatment for it.
Treatment for anxiety can consist of anything from medication to therapy. It’s designed to help you manage your triggers and symptoms so you can feel less fear and more hope in your life.
Mindfulness is a wonderful option for combatting anxiety. Using some of the aforementioned tips in the new year can make it easier to keep your symptoms under control on a daily basis. But, if you’re still struggling with anxious thoughts and feelings, feel free to contact me for more information about anxiety therapy.