February 2022: 5 Techniques to Calm Anxiety | Mindfulness Techniques
Are you feeling anxious? Well, you’re certainly not alone. Many people struggle with feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression, but there are ways to lift your mood that doesn’t involve medication.
The practical reason for feeling anxious is that your body is letting you know that it feels under threat through feelings and physical sensations. This could be caused by stress in your relationship, fear about getting older or a recent health scare. As a result, many people over the age of 50 will often find themselves feeling anxious and worried more often. Yet constantly feeling anxious over long periods of time can negatively affect your own mental and physical health and is known to lower your immune system and contribute to digestive problems. But the good news is, mindful meditation can help soothe feelings of anxiety along with a number of mindfulness techniques.
Calming Anxiety by Using Mindfulness Techniques
Feeling anxious can affect your mood, focus, productivity, and overall sense of health and wellbeing. These negative feelings can take over your thoughts, impact your relationships and also trigger a physical response in your body.
- Always anticipating a worst-case scenario
- Repetitive thoughts about the past or future
- Difficulty concentrating
- Frequently feeling agitated and irritable
- Feelings of impending doom
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Withdrawing from people
- Tightness in the chest
Calming anxiety with mindfulness techniques, particularly mindful meditation is an effective and accessible way to get out of a cycle of anxiety when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands. These mindfulness techniques can all be practiced quickly throughout the day in a variety of situations, and even when busy with other things.
Mindful meditation aims to take your mind from a place where it feels under threat and into the present moment where you feel safe and can calm your fight or flight response.
Discover 5 Mindfulness Techniques
Now let’s explore 5 mindfulness techniques to help calm racing thoughts and ease symptoms of stress and anxiety.
1. Body scanning
This practice brings your awareness to each part of your body in turn, from your toes to the crown of your head. Becoming aware of sensations in your body so you can recognize your individual responses to anxiety. A lot of people unknowingly clench their jaw or hunch their shoulders throughout the day. Check-in and see if there is anywhere you can release tensions in your body now.
2. Observing feelings without judging
This is not about pushing away your feelings of stress. Here you’ll observe your feelings with kindness and acceptance without attributing any meaning to them. You are not a bad person for feeling frustrated and this mindfulness technique allows you to see your feelings for what they are, simply a sensation your body is experiencing and that will pass.
3. Grounding Yourself with Senses
Grounding is a type of mindful meditation that lets you tune into the present moment and surroundings using your senses. Try to ask yourself, what can you hear, smell or feel? This can instantly take your mind out of repetitive thoughts of the past or future by focusing your attention on the moment.
4. Breathing Techniques
Practicing mindful meditation using your breath can be a great comfort because it is something that is always accessible to you no matter where you are. Like grounding, focusing on your breath takes you into the present and can cause your body to physically relax. This one is perfect before bed, or try this 5-minute breath focus mindful meditation for anxiety.
If you are nervous or stuck in a particular feeling, labeling helps by creating some distance from the sensation. By labeling it in your mind as ‘feeling’ or ‘thinking’, you help your body acknowledge that you are safe in this moment and are experiencing a neutral sensation that will pass.
It’s important to remember that using these techniques is a practice. Introduce them slowly and try to stay consistent but more importantly, be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to learn. Changing how you feel and react in your daily life isn't an overnight task but it is worth the effort.