I don’t know about you but I hate having panic attacks. And having an anxiety disorder, there’s no way to 100% avoid them. Just one single thought of having a panic attack gets me really anxious so in my spare time, I think of different mindful activities that I can do to help reduce my anxiety.
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Research has shown that mindfulness helps us reduce anxiety and even depression. Mindfulness teaches us how to respond to stress with the awareness of what is happening in the present moment, rather than simply acting instinctively, unaware of what emotions or motives may be driving that decision.
1. Start Meditating Once A Day For Anxiety Relief
Meditation is a practice using mindfulness to achieve a mentally calm and stable state that usually takes place in a quiet area. When you begin to meditate, be sure to remove all electronics and gadgets as that only defeats the purpose of meditation. Why? To meditate successfully, you will need to get rid of any item that may be a distraction. Meditation is a time to focus on your mind and body.
Start with 5-10 minutes a day. Go longer if you please. Sit in a quiet place and make sure you are sitting still, but comfortable. Close your eyes and breathe. Follow your breath and clear your mind from unpleasant thoughts.
I often like to use guided meditations for anxiety because my mind will follow the person’s voice. Otherwise, it’ll wander off inside millions of thoughts that are inside of my head. I also enjoy the calming sounds and melodies that are incorporated with these guided meditations. It’s a great way to help you stay focused, especially if you’re a beginner.
Just like anything else, you have to be consistent with meditating to see real results. And if your anxiety improves, still continue with meditating.
2. Recite Positive Affirmations
You’re probably thinking… talk to myself? No thanks.
But hear me out.
Affirmations are powerful. They release you from negativity, fear, and lots of other things. When you repeat affirmations often and believe in them, they will eventually take charge of your thoughts. This will slowly change your thinking pattern while building a more positive mindset.
I started saying positive affirmations to myself when I felt my anxiety being triggered and they have helped me get through some tough situations. The way you talk to yourself matters. I say this because, with anxiety, we tend to think negatively to where it becomes normal. That’s very unhealthy.
An example of positive affirmations:
- I learn from my mistakes.
- I love who I am.
- I forgive myself for not being perfect because I know I’m human.
- I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
If you’re at home, stand in front of a mirror and say them out loud if you have to. If you’re out in public, say them to yourself to help you get through the day. We all have bad days so it’s important to find some type of good in them even if it’s only a little bit.
3. Practice different breathing techniques
Breathing techniques do not only improve your lung function but also help reduce stress and anxiety. My favorite breathing technique is box breathing and in my case, it’s the most appealing.
Give it a try:
- 4 seconds breathe in through your nose
- 4 seconds hold your breath
- 4 seconds breathe out through your nose
- 4 seconds hold your breath
- repeat until you feel relief.
Deep breathing is a really great way to reduce stress and anxiety. When you breathe in deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.
Whenever you find yourself getting upset, just try breathing deeply. If you want to try another breathing exercise besides box breathing, you can find more here.
4. Write down your feelings
It’s important to understand and process your feelings. Writing down your thoughts in a journal is very therapeutic and can have a positive impact on your anxiety.
Different types of journals:
- Gratitude. Improves physical and mental well being.
- Open-Ended. Freewriting or bullet journaling.
- Connection. Creating a more connected relationship.
- Healing. Overcoming loss, grief, mental illness, etc.
How journaling can positively impact your anxiety:
- Releasing unpleasant feelings and everyday stress
- Letting go of negative thoughts
- Writing about your struggles and success
- Enhancing your self-awareness
- Learning about your triggers
- Exploring different experiences involving anxiety
5. Live in the moment
Stop reading this blog post(but come back) for a second and look around you. Notice the people you have in your life. Acknowledge the things you have accomplished in life so far. Embrace the freshness of this moment to analyze how beautiful RIGHT NOW is.
If you practice living in the moment then you may find yourself less stressed out. I say this because anxiety tends to bring on chronic worrying and it is often about the future. Well, guess what! The future isn’t in your control. You can’t control it no matter how much you want to.
By living in the moment, you’ll stop guessing what might or might not happen in the future. And you should stop if this is one of the things that trigger your anxiety.
Live in the moment and let everything else unfold on its own.
You’re going to be so much happier if you do!