Anxiety is more of a curse than anything else. You can’t cure it with the perfect medicine, and it doesn’t go away passively like a cold.
Anxiety demands your attention, while making you more fearful of giving it your attention the closer you look at it.
But deep down, defeating anxiety consists of taking part in a power struggle for your brain. Ridding yourself of anxiety is a mental exercise; keeping it away is a mental habit.
This is where adopting mindful attitudes can be hugely beneficial.
Here are the 10 best mindful attitudes to rewire your brain to let go of anxiety:
1) Find the Goodness In Every Moment, Even The Ones You Don’t Like
Some of us have issues with the lessons of mindfulness. This comes from the fear of living in the present, because the present isn’t always as great as we want it to be.
By living with mindfulness, they believe that they are withholding from themselves the ability to disengage or escape.
But that’s exactly what mindfulness tries to teach—not every moment can be positive or beautiful, and not every moment should be positive or beautiful.
We must learn to live with every moment, even the ones that we dislike, because those are the ones we learn from most.
2) You Can’t Do Everything
One of our greatest sources of anxiety is the fear that we can’t fix everything and we can’t make everything right.
Take a minute every day to stop and tell yourself, “That’s right—I can’t fix everything.” Accept the limitations of your being and you will be happier with what you have seen yourself accomplish.
Free up the energy and time that would rather have been spent worrying about things out of your control.
Don’t judge yourself and don’t push yourself too hard. Do as much as you can and find peace.
(If you’re looking for specific actions you can take to stay in the moment and live a happier life, check out our best-selling eBook on how to use Buddhist teachings for a mindful and happy life here.)
3) Always Be Present
The modern world makes it so hard to live in the present. We’re always dreaming of future wants and needs; we’re always looking at great pictures of past events; and we’re always distracting ourselves from the present moment with social media and technology.
There’s one thing you need to do, and only one: Stop. Engage with your present in the way you would want others to engage with you—with their full attention.
Feel the moment as it passes knowing that it will never return; do not hold anything against it simply because it isn’t an amazing moment. Engage with your senses and open your mind.
4) Let Yourself Be Surprised
These days, too many people think they know everything. We are always trying to predict, to foresee, to judge before we know the full story. But this ruins the way we experience events, because we are always ready to say “Ha! I told you so!”
Stop trying to prove yourself to the world. You don’t have to know everything, so why bother? Let life take you down a road without predicting every part of the path for once, and you will understand the true joy of what it’s like to be genuinely surprised.
5) Surrender to the World
Too often, we are taught to resist. To fight against change, to keep things the way we want them to stay, and to do everything in our power to make sure tomorrow is exactly like today.
But the world doesn’t operate according to your whims and fancies; the world changes, and this is a part of reality.
So the best way to deal with this? Accept it. Surrender. Let go, and flow with the waves that are pushing you a certain direction. Who knows—you may find something better on the other side.
(To learn how to let go, check out my guide on the art of non-attachment here)
6) Stop Trying to Understand
The modern world has turned all of us into a pile of neurotics. We obsess over knowledge and information and knowing, and any time we don’t know, we are just a few thumb presses away from Google.
Simply put, we are taught that we have to know everything, and that not knowing is something to be ashamed about.
But constantly labeling everything will make things less organic, less natural. Try to step back and let life unfold naturally, without you forcing it to happen faster than it can.
Breathe, exist, and interact, and if you don’t know something, then, well, you don’t know.
7) Trust in the Universe
How do you achieve your dreams? There are thousands of people who have earned everything they ever wanted, even if they came from nothing. The answer? They took a leap of faith. They put everything they had into their dreams and said, “F*ck it, let’s go.”
They trusted the Universe, or God, or something; something greater than them, to help lead them on their way to their hopes and dreams. You don’t have to be religious to believe that there’s something bigger than you looking out for you. Just the belief is enough to change your whole disposition.
8) Stop Analyzing
Let’s say you’re traveling somewhere, and you get lost. You might end up getting worried, getting upset.
You check your phone, check the GPS, check the maps, update your social media platforms, call your friends, freak out, and a thousand other things.
But all of these are the wrong answer. Just stop. Stop analyzing, stop overthinking. What has happened has already happened, and the best way to get out of the situation is not to think about every little thing that caused it, but to just keep going on.
9) One Thing At A Time
Multi-tasking is the bane of a mindful existence. Why do we always have to be busy, why always in a rush? Success, recognition, fame, money—are these really all the things that matter?
Focus. Concentration. Presence. Stability. These can contribute so much more to the current condition of your life than arbitrary goals of success and recognition.
You don’t have to be the best and you don’t have to beat everyone around you. Learn to be present, instead of a shadow moving from one state to another.
Learn to start living your life like someone who is alive.
10) Hold No Grudges
We can’t always live a peaceful existence. Emotions and reactions are normal, and disagreements happen all the time. Anger, grief, rage, pain—these are parts of life that can’t be avoided.
But grudges? Grudges are unhealthy. They are unnatural. They are no longer emotional reactions, but conscious decisions to continue holding a pain or anger against someone else for something that has already passed.
The one hard truth about grudges is that they hurt you much more than the person you are holding it against.
Why? Because the grudge is always on your mind, while it only affects them when you are around. Start letting go, and start accepting what has happened.
For more inspirational articles on mindfulness and self-improvement, like Hack Spirit on Facebook.
New eBook: The No-Nonsense Guide to Using Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy for a Better Life
If you want to learn more about eastern philosophy and how it can help you reduce anxiety and stress, check out my new eBook: The No-Nonsense Guide to Using Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy For a Better Life.
By unwrapping iconic Buddhist teachings, this eBook focuses on specific actions you can take to alleviate stress, cultivate healthier relationships, and live a more satisfying life.
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