Anxiety is a big problem for western society. According to recent statistics, more than 3.3 million American adults have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition. And that doesn’t include people who haven’t sought help.
However, there are several natural ways you can reduce anxiety. Below we’re going to go over Elisha and Stefanie Goldstein’s 10 mindfulness strategies to reduce anxiety.
1) First, slow down.
When anxiety hits, everything speeds up. Our thoughts race, our heart pounds and our breathing increases. This can make it difficult to think rationally. Consciously try to move a little slower and slow down your breathing.
2) Come to your senses
While anxiety lives in the mind, it often comes out in the body. One of the best ways to stop getting lost in your thoughts is to come to your senses. This will help you get back to the present moment.
3) Be mindful of a simple task.
Life is full of simple tasks: walking, eating, showering. When we’re anxious, we tend to not really notice what we’re doing when we undertake these tasks. Flip the script on this and focus on what you’re actually doing, even if they’re usually what you’d consider boring.
4) Do a reality check
Anxiety stems from fears about events that haven’t taken place. Our minds can create scenarios that aren’t really true. Ask yourself if there is any evidence to support what you’re so fearful about. Chances are, there isn’t really truth for what your worried about.
5) Release the critic
If anxiety wasn’t bad enough, we tend to get critical of ourselves for having anxiety. When you notice your self-critic, see if you can observe it and consciously put a stop to it.
6) Channel your anxious energy
Anxiety isn’t all bad. There is a reason we have anxiety so our ancestors can deal with threats. Sometimes it can help to use that energy and do exercise or get productive.
7) Lie down and look up
This is an age-old trick taught by the great eastern spiritual gurus. Lie down, look up at the sky and watch the clouds. Experience the nature of how all things naturally come and go.
This is a great mindfulness technique. Take a moment of your day and set an intention to listen. Listen to the sounds of the leaves in the wind, of birds chirping and people talking. When we pause and listen, we reconnect with the present moment.
9) Practice 5×5
Go through your senses and name 5 things about them. In other words, 5 things you’re seeing, hearing, tasting and feeling. This can help you reconnect with what’s happening right now.
10) Nurture patience
Patience truly is a virtue. Whenever you feel impatient, ask yourself why. Make yourself realize that it’s distracting you from the present moment. Patience is a pathway to emotional freedom.
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