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Mindfulness techniques for anxiety

When you suffer from anxiety, it can be difficult to find techniques to calm your mind and restore balance to both your brain and body. This is where mindfulness comes in, helping to maintain moment by moment awareness of our thoughts, in order to regain control of ourselves and really understand our feelings at that present time. Many times, anxiety will lead you to constantly worry about past events, or rehearsing future ones and thinking how they may go wrong, mindfulness allows us to stop and live in the moment, process our emotions and move forward calmly.

Guided meditation

The first suggestion is to take part in a guided meditation. There are a whole range of apps, websites, podcasts and audiobooks offering free or cheap guided meditation sessions. Find one that works for you, and regularly practise meditation. These sessions don’t have to be long, they can be as short as a few minutes, or last for as long as you feel necessary. This can be a great way to get a taste of what meditation is about, and how it can assist you with your anxiety struggles.

Colouring/doodling

At first this may seem like a mundane activity that will have no effect on your emotional and mental wellbeing, however doodling and colouring activities can help give your mind a break from thinking. It will allow you to be creative and accomplish something without the pressure to start from the beginning. There are many printouts online, or you can invest in an adult colouring book, there are a wide range out there from simple to intricate, choose what suits you.

 

To do lists

Most people will find themselves making a to-do list at some point in their lives, whether it’s for the daily chores or prioritising exam revision. If done correctly, your to-do list can act as a mindful practice, by allowing yourself to tackle one task at a time. Often times, we will feel anxious because we have 101 things to get done, but by stripping down your to do list to it’s basic and completing one task at a time, it will help you feel more relaxed. Ending the day with a few complete tasks rather than a multitude of half finished ones often feels like a great achievement too.

Have a day away from social media & technology

Sometimes technology can’t be avoided, but when a quiet day comes around utilise it to give yourself a break from social media. The online world can often cause a great sense of self comparison, inadequacy, and a pressure to keep up to date and in contact with many people. This can cause anxiety, and leave social media feeling like more of an effort than a hobby, Take a break for the day, switch off your phone and leave it in another room. It is a good idea to tell friends and family members who you’re close to know that you are doing this, so they don’t worry when they are unable to reach you. During the times you would usually sit online, take time to read, draw, journal, take a walk or any other activity you enjoy, whilst trying to remain present.

Journaling

Writing down your feelings can be a great relief of built up anxiety, and can also promote mindful thinking. Acknowledge your feelings as you journal, and try to analyse how you are feeling at that very moment. It can also be useful to re-read entries from the past, and analyse your progress, or how your coping techniques have changed. This can be very rewarding, and evoke a sense of accomplishment with your progress.

Take a walk with nature

Sometimes technology can’t be avoided, but when a quiet day comes around utilise it to give yourself a break from social media. The online world can often cause a great sense of self comparison, inadequacy, and a pressure to keep up to date and in contact with many people. This can cause anxiety, and leave social media feeling like more of an effort than a hobby, Take a break for the day, switch off your phone and leave it in another room. It is a good idea to tell friends and family members who you’re close to know that you are doing this, so they don’t worry when they are unable to reach you. During the times you would usually sit online, take time to read, draw, journal, take a walk or any other activity you enjoy, whilst trying to remain present.

Yoga

Yoga can be a valuable resource when you are experiencing anxiety, it can help to refocus your mind back to your body and the present moment. There are a multitude of free resources on Youtube, websites and free apps with anxiety focused yoga practices.

 

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