Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hahn said that we should “Smile, breathe, and walk slow when feeling anxious.” Much truth is held in these simple actions. But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, controlling anxiety is more manageable said than done. If getting rid of stress appears so easy on the surface, why is it that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety each year?
What is Anxiety? Anxiety is feelings of worry and stress that won’t go away. It can show up as intense nervousness and fear. Anxiety is sneaky and can manifest itself physically, causing increased heart rate, sweating, muscle tension, or nausea. It manipulates and lies to us. It causes self-doubt, worries, what-ifs, and worse case scenarios.
If we aren’t careful, anxiety can make our thoughts spin out of control. The good news is that by adding little bursts of mindfulness throughout our day, we can gain the power we need to reduce feelings of anxiety and calm our worries.
How to Be Mindful When Anxious:
Whether your anxiety is mild or intense, felt occasionally, or felt every day – these five proven tips can calm your anxiety in no time. The good news is that you will have the ability to outsmart your anxiety and worries everything single time with a little practice.
Let it Go: There is so much in life that we can’t control. We can’t control these things to disrupt our calm and peace of mind if we let them. The only thing that we really can control is how we react to uncertainty and life’s challenges. One of life’s best lessons is letting go of the need to control the things we have no control over.
Breathe in and Out: Breathing, it’s the simplest thing we can do, and it works almost instantly in calming our nerves and anxiety. No special skills are required. We can do it anywhere, at any time. It is that simple. Take a deep breath. And repeat. Again, and again and again.
Interrupt Your Anxiety: Anxiety moves out of my way. There is no place for you here. Interrupting your anxiety with an activity you enjoy is a sure way to calm your worries. Find what works for you and change it up. Reading a good book or going for a walk are excellent ways to find a distraction. Connecting with a friend and sharing in positive conversation can take your mind off your troubles in no time.
Soothe Your Soul With Sound: Take the time to make a playlist of the sounds most peaceful to you. Is it a specific song or artist? The sound of water flowing or birds chirping? Music or sound has the power to lift our moods almost immediately. Anxiety and negative emotions can be difficult to sustain when surrounded by the soothing sounds we love.