Anxiety and stress can take a toll on our quality of life and make us feel overwhelmed. It’s important to find ways to manage these feelings in order to stay healthy and balanced. One great way to do this is by incorporating a mindfulness practice into your daily routine. Mindfulness can help you gain control over negative thoughts, stay focused on the present moment, and reduce stress levels. In this post, we’ll explore how mindfulness can help you manage anxiety and stress and how to develop a regular mindfulness practice.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being present, aware, and attentive to your thoughts and emotions. It involves cultivating a nonjudgmental attitude towards yourself and developing an understanding of your own inner world.
Mindfulness helps you stay in tune with what’s happening in the here and now so that you can be more responsive rather than reactive when it comes to dealing with difficult emotions or challenging situations.
Tips on How to Start Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness is an important skill to cultivate in order to be more present, aware, and responsive rather than reactive in the face of difficult emotions and challenging situations. Taking even just a few minutes out of your day for mindful practice can make a big difference in your overall well-being.
Here are some tips on how to start practicing mindfulness so that you can benefit from its calming effects.
Make time for mindfulness
Set aside a few minutes every day to practice mindfulness. You can do this at any time that works best for you — first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or even before you go to bed. Dedicating a few moments of your day to mindfulness will help you stay focused and present.
Establish a comfortable spot
Choose a place where you won’t be disturbed and establish it as your mindfulness zone. This could be anywhere — a quiet room in the house or outside in nature — so long as it’s an environment that’s conducive to relaxation.
Close your eyes and take deep breaths
Once you’ve found your spot, close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Breathe in slowly through your nose for four counts, then hold for two counts, then exhale through your mouth for four counts, and repeat the cycle until you start to feel more relaxed.
Focus on what’s happening right now
Once you’ve found a good breathing rhythm, let go of any thoughts in your head and focus on what is happening right now in the present moment — the sounds around you, sensations in the body, emotions that come up, etc.. Just observe everything objectively without judgment or trying to change anything.
Let go of any expectations
Don’t try to force anything when practicing mindfulness — just let whatever happens happen with no expectations or pressure involved. Simply observe everything without wanting it to look or feel different than how it does right now and accept things exactly as they are without judgment or criticism of yourself or what comes up during practice.
It’s important to stay consistent with your mindfulness practice so that it becomes part of your daily routine and not just something you do once in awhile when you’re feeling overwhelmed by life’s pressures or stressors.
Mindfulness Techniques for Beginners
This is one of the most popular and well-known mindfulness techniques that can help you clear your mind and calm your emotions. Spend a few minutes in silence each day, focusing on your breath and letting go of all thoughts as they come up. When you notice yourself getting distracted, simply bring your attention back to the present moment.
Another mindfulness technique is body scanning, where you take a moment to tune into how each part of the body feels — from the top of the head to the tips of the toes. You can do this while lying down or sitting upright, and it helps train your brain to stay in the present moment rather than ruminating on past events or worrying about future ones.
Practicing gratitude helps bring more positivity into our lives and keeps us grounded in the present moment. Take time each day to think about all that you have to be thankful for — from small things like an extra hour of sleep in the morning to bigger things like family and friends who are always there for you when needed.
Writing down your thoughts is another great way to practice mindfulness, as it allows you to express yourself freely without judgement or criticism from other people. Spend a few minutes each day writing whatever comes up — thought processes, moments from past days that still linger in your mind, etc.— so that it no longer has power over you and can be let go of instead.
The mindful breathing technique
As explained above, there are many ways to start a mindfulness practice. The following is one that I have found to be very helpful when I am feeling anxious or stressed.
It is the mindful breathing technique.
You don’t need to go somewhere secluded and quiet. You can do it in your living room or your bedroom. The important thing is that you find a place where you can sit comfortably for at least 10 minutes.
Start by finding a comfortable sitting position that allows your spine to stay straight and supported. You might want to use a cushion or pillow for comfort. As you breathe in, feel your breath fill your lungs and stomach; as you breathe out, feel the tension in your abdominal muscles release and let go of any unnecessary tension.
Breathing is an important aspect of living. When you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or experiencing low moods, breathing exercises can help to calm your nerves and bring your mood back up. You do not need any special equipment to perform this exercise, and you can practice anywhere.
Final Thoughts on Managing Anxiety with Mindfulness
Mindfulness can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety and other difficult emotions, as it helps to slow down our mind and bring awareness to the present moment.
With regular practice, you can develop a healthier relationship with your thoughts and gain the wisdom needed to respond in the most beneficial ways during times of stress.
Remember, no matter how anxious or overwhelmed you may be feeling at any given moment, mindfulness can offer a safe space where you can reconnect with your inner calmness and find solace from within.
Carla Corelli is an author, advocate, and survivor of narcissistic abuse. Having grown up with a narcissistic father, Carla experienced firsthand the profound impact of psychological and emotional abuse. Fueled by her personal journey, she pursued a degree in psychology and has dedicated herself to shedding light on the complexities of narcissistic abuse.
With over fifteen years of experience in writing and advocating for survivors, Carla is deeply committed to providing support, education, and empowerment to those who have endured similar trauma. Through her insightful articles and resources, Carla endeavors to offer a compassionate space for healing and growth, while advocating for greater awareness and understanding of narcissistic abuse.
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