7 Mindfulness Exercises to Help You Cope with Anxiety
Sometimes anxiety can seem like a daily struggle. The feelings that cause tension and stress can be overwhelming. However, by incorporating mindfulness exercises into your daily routine, you can take a proactive step towards finding some peace of mind.
What are Mindfulness Exercises?
Mindfulness exercises are techniques that help create a better sense of awareness. For instance:
- Be more conscious of when you begin to feel stressed.
- Understand what causes you to feel stressed.
- Use that understanding to choose to do something that calms you.
By using mindfulness exercises, you can eventually get to a point where you better regulate symptoms of anxiety. This way, you can prevent anxiety from getting out of control and having a grip on your life.
Mindfulness Exercise #1: Deep Breathing
A part of mindfulness meditation is focusing on your breathing. Deep, steady breathing helps deliver more oxygen to your system and allows you to maintain focus. You can do this whenever you want to. Just breathe in deeply through the nose, hold for a moment, then exhale through the mouth.
Mindfulness Exercise #2: Sitting Quietly
In our daily lives, we are constantly being pulled in different stress-causing directions. Work and family are often two main culprits, but other sources could include financial issues or and illness. Just taking five to ten minutes a day to sit quietly can make a big difference. Find a quiet place in your home that offers privacy. Perhaps one that lets in natural light.
Mindfulness Exercise #3: Conscious Eating
Do you inhale your food instead of truly tasting it? You can slow down and truly experience your meal by using mindfulness meditation at mealtimes. For instance:
- Take one bite of food at a time.
- Slowly chew your food.
- Be aware of how it tastes.
- Take note of the texture.
By being more aware of your food, you can truly appreciate your meal.
Mindfulness Exercise #4: Being Observant of Your Surroundings
Many of us just get through our day, unaware of the little details that make up our lives. Even in the office, a place where many of us spend so much of our lives, we may not be fully aware of our Rexburg surroundings. When taking a break, instead of staring at your computer, take a moment to sit back and observe what’s around. Don’t just look, use your sense of hearing and touch as well. Maybe you have always looked at wall, but didn’t notice the strokes of a paintbrush or the imperfections.
Mindfulness Exercise #5: Being Observant of Your Body
Use mindfulness meditation techniques, such as stretching or yoga, to become more observant of your body. You may not be aware of how stressed and tense different muscles are. This could also be contributing to your anxiety.
Mindfulness Exercise #6: Really Listen
It’s amazing how to notice how easy it is to have so many conversations throughout any given day, but not really listen. Listening is an art in itself. Oftentimes we may be tempted to jump in while someone else is talking. We want to get across what we are thinking, yet are not listening to the other person.
Mindfulness Exercise #7: Smile More
Really! Smiling helps us to relax. Humor and laughter can be great antidotes for coping with the absurdity of life, and the stress that often comes with it. Also, when we smile, we tend to feel more open and accepting of other people and situations.
You can take these mindfulness exercises and create a mindfulness meditation practice that can address your anxiety. Mindfulness helps us to be more aware and observant of ourselves and our surroundings. When we have more awareness we can have a better understanding of what causes anxiety, and take proactive steps that reduces the symptoms of anxiety.