Mindfulness: Trade Anxious Triggers for Daily Focus on the Here and Now
Anxiety is rooted in rumination or worry about the past or future. The way to stem your racing thoughts is to start expanding your mindfulness moments. Look around, engage your senses. There is likely plenty around to breathe in, focus on and enjoy. Let it distract you from your anxious or negative thoughts.
Try to prolong periods of mindful concentration into longer and longer periods.
Give your full attention to the here and now.
How You Can Transform Your Anxiety Triggers into a Mindfulness Moments
First, write a list of your triggers. Then, notice each time that they happen. Finally, use them as a reminder to engage in mindfulness moments.
Practice a couple of reliable meditative breathing techniques. One easy option requires a breath in as you count to four. Then, hold your breath for another four-count. Finally, breathe out four a third count to four. This is one round of breaths. Pause between each round until you notice something positive around you.
Pay Attention to Your Senses
Mindfulness practice is all about noticing what is happening in the “here and now”. Thus, your senses require attention and respect. Use them fully and drink in what they have to tell you.
For example, if you deal with social anxiety and find yourself at a luncheon with strangers or coworkers you could practice calming yourself by paying attention to what’s happening in the moment. As you bite into your lunch entree and engage others, try the following five sensory experiences:
- Savor the taste of your food. Is it sweet or savory? What spices come through?
- Pay attention to the texture as you touch it with your utensils or hands. How does it feel on your tongue?
- Inhale the aromas of the restaurant or catering service. Do you catch the scent of other’s soap or perfume?
- Listen closely to the words of those talking at the table. Hear what’s being said, not what they might think of you or could say about you later. Stay tuned in. What’s being discussed in the current conversation?
- Look closely at the environment. If you feel overwhelmed by the people around you. Focusing for a bit on the pattern of the wallpaper or the centerpiece on the table can help you stay present and calm. What can you see and focus on in the room?
Engage your senses to help you stay grounded, collected, and deeply aware of where you are and who you’re with.
Express Gratitude Often
Anxiety wants you out the moment and unappreciative of the positivity in your life and relationships. Mindfulness pays attention, remains present, and encourages you to allow life to happen with grace and gratitude. If you can learn to appreciate uncertainty and the lessons that come with it, anxiety has less power.
Take the time to say thank you. Look around to those who share space and time with you. Express gratitude for them and the moment. Then, allow your thoughts to come and go as part of who you are. Worries can simply be allowed to come and go with appreciation too. They needn’t be controlled or avoided.
How to Broaden & Appreciate Your Mindfulness Moments
Every moment of mindfulness brings joy. Consequently, you can deepen that experience.
Here are some key ways to prolong mindfulness moments:
- Employ a mindfulness meditation routine. Try guided visualization as a way to get started.
- Sit in your moments. Mindfulness depends on your willingness to slow down. Instead, hang out at the beach or in the cool evening air. Enjoy each activity.
- Create daily routines and rituals. Take a morning jog or walk.before the heat sets in. Dine al fresco or over candlelight. Go to bed with a conversation and snuggle each night with your partner.
- Identify and share mindfulness moments. Let your loved ones know that you enjoy your moments with them. Celebrate life together.
- Keep a mindfulness journal. Increase your attention by recording thoughts and feelings.
With mindfulness, you can tap into your inner ability to pay attention and direct your thoughts productively. Let’s work on this skill together. Contact me today to set up an appointment! Learn more about my therapeutic approach to anxiety treatment.