Mindfulness is a hot topic in the mental health community at the moment. You may be familiar with the concept of mindfulness from meditation or yoga. Mindfulness is simply the act of being present. There are studies that suggest that mindfulness-based therapies may be helpful for people with anxiety disorders. The theory behind this is that mindfulness allows you to be more aware of your physiological response to stressors. People who are able to observe these responses objectively are better at emotional regulation because they are able to connect the physical sensations in their bodies to their emotional state and thought pattern. Recognizing how your physical, emotional, and mental well-being are linked makes it easier for you to recognize your anxious patterns and break away from them. If you are experiencing anxiety and wish to learn more about mindfulness, your Maryland Therapist at Kentlands Psychotherapy may be able to help. In the meantime, here are some tips for practicing mindfulness:
Take breaks to check in with yourself
It is common for all of us to tune out the way we are feeling and thinking. Be sure to pause throughout the day to check in with yourself. Consider what emotions you are having and what thought patterns you recognize in yourself. Be objective; allow whatever thoughts and emotions to come up, acknowledge them, and let them pass.
Take time to breathe
When you have five minutes to spare, use it to just sit and breathe. Notice the way your breath flows through you. Your breathing is a touchstone to help you with your mindfulness practice. When you find your mind wandering to what you need to get done today or the fight you had with your friend last night, bring your focus back to your breath.
It will take time to incorporate mindfulness into your life. Forgive yourself for not instantly becoming a mindfulness master. Self-forgiveness allows you to move on when you make mistakes, and being compassionate towards yourself may help with perfectionist tendencies, which are often present in people with anxiety disorders.
You don’t need to cope with your anxiety alone. Your Maryland therapist at Kentlands Psychotherapy can help. Contact us today.