Stress and anxiety are a part of life, especially during these times of uncertainty. However, we don’t need to be enslaved by our anxiety and instead can strengthen our mindful skills to ease our anxious minds, come into our lives and grow in confidence.
1. Release the critic. Not only is anxiety painful enough, but we often get hit with a second round of self-critical thoughts. A simple question: Do the judgments make you more or less anxious? The answer is almost always, more. When you notice the self-critic, see if you can interrupt it by dropping into your heart and saying, “May I learn to be kinder to myself.”
Not all anxiety is bad. Like most mental events, anxiety lies on a spectrum.
2. Practice 3×3. In moments of moderate to intense anxiety the 3×3 practice can come in handy. Drop into three of your senses and name three things that you notice about them. In other words, name three things you’re seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling, or hearing. This can help interrupt the automatic catastrophic thinking that’s fueling the anxiety.
3. Channel your anxious energy. Not all anxiety is bad. Like most mental events, anxiety lies on a spectrum. When you’re feeling a lot of anxious energy that could be stress or courage building up. Either way we need to release that. If your anxiety isn’t severe, you can actually channel that energy into something productive. If you’re nervously waiting to hear some news, get active—go for a brisk walk, clean, organize, or garden instead.
Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is hosting an online course to help people fully integrate mindfulness into their lives in a deep way in order to realize more enduring change. The in-depth 6-month online course called A Course in Mindful Living runs in January 2017. Sign up now to join a community of people growing in confidence, calm, compassion and a life you love.
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