If you’re experiencing heightened anxiety right now, you’re not alone. It seems like every time we turn on the news or check social media lately, there’s something new to worry about. While it isn’t possible to control what’s happening in the world around us, it is possible to control the way that we respond to it. One of the best ways to naturally ease anxiety is to engage in mindfulness practices. Below are a few that are easy to adopt – and you can do most of them anytime, anywhere.
Try a Guided Meditation
When you hear the term “meditation,” you may immediately think of someone sitting cross-legged out in nature, emptying their mind.
You absolutely CAN meditate this way, but you don’t have to and it’s rare that anyone actually does. You can practice meditation at home, outside, at your desk at work. The important thing is to commit to the practice and find a method that works for you.
There are a couple of different ways that you can begin practicing meditation.
For many, it’s as simple as downloading a free app to your phone. A couple of the most popular are Headspace and Calm. They offer paid versions, but you can start with free ones that teach you the basics of meditation and guide you through the steps at your own pace.
You can also find meditation groups in your area or online if you prefer an interactive experience. Either way, meditation will help you find some extra space in your mind and decrease your anxiety.
Do A Breathing Exercise
Breathing exercises help you connect to the present and slow down your nervous system, which can reduce anxiety.
One of the easiest breathing exercises to do is to simply stop and count your breaths. Count one on the inhale, two on the exhale, and continue in that fashion until you reach ten. Once you get to ten, start over again at one and continue the practice until you start to feel relaxed.
If you find that anxious thoughts pop up during this time, refocus on your breathing.
Another good technique is the breath focus technique. This exercise pairs will with a meditation practice, as well. You choose a mantra that will help you relax and repeat it to yourself throughout the exercise. For example, you may think to yourself on the inhale, “I inhale peace and relaxation,” and on the exhale, “I exhale stress and anxiety.”
If you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack and are having trouble focusing on anything too complicated, just focus on taking deep breaths in and out.
Move Your Body with Intention
Connecting to your body can help you relax your mind. Yoga is one of the most common practices that people use for mindfulness, but you can really do any type of exercise. Before you begin exercising, set your intention.
If you’re dealing with anxiety, set an intention to take care of your body in order to bring it more peace. Anytime you start to waver in your physical activity, remind yourself what your intention is.
It can help you continue through the activity because you know that the reason that you’re doing it is important for both your physical and mental health.
Some other great mindfulness and holistic techniques you can practice to reduce your anxiety include:
- Gratitude journaling
- Writing down the things that give you anxiety and tearing up the paper
- Putting your phone on silent and reading
- Coloring or doodling
Try a few different techniques and figure out what works best for you!
Holistic Techniques at RAIN Recovery
At RAIN Recovery, we combine traditional treatment methods with holistic therapies to help individuals overcome the struggles of addiction. If you’ve found that anxiety has caused you to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like drug or alcohol use, we can help you find a better way to manage your feelings.