Many of us deal with anxiety on a daily basis. Often, it becomes “the norm.”
We’re so used to operating in a continual state of low-grade anxiety we don’t even notice it anymore or remember that life doesn’t have to be stress after stress after stress.
Anxiety isn’t always caused by something scary. Although big unknowns like, “will I be able to pay my bills this month?” can certainly lead to anxious feelings.
Something as simple as not knowing if you’ll get to work on time can have an impact on how we feel and how we relate to others.
For some people, social situations cause anxiety. The idea of networking or going to a party can feel overwhelming.
Or sometimes going to the dentist for a checkup can be stress-inducing, especially if you’ve had negative experiences at the dental office before!
When we find ourselves in these situations, whatever they may be, we can’t always control the outcome or the outside influences... but we can control how we respond.
Regain a Sense of Peace Through Breath
One way to re-establish a sense of control is through conscious breath work. When you find yourself at the stoplight on the way to work when you’re already 15 minutes late, take three deep breaths while you wait.
Ask yourself, “What can I control?” None of us can control the traffic. But all of us get to choose how we respond to the traffic.
When we know this, we can elect not to get upset and focus on the breath instead.
Before walking into a high-energy social situation, breathing mindfully can be a powerful way to reconnect with your inner peace as well.
Take three breaths before you walk in and also remember that many other people at the event will feel anxious about socializing, too. You’re not alone.
When you give yourself a moment to feel calm before you walk in, you will have a greater sense of control over the situation.
If you find that you experience stress or anxiety on a regular basis, here is an exercise that can help you significantly reduce your negative feelings.
The more you practice this exercise, the more connected and in tune you will feel with your body and mind.
Find a quiet place where you can be alone for a minute or two. Maybe it’s the car before you walk into a doctor’s appointment, or when you’re alone in the elevator.
Notice something with each of your senses. For instance, if you’re sitting on a bench outside, notice what you see.
Maybe a red bicycle goes by. Then notice what you smell, what you taste, what you hear and what you feel.
Notice how, when you go through this exercise, everything slows down a bit. You’re more present.
Just taking time to be aware of your senses will help to ground you and settle the feelings of anxiety that may come up.
It will help you be more kind and compassionate with yourself and others, which is one of the most generous gifts you could ever hope to offer!
Contact me and let’s chat about incorporating mindful meditation into your world!
Having a professional teacher on your side will go a long way in getting you started. Once you’re on the path, you’ll be amazed at how far meditation will take you.
I offer both classes in my office and an online program you can complete at your convenience.