The mindfulness exercises for anxiety is one of the relaxation techniques most sought after right now to improve our physical and mental wellbeing. But what is behind this practice that leads us to awaken our conscience and live the present moment? We tell you in the next lines.
What is mindfulness?
Despite drinking from Buddhist wisdom and practice, mindfulness eliminates all religious traces we can find in other similar techniques to focus on relieving anxiety through meditation.
Created by the professor of medicine Jon Kabat-Zin, the mindfulness for anxiety is translated, literally, as “mindfulness” to refer to that set of relaxation practices that teaches us to realize our emotions to end the frustration that it generates the fact of not being able to change certain situations.
The pace of life that we have in the West is such that it has led to the fact that many of us focus on negative stimuli and think constantly about problems that we can not solve, which leads to depressive states that we cannot go out.
[right] In the West we constantly think of problems that we can not solve and that leads to depressive states. [/ right]
The reasons that explain the success of mindfulness in the field of psychological therapies are, for example, its outstanding influence when it comes to constructing personality and, on the other hand, the fact of analyzing the circumstances that surround us and our own feelings without prejudices of any kind. In this sense, studying our reality and accepting it without an assessment in this regard will improve our state of mind.
The influence that mindfulness for anxiety is having in our day has caused this word to be used for almost everything, that is, to identify less with negative thoughts, increase desire in our intimate relationships, improve the level of sociability, be happier or focus on the present moment or, even, that can get to improve the functioning of our immune system.
Some studies and columnists have called into question the “miraculous benefits” of mindfulness for anxiety and improvement of our own well-being. Thus, for example, the English newspaper “The Guardian” reported in 2014 on the adverse effects of mindfulness, revealing that some patients suffered from depersonalization, that is, the sensation on the part of the person to see themselves as in a movie.
[left] The success of mindfulness in psychology is because it helps us to study the reality and our own feelings without judging them. [/left]
But it is also true that, except for these isolated cases, we find many others that tell us about the positive impact of this type of practice. Thus, for example, the study “Journal of Consulting and Clinical Physiology” carried out in the United States concludes that the combination of mindfulness techniques with cognitive-behavioral therapies can reduce the relapse of people suffering from states by up to 43%. Depressive and anxiety.
Mindfulness techniques for mindfulness
The mindfulness techniques for anxiety that we can carry out in our daily life to be aware of our own emotions and be able to analyze reality without judging it are the following:
Pay attention to your daily diet
By this, we mean that it is important to choose a quiet place to eat, to avoid distractions of any kind. In this sense, we must avoid proximity to television, mobile phone screens or computers. Once you have found that place (the living room of your house, a park, etc), choose the food you are going to eat and look carefully at its colors, textures, and nuances as if you were eating it for the first time. Then, eat it slowly and feel its taste on your palate.
Avoid any other thought other than the act of eating. Do not forget to chew it with slow movements. In this way not only will you feel better about what you are eating, but it will also help you to awaken the full attention that we are talking about.
This will also make the sensation of hungerless , that we have less digestive discomfort and lower caloric intake, given that the chemical signals that the stomach sends to the brain to inform it that the right amount of food has been consumed imply an interval of time to take into account to slow down the rate at which you eat.
Take advantage of waiting times as a mindfulness technique for anxiety, in which you inevitably have to stop (look at a traffic light before crossing, wait for the bus to arrive, before entering a meeting or taking an exam).
These instants are perfect to perform deep diaphragmatic breaths, concentrating on the path of the air through your lungs and isolating you, for a few seconds from what is around you.
In your daily activities
In your daily tasks you can also practice mindfulness for anxiety, either while you dress, apply cream or comb. In many of these occasions, it is possible that they cross your mind what you are going to do in a few hours, the worries that you live in your family or at work. As with the case of food, it is essential that you think in detail about each of the things you are doing and leave aside the thoughts that invade you.
[right] Mindfulness helps reduce the relapse of people in depressive states in 43% of cases. [/right]
It is possible that while you walk to your place of work you listen to music on your iPad. Take advantage, also, those moments to appreciate the sounds, the tone, the instruments used, the chords and the lyrics themselves. It is possible that music evokes certain thoughts to you. Try to separate them from your mind and concentrate on the moment of the song. It is another mindfulness technique for very effective anxiety.
To improve our concentration we can also color a drawing, breathing deeply several times before starting. Throw mental messages to your hands so that they take the color red, green or black to highlight the figure. Concentrate on the movements of your hand and nothing else.
Mindfulness exercises to practice at home
The mindfulness exercises for anxiety that you can practice at home are the following:
Become aware of our position
To perform this mindfulness exercise for anxiety we have to sit comfortably with the eyes closed and the body still, without crossing the legs. Then we will go on to perform deep diaphragmatic breaths, being aware of the passage of air through our lungs. With this, we will be able to determine which parts of our body are in tension and which are more relaxed.
To be more aware of the present moment, we can incorporate sound. A touch of bell or triangle will help us to prolong that “musicality” in time. Every 10 or 20 seconds this rhythmic touch can be applied.
The disorder is one of the elements that aggravate the sensation of stress that invades us. Eliminating from our life the old objects that are scattered at home or that simply do not give us any practicality, will be a way to free ourselves of completely unnecessary emotional burdens.
This exercise of mindfulness for anxiety we have to practice with another person. With clasped hands, we close our eyes and breathe being aware of that breathing. After a few seconds, we open our eyes again and look at our partner’s, without judging and feeling nothing. That way we will stay for a minute. It is an ideal technique to improve communication with that other person.
[left] With the mindfulness we will learn to eat more slowly and avoid digestive discomfort, a lesser sensation of hunger and reduced caloric intake. [/left]
Movement for full attention
First, we must blindfold and connect with the breathing as we have done in the previous cases. Then, we will make natural movements, guided by our own emotions. If we are not able to express ourselves in this way, we can accompany it with relaxing music and move according to what that sound inspires us.
For this practice, we can use the page of a book and observe how many times the same letter is repeated throughout the selected passage. We repeated it several times to verify that the figure coincides with that reached first.
To perform this mindfulness exercise for anxiety we will need a tape recorder and a book. We will choose a specific passage or chapter and begin to read it aloud, recording our voice. As we read it, we must be aware of each word and internalize its meaning.
Next, we will listen to what we have recorded and, once done, we will record our voice changing the pronunciation and tone used, giving, for example, more emphasis to the dialogues or changing the tone when one or another character intervenes. Later, we will listen again and we will make a comparison between both types of reading.
While listening to it, it is recommended to visualize an intense blue light located in our throat, where, in the Buddhist tradition, there is the chakra of communication.
What do you think of these techniques and mindfulness exercises for anxiety? What others would you add?