There are many mindfulness exercises for anxiety, but in this article, we have selected five of them, which will be very useful for managing anxiety. Put them into practice!
The mindfulness can understand as “mindfulness” or “full consciousness”. We could define it as the ability of the human being to be in the present and to “remind us” of being in the present.
That is, the ability to return to the “here and now” when our mind has traveled to the past or the future. Thanks to the ability to stay in the present moment, we can be really aware of where we want to go, what our goals are.
If something that is happening right now disgusts us, we can decide not to repeat it. The problem is that most of the time we get lost in a flow of thoughts that correspond to a past that no longer exists.
We also terrify ourselves with future thoughts that seek to control what has not yet happened. Therefore, it is even more complicated to make decisions about our goals or vital values.
Mindfulness, therefore, helps us to focus on the only thing that is real: now. It is in this context that we only have room to act. The rest is beyond our control because it is a context that has not yet arrived – the future – or that no longer exists – the past.
Some mindfulness exercises for anxiety
To practice mindfulness, it is necessary to design some concrete exercises that we must carry out daily so that, little by little, we can convert them into a habit. There are many mindfulness exercises, but in this article, we have selected five of them, which will be very useful for managing anxiety.
As we know, anxiety is an emotion that prepares us for a threat. It is a defense mechanism that helps us survive, to make decisions quickly and effectively against possible damages that we may suffer.
Therefore, the first thing is to realize that anxiety is not bad. We do not have to judge it this way, if we do not know its function and try to use it to our benefit. The five mindfulness exercises proposed to manage this anxiety are:
1. Take a shower
A good exercise to start practicing mindfulness could be to take a shower with attention to what you are doing. The thoughts have to go solely focused on the act of showering.
It’s about putting “beginner’s mind” as if you’d never showered, let yourself be seduced by all the elements of a shower, without wanting to run to finish it, without thinking about what you have to do next, just enjoy and taste the shower that You are carrying on. It is one of the best mindfulness exercises for anxiety.
2. Plasticine dolls
This exercise transports us back to childhood. Children are the best teachers of mindfulness. They live continuously in the present, everything surprises them and they seem wonderful.
Try to be a child, take some colorful plasticine and get ready to make attractive dolls or whatever you can think of. Think about what you want to create and do it with care, patience, putting all your effort and attention.
Do not get up and do anything else until you finish. Dedicate yourself to your plasticine doll, letting your thoughts only be about it.
3. Soap bubbles
With this exercise, in addition to practicing relaxation based on breathing in an alternative way, we also increase the ability to focus attention on a single activity.
Get a paper and start blowing bubbles. Notice how they are: some smaller, others much more rounded. Feel the light reflect on them and create beautiful colors. It is one of the best mindfulness exercises for anxiety.
Experience how they explode when they reach a certain height and how others, on the other hand, advance very far.
4. Empty the hard drive
When you feel anxious, you can take paper and a pen and “empty your hard drive”. That is, capture all your thoughts on paper. Write to them as if they were telegrams. Do not evaluate them, do not reject them and do not judge them. They are only thoughts.
5. Scrub dishes
Scrubbing dishes is a great exercise to practice mindfulness. It is similar to the shower. It is about connecting with all the sensations that the act of scrubbing entails: cold or hot water, soap, and its texture, watching how dirt falls and the dish is getting cleaner and cleaner …
The key is to focus the mind on the activity itself, seeing the rest of thoughts as simple “noise”. It is one of the best mindfulness exercises for anxiety.
Benefits of mindfulness
Many studies support the benefits of practicing simple mindfulness exercises. It is an attitude that helps us to focus on the present and to be more aware of everything that surrounds us here and now.
It gives us the great advantage of distancing ourselves from our ruminations and negative emotions. It helps us not to merge them with our person, in order to continue carrying out those activities that we have marked as valuable goals.
On the other hand, mindfulness moves us away from evaluations and judgments based on our deepest beliefs and gives us great doses of calm and serenity.
Moving away from the trials, we report greater welfare, both with ourselves and with our social environment. Therefore, it not only improves our self-esteem but also our social relationships.