Using Mindfulness to reduce Anxiety

When we become anxious we roll time forward; worrying about the future.  In a sense we are trying to predict our lives. Realistically, we know this is not possible but this is what our minds can do.

Each one of us has a mind with great potential.  Establishing a way to anchor ourselves in the present moment can lead to a greater understanding of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours and an increased sense of well-being.

The capacity to self-reflect and to observe our internal responses to situations is a trainable skill.  Through mindful contemplation we can learn to regulate our emotions and reduce our anxiety.

It is possible to see that our thoughts are not us:  to be able to learn how to notice distressing thoughts or images without reacting in ways that heighten our anxiety.  Instead, we can observe them without reacting so strongly.  It is a kind of stepping back and letting go of the struggle.  We can begin to watch our emotions with affectionate curiosity.

As individuals we can perform behaviours in a routine way:  a way that we've learned through our life experiences that can feel a little as if we are on 'auto-pilot' and that this way of being is somehow our only option.  Our lives can feel repetitive and dull and we can have low energy.  Feeling this way can tap into a cycle of worry and cause us to believe that we are stuck.  At this point we can move into a place of self-criticism and blame.

Mindfulness encourages us to think more warmly of ourselves.  When this begins to happen for us we often relate more effectively to others and our self-esteem increases.

We can choose to wake up from our 'automatic' lives and become able to attune to our process and the newness and possibilities within every-day life experiences.