These days, we all are under steady pressure, stress, and with constant stimuli, anxiety really has gone “viral”. Anxiety can cause physical symptoms like a fast heartbeat and sweaty hands. It can make us limit our activities and can make it hard to enjoy our life and have meaningful and close personal relationships.
Anxiety is having too much fear and worry. Some people have what’s called generalized anxiety disorder. They feel worried and stressed about many things. Often they worry about even small things and it is s much more than being very nervous or edgy. An anxious person will report an unreasonable exaggeration of threats, repetitive negative thinking, hyper-arousal, and a strong identification with fear. The fight-or-flight response kicks into overdrive.
Although Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely used to treat anxiety and anxiety disorders by changing our thoughts and cognitive patterns, many specialists have found that healthy thinking and mindfulness can help us prevent or control anxiety. CBT attempts to replace maladaptive thinking by examining the patient’s distorted thinking and resetting the fight-or-flight response with more reasonable, accurate ones. The anxious person and the therapist work to actively change thought patterns. In contrast, instead of changing thoughts, mindfulness-based therapies (MBTs) seek to change the relationship between the anxious person and his or her thoughts. (Read More)
In mindfulness-based therapy, the person focuses on the bodily sensations that arise when he or she is anxious. Instead of avoiding or withdrawing from these feelings, he or she remains present and fully experiences the symptoms of anxiety. Instead of avoiding distressing thoughts, he or she opens up to them in an effort to realize and acknowledge that they are not literally true. Mindfulness involves paying attention “on purpose” and involves a conscious direction of our awareness. It seems that awareness and mindfulness go hand-to-hand but Wildmind differentiates them”…We sometimes … talk about “mindfulness” and “awareness” as if they were interchangeable terms, but that’s not a good habit to get into…one may be aware one is irritable, but that wouldn’t mean one was being mindful of my irritability. In order to be mindful one has to be purposefully aware of oneself, not just vaguely and habitually aware. Knowing that one is eating is not the same as eating mindfully…”
Margaria Tartakovsky, M.S says about mindfulness practice “…Mindfulness is one effective practice that helps to relax the mind and body…” according to Jeffrey Brantley, M.D., and Wendy Millstine, NC, in their book Daily Meditations for Calming Your Anxious Mind, mindfulness is: … an awareness that is sensitive, open, kind, gentle and curious. Mindfulness is a basic human capacity. It arises from paying attention on purpose in a way that is non-judging, friendly and does not try to add or subtract anything from whatever is happening. Ms. Tartakovsky had summarized 3 practices to calm your anxiety from Brantley and Millstine’s book.
UCLA research center in mindfulness defines mindfulness as “… paying attention to present moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is. It is an excellent antidote to the stresses of modern times. It invites us to stop, breathe, observe, and connect with one’s inner experience …” The UCLA research center in mindfulness is full of resources and information, as well. (Visit them)
Use all this information and resources and start today and stop the worrying that interferes with your daily life, remember chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective. If needed talk to your physician or look for psychotherapy to help you out. Good luck and stay cool!