Anxiety can be tiring and has real impact on your body. Use simple mindfulness practices to help you reduce your anxiety and stress.
In a nutshell, Mindfulness is about paying attention to daily life and the things we typically rush through. It’s about turning down the volume of your mind by coming back to the body.
1. Try a guided meditation or Mindfulness practice
Meditation can be as easy as finding a few moments of space and opening an app. Apps and online programs are a great way to dip your toe into a practice without committing to an expensive class or taking up much time. There are countless free, guided meditations online. These meditation apps are a great place to start.
2. Doodle or color
Set aside a couple minutes to doodle. You’ll get the creative juices flowing and let your mind take a break. Does drawing stress you out? Shamelessly invest in a coloring book, adult or otherwise. You’ll have the perk of accomplishing something without having to face a blank page.
3. Go for a walk
Being outside does wonders for anxiety. Pay attention to the sounds around you, the feel of the wind against your skin, and the smells around you. Keep your phone in your pocket (or better yet, at home), and do your best to stay in the moment by focusing on your senses and your environment. Start with a short jaunt around the block and see how you feel.
4. Wish other people happiness
You only need 10 seconds to do this practice. Throughout the day, randomly wish for someone to be happy. This practice is all in your head. You don’t have to tell the person, you just have to set the positive energy. Try it on your commute, at the office, at the gym, or while you wait in line. Bonus points if you find yourself annoyed or upset with someone and you stop and (mentally) wish them happiness instead.
5. Look up
Not just from the screen in front of you (although definitely do that too), but at the stars. Whether you are taking out the trash or coming home late, pause and take a few deep breaths into your belly as you look up at the stars. Let the cosmos remind you that life is bigger than your worries or inbox.
6. Focus on one thing at a time
Yes, your to-do list can be a form of Mindfulness if you do it right. Set a timer for five minutes and give one task your full and undivided attention. No checking your phone, no clicking on notifications, no browsing online, so absolutely no multitasking. Let that one task take center stage until the timer goes off.
7. Leave your phone behind and log out of all of your social media accounts
Do you really need to bring your phone with you when you walk into the other room? When you go to the bathroom? When you sit down to eat? Leave your phone in the other room. Instead of worrying about it, sit and breathe before you start eating. Take a moment for yourself and your needs in the bathroom. Your phone will still be there when you’re done.
While social media has its uses, it can also contribute to your anxiety and interrupt your productivity. You’ll be amazed at how frequently you check your social media accounts without thinking. So, log out. Being forced to type in a password again will slow you down or stop you altogether.
Even just a few minutes of Mindfulness helps. Practicing Mindfulness regularly can help you calm your mind and move past unhelpful emotions. Why not take at least five minutes each day to check in and do a meditation or Mindfulness exercise that you enjoy?