Coping with anxiety is difficult.
Anxiety makes our bodies feel like their very survival is at stake. Our hearts race, our breath constricts, and we get tense. Therefore, it can be extremely difficult to calm down and gain perspective.
However, there are many skills we can learn to help us reduce anxiety. For example, mindfulness is one of those skills.
A mindful perspective brings us into the present moment. First, our minds realize that we are safe at the moment. Then, our bodies can also relax.
This is a positive cycle because as our bodies relax, our minds calm down even further.
How can you utilize a mindful perspective for coping with anxiety in your own life?
Consider five effective ways.
1. Learn to Be Present in the Moment
Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment. This helps immensely when coping with anxiety.
Anxiety is often caused by fears about the future. Alternatively, thoughts about the past can bring up anxiety as well. Either way, the feeling is not grounded in the present moment.
A mindful perspective helps you to focus on what is happening right here right now. While practicing mindfulness, you are in a safe space. There is nothing to be anxious about at that moment. You can be in this space and actually see that it is possible to relax.
2. Accept the Present Moment as It Is
Mindfulness isn’t just about being in the present moment. It is also about accepting that moment for exactly what it is.
You may wish that your life would be different. You may have many stressors. And you naturally want those things to change. However, you can work towards change while still accepting the way that things are right now.
You can be in the moment and accept things exactly as they are. It is possible to be happy despite anything else that is going on around you. Nothing needs to change in order for you to realize your best self.
Recognizing this is a very powerful tool.
3. Experience Greater Self-Compassion
One of the worst things about anxiety is the way that it eats away at your self-esteem. You beat yourself up. You hate things about who you are.
In contrast, a mindful perspective allows you to experience more compassion for yourself. You learn to accept the way that you are right now.
Sure, you may have limitations and flaws. In fact, there may be goals that you can set to improve yourself. However, you also already have wonderful traits. You can learn to be kind to yourself and see that you are perfect in your imperfection.
4. Identify and Heal Anxiety’s Physical Symptoms
When you become aware of the present moment, you can get in touch with your body. This reveals the physical symptoms of anxiety that you may not have realized you’re experiencing.
Physical symptoms of anxiety include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Body tension, aches, and pains
- Nausea or vomiting
- Racing heartbeat
- Feeling hot then cold
Once you become aware of these symptoms, you can do things to heal your body. For example, you can become aware of your breathing patterns. Then, you can practice deep breathing.
This practice can also slow down a racing heartbeat and reduce other physical symptoms of anxiety.
5. Gain Awareness of Underlying Thoughts
Mindfulness doesn’t just help you to gain awareness of your physical body. It also helps you to more clearly see your underlying thoughts.
Often in anxiety, you react out of fear without even being aware of the things that scare you. When you can slow down and identify those fears, you open up the possibility to address them in a more helpful way.