Anxiety and Mindfulness
Being anxious in certain situations is normal however when we are feeling anxious in everyday situations it becomes a big problem.
Anxiety is a stress response it makes us sweat, it causes us to shake, it makes us feel nauseous and in some instances leads to a full blown panic attack. Persistent anxiety makes us more susceptible to illness and indeed can make us think that we are suffering from physical illness.
When we suffer from anxiety, we are often unaware of what the root cause of our worries and we can become anxious at random times making us feel that we are not in control of our minds and bodies. This leads to us to become more anxious as we do not understand why we are feeling anxious and we can be dragged down by negative thoughts which in turn feed our inner critic and may end in us suffering from depression. Depression and anxiety are commonly experienced together.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool in the battle against anxiety. When we are feeling anxious, we need to take some time out to ask ourselves what is making us anxious. It may be that the situation we are facing reminds us of past events which we are not immediately aware of which we have not dealt with effectively. It may be that our anxiety response is a result of negative thoughts creating a physical response in our bodies. It may be that our inner critic is telling us that we are not able to deal with what is in front of us so we start to worry and stress.
Mindfulness allows us to examine why we are feeling how we are feeling. We can become aware of what thoughts are leading us to feeling anxious, we can tell ourselves that anxiety can be normal and question if the response is appropriate in any given situation. By gathering evidence about the sources of our anxiety we are giving ourselves the opportunity to address them effectively.
Mindfulness gives us a chance to regain control of our thoughts and emotions and the opportunity lead a more enjoyable life.