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A mindful approach to Anxiety

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

The practice of mindfulness cultivates a heart-centred approach to ourselves and others, where we feel rather than think.

Anxiety plays to the mind, the ego. Your ego grabs hold of your anxious thoughts and magnifies them. These exercises should help you move from a place of Ego, to a place of love and compassion.

Lets say for example you are sitting at home feeling lonely, you start to think about all the times you have been alone. You start to wonder why you have the type of friends in your life that don’t seem to want to spend time with you. You then start to remember all the times you have felt alone, rejected and cut off. You spend the rest of the day remembering more and more, wondering if this is how your life is going to be from now on. Wondering if you will ever have the kind of relationship and friends that you really want. Falling deeper into sadness and anxiety.

This is how the ego works. When a negative feeling arises it attaches to it and expands it., adding memories, worries and making up stories.

So we need to get you from being in a place where your thoughts are controlled by your ego to a heart centred, mindful approach.

Lets look at that same example and how we can control it.

You are sitting at home feeling lonely. You start to think of all the times you have felt alone, too many times. Stop and observe your thoughts, catch yourself as you start to think about all the times you have felt lonely in the past and how you are destined to feel lonely in the future.

Intentionally come back just the feeling of loneliness by saying ‘this is merely a feeling and this feeling is loneliness’. Now take your awareness to your body, how does this feeling make you feel physically? Recognise and acknowledge that this is how the feeling of loneliness feels like in your body. Just be with that feeling in your body and start to permit compassion and love arise within you.

Experience the physical feeling completely. Because you have stepped into the physical feeling completely instead of avoiding it by using the mind and your thoughts distract you, you have managed to move through it until it was no longer present.

It's not about supressing valid emotions, its about acknowledging them, allowing yourself to feel them but not allowing the ego to then control them.

Anxiety often presents itself physically as knots in the tummy, and this is an easy one to do if you are in a public place.

If that’s the case for you then another way to mindfully control it is to imagine yourself breathing in light. Any colour you feel you want to breathe in. Whichever colour you choose will be right for you. Breathe the light into your tummy and feel the light wrap itself around those knots in the tummy. Now breathe out, long and slow. As you do feel the knots rise up and out through your breathe. Repeat until those feelings go or become more manageable.

It is my hope that one of these helps a little.

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