Reducing anxiety with a mindfulness practice works. Not only that, it works on a deep level and creates a life-long change in our relationship with anxiety. If you’re skeptical, you’re not alone. After all, mindfulness is largely about being present where you are. If anxiety is constantly with you, does mindfulness mean you’re present with it? How, then, does being mindful reduce anxiety? Let’s explore that and gain some mindfulness tools.
Practice acceptance of mental health challenges and life problems–stress, jobs, relationships, school, money…the list is long and in our faces day and night, night and day. This is a terrible list. Why would anyone want to accept these things? Accepting them actually reduces their hold on you. As counterintuitive as it may seem, accepting struggles helps you distance yourself from them.
Do more of what helps your wellbeing and mental health. It’s a wise and effective approach to overcoming struggles like anxiety, depression, stress, and a host of other challenges. By embracing the strategy of finding what improves the quality of our lives and intentionally doing more of those things, we make at least two things happen: We shift our thoughts by choosing our focus from what is wrong to what is right, and we empower ourselves to do something to move past what’s negatively impacting wellbeing. This is sometimes easier said than done, however. Yes, doing something that works to propel us forward is helpful, but when we’re stuck, trying to think of what to do can seem nearly impossible. These five ideas can help you discover what increase your mental health and wellbeing.
Much is written about happiness. Books. Articles. Songs. Videos. Happiness seems to be a universal pursuit and one that has existed through ages; indeed, it was a frequent topic among philosophers from the ancient worlds of West and East and has been pursued without pause since then. No one has yet to discover a single answer to how to find happiness. Russ Harris, a important leader in acceptance and commitment therapy, wrote a book entitled The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living. Is happiness attainable, or is it a trap, a sham?
A box of journals and joy arrived at my doorstep the other day. My copies of The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety arrived, and for me it was something to celebrate. The box contained an abundance of mindfulness journals that I wrote to provide a meaningful way for anyone to reflect on what they want (your own version of a quality life) and mindfully work past what they don’t want. In the video, I invite you to complete your journal “with” me as I complete one, too.
The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety is on its way, and it’s coming to help you quiet anxiety and develop your own personal version of stillness and inner peace. When it comes to mental health and wellbeing, journaling simply works. The Positive Psychology Program, an organization dedicated to improving wellbeing and mental health through the application of positive psychology, provides 83 sound reasons why journaling is an excellent healer of depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, and more. I’ve reaped the benefits of journaling, and I’m excited to announce that I’ve written The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety that, in combination with mindfulness exercises, guides you gently on a rewarding journey to stillness and self-recovery.
Meaning-making is a powerful tool to enhance mental health and wellbeing. While useful year-round, turning inward and creating personal meaning in your life is especially effective in late autumn. Intentionally caring for our mental health in November allows us to enjoy the month and the changes it brings. Doing so can prepare us for the holiday season that begins this month, and it can even stave off seasonal depression (seasonal affective disorder, SAD). Among the many things that can boost wellbeing is taking time to reflect and engage in personal meaning-making.
Anxious. Unsettled. Uneasy. Agitated. Frustrated. Tense. Racing thoughts. Obsessive thoughts. Rumination. Headache. Heartburn. Chest pain. Lump in your throat. Clenched jaw.
This list could continue on and on. And it does continue within us. These are some of the things we can experience when we’re anxious. There’s a way to deal with being anxious both right now and going forward.
Wellbeing and mindfulness aren’t just for retreats, spas, and other calm environments. Quite the opposite is true, in fact. While placing yourself in a soothing environment, like sitting in a favorite room in the morning while enjoying a cup of tea, is important for calming mind and body, the power of mindfulness can be fully experienced in the midst of chaos.
Mindfulness. What, exactly, is it? We hear the term often, yet there is much about mindfulness that remains a mystery. Beyond living in the present moment, what is this practice we call mindfulness?
May 15th, the middle of Mental Health Awareness Month, is the first day that the physical copy of The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety is available. Whether you’re catching this on the launch day or far past it, mindfulness is relevant. The more we know (I’m always learning), the better we can use it to decrease anxiety or other challenges and cultivate our lives of wellbeing.