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Three Mindful Ways to Calm an Anxious Mind - Mindful

Three Mindful Ways to Calm an Anxious Mind - Mindful
Stress and anxiety are a part of life, especially during these times of uncertainty, but they don't need to control your day. Stress and anxiety are a part of life, especially during these times of uncertainty.


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Release the critic

Release the critic

Not only is anxiety painful enough, but we often get hit with a second round of self-critical thoughts.

If your judgments make you more anxious, see if you can interrupt your self-critic by dropping into your heart and saying, “May I learn to be kinder to myself.”




Practice tuning into the senses

Practice tuning into the senses

In moments of moderate to intense anxiety, the 3×3 practice can come in handy.

Drop into 3 of your senses and name 3 things that you notice about them: the things you’re seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling, or hearing. This can help interrupt the automatic catastrophic thinking that’s fuelling the anxiety.



Channel your anxious energy

Channel your anxious energy

If your anxiety isn’t severe, you can actually channel that energy into something productive.

For example, if you’re nervously waiting to hear some news, get active—go for a walk, clean, organize, or garden instead.




Awareness minimizes stress

Anxiety tends to build over time. Through awareness, we can help minimize its effects.

Our anxiety is trying to help us. Our body is trying to tell us it has new needs.

Meditate to calm your nervous system

Meditation as a practice is useful to tune into awareness and to calm your nervous system.

To start, take a minute or two to pay attention to where your mind wanders. When you're able to begin noticing problematic situations through the practice of awareness, you can stop doing them.

Stress can come in many forms

It often arise from something beyond our control, whether a breakup or loss of someone dear. We can even feel anxiety when trying something new.

We tend to desire a quick-fix for problems, but when dealing with anxiety, it's better to think of it as a practice where you build muscles.

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See with new eyes

Take a familiar object from your home and examine it as if you’ve never seen it before.

Is there something you’d forgotten or never noticed before, or is your experience or reaction altere...

Notice how objects feel

Take an object from your home and focus on its texture, touching it as if for the first time.  Notice how the experience feels right now, as you interact with it.
You could also work with an inner feeling, directing awareness to a part of your body, noticing what sensations are present.

Hearing, smelling, and tasting anew

Take your attention in turn to three everyday objects in your environment that you can hear, smell, or taste (for example, the ticking of a clock, a flower, a piece of fruit). 

Let go of expectations, and instead allow your senses to lead you into the direct experience of hearing, smelling, or tasting itself.

Change brings uncertainty

When it comes to change, we may not always be able to control the outcome, but we can control our response to it. And that's resilience. It gives you the tools to bounce back from tough si...

Five keys to dealing with uncertainty

  1. Recognize that there is only so much you can do right now, and that makes you human, not powerless.
  2. Envision the best, while being realistic. People tend to overestimate the risks and negative consequences and that leads to a lot of anxiety.
  3. You've faced uncertainty before. Take time to think and reflect on what helped you before.
  4. Although dealing with uncertainty is hard, there are consequences for not facing it head-on.
  5. See the Possibility.