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How to Use Mindfulness as an Anchor in the Sea of Anxiety

Bad days can mess with our sanity and trigger anxious thoughts. When we experience negativity, everything else can be a distraction. We irritate easily, get antsy, and even want to pull out our hair. But mindfulness helps us stay grounded and go through bad situations with ease.

Here are the experiences a group of people in an online forum shared about how mindfulness has helped with their anxiety.

1. Observe Your Feelings

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One person said, “Slowly identify with the anxious feelings, and anxious thoughts disappear. I realize anxiety has no power over me. It's just a feeling and thoughts that have nothing to do with the essence of my being, which is always calm, centered, peaceful, joyous, content, and fulfilled.”

Mindfulness can make you more observant of your feelings and allow you to notice them without feeling so overwhelmed by them.

2. Enables You To Ignore Bad Thoughts

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Another user added, “Over the years, it got infinitely better, with lots of practice. I had to replace most thoughts the hard way – tearing them down or ignoring them while arduously creating new ways and new things to think.” Mindfulness offers space for new, positive thoughts so your immediate thoughts aren't overbearing.

3. Retrain Your Mind

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It takes time, but it makes a big difference over the long run.

“I believe eight weeks of daily one-hour meditation completely changed my baseline. It's like retraining my brain and stress response. You may not have the same experience as me, but it's worth it to try.” According to this user, mindfulness is the best way to retrain your mind and let those anxious thoughts go.

4. Allows You To Be Present

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As an adult, I've learned there's nothing more important than being present at the moment. Anxiety could take your mind on a wild ride, but mindfulness is the anchor that brings your mind back to the immediate situation and helps it focus on what's happening at the moment.

5. Makes Concentration Possible

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“When my anxiety flares up, I break down everything into concentrating on what I'm doing and ensure I'm doing my best, one thing at a time,” admitted a site member. When we're anxious, we struggle with concentration, but mindfulness centers our mind in a way that helps us concentrate.

6. Releases the Critic

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Anxiety is a painful experience. Even worse is that it paves the way for self-critical thoughts. These judgments may make you even more anxious. But with mindfulness, you release the criticism and are not as hard on yourself. When you get anxious thoughts, you'll say, “I need to be kinder to myself.”

7. Allows for Listening

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Listen! Mindfulness allows you to listen amidst the storm. It will enable you to be intentional with what happens around you. Listen to the kids playing, the wind blowing, or the conversations people try to have with you. Anxiety makes it almost impossible to listen, but practicing mindfulness keeps stress in check and allows you to listen.

8. Makes You One With Your Body

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“No real routine except meditation in the morning. I've generally practiced checking in on how my body and emotional state feel at any given moment. It's like a reminder to focus on the here and now, getting out of my head,” another site member said of mindfulness. When you are one with your body, you're present with your feelings and emotions.

9. Helps You Identify With Your Triggers

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When you know your anxious triggers, you know how to deal with them so they don't affect you. For instance, if sitting in lonely places triggers your anxiety, mindfulness will encourage you not to sit alone so that anxious thoughts won't creep in.

10. Nurtures Patience

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Anxiety and patience are not two things that go hand in hand, but mindfulness nurtures patience that helps you deal with anxiety as it allows you to work with your body and lets it automatically tap into patience when situations are stressful. Remember, impatience is to anxiety, as mindfulness is to calm.

11. Does a Reality Check

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Mindfulness allows you to see things for what they are. Anxiety puts fear in us, sometimes for things that haven't even happened. Mindfulness lets you examine your thoughts, find out if they are accurate, and put your mind at ease. It doesn't allow your brain to conjure up false, baseless thoughts.

Source: Reddit.

Doodling Your Way to a Peaceful Mind

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Doodling doesn’t require special art skills and can be a powerful means of self-expression and gaining clarity. 

Presence and Mindfulness Journal Prompts

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Mindfulness journaling is a great way to focus your thoughts and feelings and get them down on paper.