Friday, December 1, 2017
Guest Post - How Can Mindfulness Help With Anxiety - By Jacqueline Gammon
Mindfulness has its origins in Eastern meditation practices, dating back to the earliest teachings of Buddha. In the 1970’s, while meditating, Jon Kabat-Zinn had the idea of adapting meditation techniques to the needs of patients suffering from stress. In 1979 he set up a stress reduction clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and so the MBSR (Mind Based Stress Reduction) programme was created. Today his programme is used all over the world for the reduction of stress, anxiety, depression and to cultivate a general sense of well-being.
My focus today will be anxiety.
1. Hold out one hand in front of you with your palm facing towards you.
2. Use the index finger of your other hand to trace up the outside length of your thumb while you breathe in, pause at the top of your thumb and then trace it down the other side while you breathe out. That’s one breath.
3. Trace up the side of the next finger while you breathe in, pause at the top, and then trace down the other side of that finger while you breathe out. That’s two breaths.
4. Keep going, tracing along each finger as you count each breath. When you get the end of the last finger, come back up that finger and do it in reverse.
5. Repeat this sequence until you feel your anxiety fade.
Thoughts are just thoughts
For general levels of anxiety, another useful approach is to remind yourself that thoughts are just thoughts. They are not real. Thoughts are transient and will pass. As will stressful events.
So, next time you’re anxious, have a go at the finger breathing exercise, or just take a few minutes out of your day to inhale and exhale - feel the difference and remind yourself: This too shall pass!
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