What Are Mindfulness Exercises?
Mindfulness exercises are a type of meditating exercises that help an individual focus on their feelings and senses intensely without interruption. These exercises are done mainly to relax the mind and the body to help in reducing stress, anxiety, panic, etc.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling that most people find pretty disturbing. Generally, anxiety is a feeling of excessive worry, or unease about a particular event with an unknown outcome. Sometimes anxiety is a normal feeling in situations that tend to cause the body or the mental stress that most of us have experienced in some instances. However, anxiety disorders can also be considered a mental health condition. Common triggers for anxiety disorders include past childhood traumas, and abuse, whether physical or mental, among other stimuli. Some common anxiety symptoms include; restlessness, increased heart rate, hyperventilation, sweating and trembling, and difficulty focusing, among other signs. Anxiety is treatable! People with anxiety have found ways to cope with their anxiety and live extraordinary and content lives. Anxiety disorders can be treated medically or through meditative therapy (mindfulness exercise), which most people use to free themselves from their engaging and draining thoughts every day.
Examples of Mindfulness Exercises to Help Reduce Anxiety
Grounding is a mindfulness exercise that helps one focus and stay in the present, hence reducing anxiety. Also, grounding helps one concentrate on what they can handle, leaving aside what is beyond their control. The grounding technique is one that uses all the five senses to help quiet your loud thoughts. Some physical techniques a person can use while performing the grounding exercises include;
- Acknowledging one thing you can actually taste
- Admitting two things you can smell
- Spelling out three things you can hear
- Concede four things you can touch near you
- Finally, say five things you can see around where you are and take time to appreciate their purpose in this world (mindful appreciation).
Other techniques include soothing techniques that will help you have more self-compassion and be kinder to yourself and those around you. Additionally, mental techniques used in the grounding exercise will help focus your mind.
Advantages of Grounding
When all is said and done, the grounding technique will help a person having anxiety breaks.
- It will help your mind focus clearly and improve your concentration in the long run.
- It will reduce your stress levels.
- It will relieve you of your daily thoughts and give you long-term feelings of peace.
If you are a yoga fan or like to work out, you comprehend that breathing exercises are essential. With the correct breathing techniques, anyone with anxiety disorders can engage their nervous system and calm their bodies and minds in stressful situations. Breathing exercises help one release endorphins, also known as feel-good hormones.
Some of the breathing techniques you can try out if you are anxious about anything include;
Square breathing is a breathing technique that can be performed in any situation to engage the mind in feeling what is present.
Triangle breathing is similar to square breathing, and it is advantageous. The main advantage of triangle breathing is that it is a technique that helps the mind and the body to regain control during an anxious event and also brings awareness to your breathing patterns.
Breath Awareness (Mindful Breathing)
Another technique involving the breathing exercises includes the breath awareness technique. This breathing technique helps one learn how to observe every movement and feeling in the body to regain calmness during an anxiety attack.
Note: breathing exercises are not hard to master or learn. They become more practical every time you perform them. Breathing exercises are quite a powerful tool in helping reduce anxiety or pain inflicted on the body.
Another critical mindfulness exercise to try out to help reduce anxiety is mindful observation. It is a powerful exercise. With mindful observation, you can notice and focus on every tiny aspect of your surrounding while taking it all in. It is an exercise designed in a way to help us appreciate the beauty of our environment, which is something most people do not take time to do because of how busy they are. Mindful observation, just like breathing exercises, can easily be mastered.
- Choose any natural object in your surrounding environment (one that is not too far from you) and focus on it for 60 seconds or more. It could be the sky, a tree, an insect, etc.
- Take a deep breath and relax while focusing on nothing but your chosen object.
- Analyze the object and allow your concentration not to linger.
- Look at the object as though you have never seen it before
- Allow yourself to be consumed by the object’s presence while connecting with its energy.
With these mindfulness exercises aimed at reducing anxiety, indulge all your five senses for better results and take a few minutes of your day to practice.