Mindfulness For Anxiety Treatment
In the past few years, the word mindfulness has become extremely popular. When you are a mindful person, you are less reactive and more reflective. You will focus on the present moment versus being overly concerned over the past or future. But, what exactly is mindfulness?
1. Mindfulness, Explained
Mindfulness is when you are in a nonjudgmental state of awareness. You are aware of the present moment, such as sensations, thoughts, bodily sensations, and your environment. It allows you to be aware of what is happening without the fear or anxiety over it AND with intentional feelings of kindness and support towards yourself. I like to call this kind of intentional, neuroscience based mindfulness, kindfulness!
When someone is overly anxious, they tend to ruminate and worry over the troubling thoughts going through their minds as well as the sensations they experience through their bodies. This leads to more anxiety, more troubling thoughts, and sometimes, even panic attacks.
Anxiety is our body’s natural and learned response to threats and danger but sometimes it overworks and instead of keeping us safe (which it is), it keeps us miserable.
Anxiety evolved in our ancestors due to life and death situations they faced in the wild. Now, however, we don’t face as many threats. While some anxiousness is useful and helps us get things done and be productive, it can also be extremely debilitating if there is too much of it.
This is where mindfulness for anxiety treatment can really help you change your relationship with anxiety, with anxious thoughts, with anxious bodily sensations and teach you anti-anxiety behaviors to reduce your baseline anxiety over the long term and grow your confidence that you can deal with anxiety spikes when they happen.
Now, let’s move on and explain how mindfulness can help anxiety.
2. The Connection Between Mindfulness And Anxiety Treatment
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health concerns in the United States. And it has only been on the rise since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. Because of this, more and more research has been conducted to see how anxiety is affected by mindfulness and the effectiveness of mindfulness for anxiety treatment.
The results have proven it – mindfulness helps us reduce anxiety and depression. Learning mindfulness can help you see what is happening in the present moment and respond to stress in healthier ways, rather than acting on impulse and being unaware of what motivates the emotions that are triggering the anxiety response in your body.
This is why mindfulness for anxiety treatment is a great option when learning to manage and prevent anxiety, as well as increase overall present focused joy.
3. How Does Mindfulness For Anxiety Treatment Work?
Mindfulness for anxiety treatment helps in the following ways:
Awareness of Bodily Sensations
When you are mindful, you are aware of the sensations taking place in your body. You will notice the sensations in your body that begin to occur when anxiety starts to kick into high gear. When you are aware of these feelings, it can help you regulate your emotional state of mind before it gets out of control.
It can be tough to focus fully on the task at hand when you worry. Mindfulness can help you activate the part of the brain that regulates attention and focus. Known as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), it can help you take control of your attention span.
Mindfulness for anxiety treatment can help you show kindness and understanding towards yourself (again think kindfulness). It can also help to boost your self-esteem and self-compassion. Learning mindfulness can completely alter your viewpoint of who you are—in the best way possible.
Better Physical Health
When your body has healthier responses to anxiety and stress, it can also help your physical health. It can reduce blood pressure levels. It will also reduce cortisol levels in the body; a hormone activated when there is stress.
4. Mindfulness For Anxiety Treatment Techniques
This is all great in theory, but how can you actually practice mindfulness and what does mindfulness for anxiety treatment actually entail? Here are a few different ways.
- Breathing techniques that help reduce anxiety
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation, to help release tension
- Journal, to help release the emotions and thoughts that are ruminating around in your head
Dealing with anxiety is no picnic at all. It can have really debilitating effects on your life and overall happiness. If you are struggling to overcome anxiety, reach out to my Honolulu or London office to start your journey to a more mindful life, with this highly effective (and even fun) mindfulness for anxiety treatment.
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Hawaii and an Accredited CBT Therapist in the UK with over 16 years of experience. I specialize in anxiety treatment and have received advanced specialist training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy. I offer a free initial Mindfulness for Anxiety Treatment Test Drive Session.