Mindfulness – Great Way to Cope with Anxiety

18% of the adult population experiences anxiety disorders, which are thought to be the most common mental problems in the USA. Those who don’t meet the criteria to be diagnosed with anxiety disorder fight anxiety on a daily basis and do everything possible to stop it. However, there is mindfulness meditation aimed at fighting it, which is an ancient practice with an approach to manage anxiety and get the so much needed relief.

What You Should Know about Anxiety

If we view anxiety from an evolutionary perspective, we owe our existence to it. Thanks to the ability of the human body to mobilize when facing threats with the help of the fight-or-flight response and nervous system, we might not have survived at all since pre-historic times.

What about Anxiety Today

Unfortunately, nowadays when people try to fight anxiety, the fight-or-flight response does come up in stressful situations, sending impulses to the brain and making people mobilized to run fast, however, they usually have no place to resort to. Anyone who has ever experienced anxiety knows its manifestations – racing heart, sweaty palms, decreased appetite, dry mouth, difficulty breathing and so on. It’s not uncommon for them to turn to emergency rooms with symptoms of heart attacks when they really experience nothing more than mere panic attacks.

The difficulty about anxiety is the fact that the more a person tries to overcome it, the worse it may become.

Changing the Way of Thinking about Anxiety with Mindfulness

Most try to solve the problem by fighting anxiety, but very often this method is self-defeating. Carl Jung, a famous psychologist, once said that “what you resist persists”. If you try to struggle with the condition using all your force, worry and become upset when it turns back, you will only call more anxiety into your life.

If you want to make up with this issue, the first step would be to accept its existence in your life. Mindfulness means to accept the awareness of your experience in an open and non-judgmental way. Having originated from Zen Buddhism, it is the basis of effective anxiety treatment, which is known as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, created by author of Wherever You Go, There You Are Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. When you look at your emotions and thoughts from another, detached, position, you won’t react to them in such an emotional way and see your worries merely as transient thoughts and momentary doubts. This technique helps remember that you are not your emotions and thoughts, but you just experience them from time to time.

Being Mindful

Relax, sit back, take a deep breath, look at what’s happening in your life and around you and check the experience you get. Put away your gadgets and just breathe deeply and freely. Try to do this for about a minute throughout your day. When you look at anxiety from another angle and start building relationship with it by accepting its presence in your life and giving up fighting it, you will see that it won’t be such a big problem.