Anxious? Two Quick Ways to Chill

Just breathe.

The world is a stressful place. Beautiful, filled with panoramic views of oceans, mountains or field, but also filled with nervous, anxiety riddled humans. It almost seems that human beings are meant to stress, but this just isn’t true. We are all a part of something bigger, and it’s time to learn how to inhabit the world in a more mindful manner. Anxiety is a master manipulator. It tells your gullible self that everything you feel is serious, with no distinction between reality and the controlled scenario created by your overworked mind. Don’t worry – we’ve all been at this place at some point in time, and we’ll return to the Wake and Worry B&B often. We’re human. But, we are also adaptable.

Most of the time, we are thinking about things at once. We are prioritizing, multi-tasking and arranging in our brains the best ways to get through life. Slow down, my friends. Life is full of surprises, good and bad, and worrying about possible future outcomes will only make you sick. Negative energy creates an aura of fear, stress and sometimes depression; none are healthy. By constantly thinking negative thoughts about the future, we create anxiety and sometimes live self-fulfilling prophecies. Positive thought and mindfulness can banish the anxious feelings of doom and gloom.

Living in the here and now is essential to mindfulness. It is about being present. So if your future is uncertain, you can certainly have a concern, but today, right now be grateful for what you have. Pull your mind around to this very moment, and think about how lucky you are to have a safe place to live, healthy meals, coffee, chocolate – oops…I’m getting carried away. Honestly, mindfulness, living in this moment as if only this moment exists in time, is a way for us to appreciate all the goodness in our lives. And if you feel stuck, here are two easy exercises to help you chill and mellow out.

  • Listen carefully to yourself. What are you thinking about RIGHT NOW? Is is about this article, the sofa you are reclining on, the hard seat of the train? Or are you wandering through the past, bringing up stressful memories that you cannot change? If you’re not right here, right now, tell yourself this truth. The past has happened and cannot be altered, the future isn’t here yet, so it’s all about the here and now. This moment. Breathe, center, and move forward. Make this a habit.
  • Meditate. Sit quietly for a few minutes. Listen to your breathing; listen to the sounds around you and outside. Feel your surroundings – how’s the temperature? Hot, cold, just right? Move on to your body – feel your feet on the floor, and think about how that feels. Slowly perform a body scan. Feel every joint and muscle. Now stretch. Big and long stretches – think wildcat.
Concept courtesy of Eckhart Toile; image adapted & created from Francis.

Breathing exercises are a way to distract yourself. Mindfulness is very subtle, and you must accept the thoughts and feelings that come with that negative undertones. Say hi, be welcoming. Be in touch with your body and mind. Learn to let it go. Humans are supposed to live anxiety-free. Peace, inner calm, and positive thought are how we were meant to be. Namaste.

Stay motivated and caffeinated!😉☕

John Kabat Zinn is one of the Master Teachers of Mindfulness. Enjoy his quick lesson on how to complete a simple body scan. Just listen, breathe and be mindful.