The world we live in is more connected than ever. As the world continues to get smaller our awareness grows, but so too does our anxiety levels.
A recent study showed that more than half of Canadians suffer from anxiety. What’s worse, many believe there is no cure.
Our ever-changing digital age can cause anxiety and if you’re looking for help there’s a small arsenal of treatments for you to choose from. How do you know which one will work?
Mindfulness is characterized as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts and sensations.
While you may be skeptical by that definition alone, studies conducted by Harvard University – amongst many others – have shown the benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness has been shown benefits in a myriad of conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
How mindfulness can help with anxiety
There are a number of ways that bringing mindfulness into your life can help ease anxiety.
By closely examining our mental state, we will likely find worry and anxiety concerning future events as well as past mistakes. This is a very human aspect of our busy minds. Instead, we can focus our minds on the present moment and allow those feelings to settle. By centering the mind on feelings of safety, security and comfort, we support our mind to relax and reduce anxiety.
Another way mindfulness can help with anxiety is perhaps counter-intuitive.
Through evolution our brains have become hard-wired to find anxiety unpleasant. That’s no great surprise – if we hadn’t, our species may have gravitated towards more dangerous situations. It makes sense that we would want to get rid of anxious feelings. Sadly, it’s the attempts to avoid anxiety that may actually be what keeps most anxiety disorders going.
A mindfulness approach can help you to increase your capacity to bear anxiety. By acknowledging when you’re in an anxious moment, staying with it and allowing it to pass you can increase your capacity for anxiety. You can also own the thoughts that may be making you anxious.
It doesn’t take much
The amazing thing about mindfulness is that it doesn’t take much. While studies have shown that as little as 20 minutes a day has measurable effects on the brain, any amount of mindfulness is better than none.
If you need help getting started, download Medical Meditation free app for Android or iPhone.
The Medical Meditation app has twelve self-guided meditation modules developed by Dr. Nikhil Joshi to improve the lives of people suffering from anxiety associated with chronic illnesses.
To find out more about Medical Meditation and Dr. Nikhil Joshi, click here, or if you’re ready to get started, download the app now.
Photos are courtesy of Robert Conway