Anxiety is a negative thought projected into the future. If you are very present and “being” fully in the moment, you won’t experience anxiety.
To help bring yourself into the present moment there are various exercises you could try:
- Feel your breath. Notice where in your body you feel your breath.
- Scan down through your physical body – bring awareness to all the different parts, including the small ones eg your ears, your fingers, your toes, your knees etc
- Feel the air on your skin.
- Touch something, anything and really feel it.
- Look at your hand or your arm and really look (non-judgementally).
- Walk slowly – and really feel/experience your walk. How your feet feel, how your knees feel, the muscles in your legs.
- Distract yourself – watch a funny film, read a good book (light-hearted), ring a positive friend and ask them to chat to you about their lives – don’t talk about your anxiety and increase your anxious energy.
- Walk in nature – and notice everything around you – colours, smells, tastes, how your body feels. Notice your breath as you move.
Do these things whenever your feel anxious. When you have finished, make a decision to not return to thinking these anxious thoughts.
If you are currently experiencing a problem in your life, deal with it or accept that it is how it is for now. Don’t continue to overthink it which will expand your awareness and perception of it and can lead to it overwhelming you.
Anxiety is often learnt from childhood and therefore feels familiar and becomes a habit. Certainly the society we live in also plays on people being fearful and encourages us to engage in more thoughts of anxiety – just watch the news today and see if that is the case. Do not allow yourself to indulge in anxious thoughts. Notice this habit within yourself to think anxiously. This often feels comfortable but it is definitely not life-affirming or happiness-promoting.
Being aware of anxiety is often the first step in letting go of it. Don’t berate yourself for feeling anxious. Allow yourself to let go of it. This is a process so don’t expect overnight results. However, discipline yourself to notice when you are feeling anxious and then practising some of the tips above to help you release it. Life is to be enjoyed, not feared.