The 21st century is seeing a dearth of mental wellness issues. The most common one could be depression but it is not the top mental health issue most people are suffering from. The number one mental health problem most people suffer from is anxiety. About 275 million people suffer from anxiety disorders. That’s 4% of the world’s population and more women suffer from it than men. But you can transform anxiety into awareness with mindfulness.
What Is Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorder is triggered by the worry about a future event that causes the mind to lose concentration and overthink. The worry brings out the stress hormones making the body feel on edge.
Anxiety disorder also causes the shortness of breath, trembling, increased heart rate (tachycardia), pain in the abdomen, dizziness and dry mouth. In the long run, anxiety can also cause other symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome.
How To Calm Yourself Down
The easiest way to calm arising anxiety is to slow your breath down. It may feel hard to slow your breath when you feel like you are breathing a little faster than usual and find it hard to control your mind. The best way to slow down your breath is to breathe into a paper bag.
If you have regular anxieties, it might be a good idea to bring along a paper bag with you. But if you find that it is too embarrassing to breathe into a paper bag, you can cover your nose with your hand to help you breathe in more carbon dioxide. Less oxygen intake will slow your breath down.
Replacing Anxiety with Mindfulness
If you choose not to slow your breath first, you can listen to soothing meditation sounds or sounds of nature to bring your mind away from the thought that is stressing you out.
Pay attention to the sound, become aware of your awareness of the sound itself. Do not add commentary on whether you like or dislike the sound. That’s why it is important to find a neutral soothing monotonous sound or sound of nature for this exercise.
The breath is not recommended as a meditation object here due to the shortness of breath.
You can also shift your attention to the contact between your feet on the floor, your buttocks on the chair, or your arm on the table. If the mind is already wandering with fearful thoughts, it is not a good idea to distract the mind with more content by watching Netflix or reading a book.
Do the mindfulness exercises of being aware of sounds, and of being aware of contact between the body and the floor or objects such as a table for as long as is comfortable for you – until you feel the mind has calmed down.
Remember that anxiety is just a feeling and the thought is an imaginary one. The event we are stressed about is over. And whatever will happen in the future we can never be 100% sure. Only death is certain and death itself has to be contemplated so that we can live a carefree life.