I am going to discuss my use of the phrase “mindfulness anxiety”, but first, I have some preliminary questions for you. Do you ever go through your day and find that you can’t remember certain things? For instance, do you wonder whether you have turned off the stove, locked the door, or taken care of some other necessary part of your day?
Perhaps you find yourself in the middle of a conversation with someone (or at least that ’s what you ’re supposed to be doing!), and at the end of the conversation, you realize that you haven ’t heard one word the person was saying.
This tendency is related to something called mindfulness. The simplest way to explain mindfulness is to say that it refers to paying attention to what is happening in the present moment.
As an anxiety sufferer, at times you’ll likely find yourself so immersed in your thoughts that you are likely not paying attention to the present moment. The relationship between the lack of mindfulness and anxiety works likes this. Your anxious thoughts can sort of run on auto-pilot at the expense of your not attending to other things…interestingly, paying attention to these things might break the flow of anxious thoughts if you were to attend to them.
The Centre for Mindfulness Studies explains that ”mindfulness is a non-judgmental way of paying attention in the present moment. It enables us to increase our understanding of our habitual reactions to challenging situations and creates the possibility of choosing to respond in more effective ways. ”
Applying this concept can allow you to avoid missing out on all the neat things that the present moment has to offer. Better yet, you can do so in two simple steps:
- by choosing to focus your attention on the present moment and really making a commitment in this regard, and
- bringing your attention back to the moment when it begins to drift.
But there ’s more…
The Centre for Mindfulness Studies advocates an approach that takes things one step further by hosting workshops on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, which they state is a clinically proven program for preventing relapse into depression and reducing stress and anxiety. It combines the practice of mindfulness meditation with the tools of cognitive therapy.
I discuss Cognitive Therapy in this website and my free newsletter. You will be able to integrate these mindfulness steps and get plenty of exposure to Cognitive Therapy, and other techniques for anxiety, panic attacks, and agoraphobia by signing up for the newsletter. Why not sign up now? You have nothing to lose and can cancel at any time.
Reference (Mindfulness Anxiety)
The Centre for Mindfulness Studies. MBCT: coping with anxiety/depression
Retrieved February 9, 2013, from: