For many people, relaxation means spending some time in front of the TV at the end of another long and stressful day. Most people have a busy life full of tasks, stress, and anxiety, and, as you probably already noticed, TV doesn’t really reduce or fight stress and anxiety.
There are multiple and simple mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and anxiety and the good news is that most of these strategies can be practiced by virtually anyone.
A simple deep breath can quickly calm you down and reduce your stress levels. When you take a couple of deep breaths, you’re activating your body’s natural response to anxiety and you manage to feel calmer and relaxed.
We’ll briefly discuss the 5 mindfulness methods for anxiety and how you can bring your nervous system back into balance.
#1: Breath Counting
This simple strategy can instantly reduce your anxiety. For breath counting, you simply count up to 6 when you’re breathing in, and then you count up to 10 when you’re breathing out.
Just by counting while you’re breathing you instantly slow down your breathing rate and with long deep breaths are enough to reduce your anxiety.
When you practice breath counting the deep breaths allowing you to release more carbon dioxide when you breathe out. This will not only slow down your heart rate but will calm you down and restore your emotional balance.
If you’re starting with breath counting, you might try different number ratios to see what works better for you. The 6 and the 10 are one of the most popular ratios used, but you can try with slightly different numbers and evaluate how you feel at the end.
#2: Finger Breathing
Finger breathing is similar to breath counting. To try this mindfulness method to reduce your anxiety levels, you need to hold one hand in front of you with the palm facing towards you.
You then use your other hands index finger to trace up the outside of your thumb while you’re breathing in. You then pause at the top of the thumb and reverse the process when you’re breathing out.
Finger breathing tries to achieve the exact same goal of reducing your anxiety by slowing down your breathing. The difference is that this strategy is more visual and that’s why it’s a solid alternative for those looking to reduce anxiety quickly with the power the mind
#3: Observe a Leaf
An interesting mindfulness method for anxiety is to pick a leaf from a tree or from the ground and hold it in your hands for a few minutes.
Take the time to fully observe the leaf and all the little details. Take mental notes of all the details or particular aspects of this specific leaf. While this method might sound strange for some, it can be extremely relaxing.
When you’re observing the leaf your mind should be completely focused on this simple and yet detailed task which will put you in the moment and easily relax and reduce your anxiety levels.
While this strategy could be accomplished with almost any object, something natural as a leaf is usually the perfect way to execute it.
If you spend just 5 minutes observing a leaf and all the little details about it (like the texture, the colors, or the shapes), you’ll instantly feel more relaxed.
Just like with the previous strategies, you have an immediate gratification and you’ll notice your anxiety levels going down in just a few minutes.
Meditation can be one of the best methods to reduce anxiety. To meditate you need to lay down or sit down in order to be fully comfortable.
You then close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Just breath in and breath out slowly while focusing your mind on your breathing only.
You can then focus on a specific part of your body and imagine the feeling of relaxation. When you’re meditating, if you focus, for example, that you’re feeling a positive energy on your head, going down to your neck and then to your back. The deeper your breaths, the more relaxed you’ll feel.
While meditation might seem a little more difficult than the previous anxiety-reducing methods we already mentioned, it can be done by anyone. You just need to get 10-15 minutes for yourself to be able to sit down or lay down in a comfortable position.
During meditation, you’re focusing all your energies and thoughts on your body. You forget the stress, anxiety, and all of your problems and for those brief minutes, it’s just you, your body and relaxation.
The trick to successfully meditate is to take deep breaths and to concentrate on yourself, ignoring the surroundings. It might take a little longer to master this method, but stress and anxiety levels can be reduced quickly with simple meditation.
#5: Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle reaxation is another great method to reduce anxiety and stress.
On this method, there are 2 steps where you systematically tense and relax muscle groups of your body.
With practice, you become more and more familiar with the tension and the relaxation and, when that time comes, you’ll feel that not only you’re relaxing your body as you notice you’ve also managed to relax your mind.
For better results, and to make sure you reduce the anxiety levels, it’s better to combine the progressive muscle relaxation with deep breathing.
These 5 mindfulness methods for anxiety can be executed by anyone. While some people may prefer the simple breath counting, others might prefer the meditation or the progressive muscle relaxation.
While all these 5 methods are slightly different, they all focus in part on the breathing. The key to reducing anxiety is to spend some time each day and focus on your breathing.
You can start with just one of these methods and then try the others, or you can even combine several and see which one works better for you.
But, as these 5 methods prove, the secret for reducing anxiety is inside you. You just need to listen to your body for some minutes and you’ll instantly see the results.