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Feeling Anxious? Use Mindfulness To Create A New Default State
Anxiety is a part and parcel of most of our lives. It’s a natural emotional state when we face a crisis, an unknown situation, or a sudden dramatic change. Human beings are wired to create an environment of safety, to foresee and control the future. Anxiety interferes with this process creating an emotional overload that leaves us feeling overwhelmed and powerless.
Given the global Covid-19 crisis it is but understandable if you’re feeling more anxious than usual. Your entire way of functioning has changed and there is a constant fear of mortality and losing those you love. An uncertain future further amplifies and increases your anxiety levels. In such a situation the question that’s on everybody’s mind is how can we keep ourselves sane and prevent spiralling into full-blown panic mode?
Anxiety works by preying on your vulnerabilities. The first step to finding a way back to becoming grounded is understanding the condition itself. Anxiety presents itself in two forms- a fear-based resistance to deeper feelings that you’re trying to suppress or projecting failures ...
... and pain of the past onto the future. Mindfulness meditation session is a powerful practice that can limit the effect, intensity, and duration of both these types.
While mindfulness meditation does feel like it’s a biological impulse its root is still in the mind. While your body suffers various physical symptoms the source of your anxiety is still your thoughts. When anxiety strikes, you’re in a fight-flight-freeze mode, your limbic system hijacks the body and cuts off all contact with your prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the most recently evolved part of your brain which controls executive functioning and making good decisions.
Mindfulness meditation session works by re-establishing this severed connection and activating the prefrontal cortex to take back control of how you feel.
Mindfulness is ‘Present Heart’
In China, the word for mindfulness is “present heart”. Mindfulness meditation session is all about celebrating and being completely present in the moment. This is the total opposite of anxiety. Anxiety is anything but focusing on the present moment. The first form of anxiety is suppressing deeper emotions that exist within you. You are trying to deny your own reality. It is almost tantamount to denying a part of your authentic self. It is a fight you cannot win.
The second reason you are anxious is that you foresee a future where a past pain or failure is bound to repeat itself and that causes fear. Once again you are denying the present moment altogether. Choosing to live either in your past or the future.
Guided Mindfulness meditation helps you regain control in both situations by grounding you to what is going on right now. It helps you re-establish connection with your reality as it is at that very moment. When everything is about the present there is no past with its pain and there is no future with its uncertainty. There is only what is here in the now.
The first part of mindfulness is controlled breathing. This is done to calm your sympathetic nervous system which has been gripped by fear. Through simple, long, deep breathing you can calm your nervous system. This is the first step towards breaking the vicious spiral of gloom. Acknowledging the sensory input of your body helps you center yourself in the present moment.
It is but natural to feel calm after a mindfulness or guided meditation session. But how do you become mindful when amidst fear, when your anxiety has kicked in and is beginning to take control? Being mindful in those moments is the true challenge. But when you slowly build the practice of being mindful each day, bit by bit you help create a new default mental state for yourself. One that is bulletproof against anxiety and panic. It may not be able to eliminate each anxious thought from ever arising but it can certainly bring you back from them quickly and without much pain.
It is of singular importance during this pandemic that we acknowledge our collectivity. We’re all in this together and we must help each other get through this. Remember, if panic is contagious so is calmness. All it takes is one mindful person to keep those around them optimistic and sane. With daily mindfulness meditation app practice, that person can be you.
Read More: https://www.smartdhyana.com/blog/beating-the-covid-19-blues-using-routines-to-re-establish-a-sense-of-control/
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