Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the word. Anxiety is based on the past or the future. We have regrets or guilt about what did happen (usually we did or failed to do or say) in the recent or distant past. Future based anxiety is about what might happen in the next minute, day week or year. When griped by anxiety, our mind races and ruminates about how to fight, flee, freeze or appease the perceived danger. Our minds are trying to problem solve about something that is not actually solvable (the past) or about the catastrophe that we are anticipating.
Here is where mindfulness has been found to be ever so helpful! When we are mindful we are fully present to this moment, without guilty thoughts or anticipated fears. After all, it is only the present moment that we actually have. Extensive research has been conducted, over the past 30+ years, since Jon Kabat Zinn developed the program called, “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. His work has been adapted and applied to Fortune 500 companies like Google and Proctor and Gamble, government agencies like NASA and all 4-armed services, and in hospitals and schools. Why? Because when we are mindful staying in this moment, our focus improves, anxiety, rumination and guilt is decreased and we are calmer and healthier.
So how do we begin? With just this moment! Simply sit quietly, close your eyes and focus your attention to the breath wherever you sense it in our body. You may feel it in your belly or chest as it expands on the inhale and falls on the exhale. Or, you may feel the air as it comes in and out of your nostrils or mouth. When your mind wanders, no worries that what minds do, simply come back to gently attending to the breath. No criticism, just re-focus on the physical sensation of breathing. There are many techniques that I teach my coaching and counseling clients but the breath practice is always there for us! We can always tune in to our breath, one breath, one moment at a time. Try it. When you do, you will find your heart rate slows, blood pressure lowers and your body and mind are a bit calmer. Anxiety quiets along with our busy mind as we attend to this one breath.
Want to learn more?
My next Mindfulness support group begins in January 2018. Contact me at Marjorie@ascendconsulting.net. I’ve also trained many company leaders in Mindful Leadership- Call (484) 875-3040 to plan a program that will boost engagement, alignment and productivity at your company or non- profit!
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