Calm in the eye of the storm

Soothe Your Anxious Mind

Anxious thoughts can ruin even the most perfect day. They distract us from the real situation at hand by pulling our attention from the present and thrusting it into the future…. into the land of the boiling churning crisis that most likely will never be.

Often anxiety stems from feeling unprepared and not in control.

Elisha and Stefanie Goldstein give 11 tips to “Soothe Your Anxious Mind” in their article in the latest Mindful Magazine.

Here are a few:

  1. Slow down: Because everything races when we are anxious- thoughts, heartbeat, breathing- taking time to consciously slowdown helps us think more clearly. Be intentional about doing things slower when you feel anxious.
  2. Focus on your five senses: When we’re anxious, our focus becomes narrower. Broaden your thoughts by practicing 5 X 5, try to name five things you notice about your five senses. What five things can you feel, smell, hear, taste and see? Finding five can sometimes be tricky, but this practice of focus can immediately stop racing thoughts.
  3. Perform a familiar task as if you’ve never done it before: Feeling out of control causes the most damage to our emotional state. Being mindful of a normal routine helps remind us we do have control of our choices. Choose a simple task like drinking water, eating, gardening, or cooking a meal you’ve made many times before.
  4. Lie down outside and gaze at the wonder up above: Watching the clouds go by, or for stars falling is an age-old mindful practice that makes you more aware of the reliable, but transient orderliness of nature.
  5. Cultivate patience: Impatience breeds anxiety. Tempers flare, chaos ensues, and control is much harder when impatience manifests in the body. The authors suggest “if you want to create a mastery around patience, you need to be on the lookout for impatience and get curious about it.” Learn how being impatient affects your emotions and moods.

Anxiety cannot always be prevented, but the tips above will bring more calm to hectic days. By directing your ominous thoughts to the reality that like nature, the gifts of imperfection bring beauty to our lives.