One way I help people to reduce their anxiety is by being in the present. But the concept of being in the present can be difficult for some people to grasp. Today I’m going to use some of the questions that I have been asked to help you. Maybe being in the present can help to reduce your anxiety.
What is being in the present?
Being in the present can be described in many ways. It’s a way of focusing the mind and body or being in the moment. It’s about clearing the mind or just allowing the mind to become calmer. That means that the past and the future are acknowledged but the focus is on the here and now. Lots of people today think of Mindfulness when they think of being in the present but actually the practice of being in the present has been around for centuries. Many martial arts focus on being in the present.
Why is this important when you feel anxious?
People who are anxious go through a feeling of being under threat. Their minds might race, They often worry a lot about the smallest things. Some anxious people put their attention in the wrong places. For example, anyone with health anxiety keeps imagining that they are ill or something isn’t right with their body even though they have had many health checks and nothing has been found. (It’s always a good idea to get a health check if you have suffered with anxiety for a long time as there may be an underlying medical issue that needs treatment). Some anxious people have panic attacks and then they become more anxious as they don’t want to experience another panic attack. Being in the present is important as it helps you to take control.
Anxious people think too much. Being in the present helps them to focus and connect the mind and body in order to make sense of things. But it can be a difficult thing to do, especially at first because thoughts will keep invading that present state of mind.
What’s the easiest way to start to be in the present?
I have found that focusing on breathing is the easiest way to be in the present. Moving to a better environment such as the garden, beach or relaxing place often helps as well.
How can I practice being in the present?
The first thing I believe you need is the intention that you can help yourself to reduce this anxiety. So you need to give yourself time. Choose a safe place where you are unlikely to be disturbed.
The first thing to do is to sit upright, close your eyes and just notice. Notice the rise and fall of your rib cage as you breathe. Don’t try to change anything, just notice the rhythm. Sense the temperature of the air as it enters and leaves your body. Continue to breathe and continue to focus on your breathing. If a thought races into your mind notice it but also let it go as you continue to focus on your breathing. You might do this a couple of times a day. Regular practice will make this easier.
So if you are feeling anxious, don’t suffer. Find ways to reduce your anxiety that have been shown to help.