What is anxiety? It’s a feeling of unease, worry, or fear. Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone feels now and then. However, some people experience a more persistent anxiousness that can deal with more stress.
If you’re someone who’s suffering from anxiety, here are a few mindfulness meditation exercises you can try inside and outside your home. These practices are by no means a substitute for medical treatment. Rather, they’re a way to help ease your anxiety by deeply understanding your emotions, and where your worries are coming from.
Before you read on, you might want to download our collection of mindfulness meditation music to make you feel more relaxed.
The Body Scan
In this exercise, the goal is for you to become more attuned to the present moment. You do this by running through each part of your body and paying close attention to them.
How to Perform The Body Scan
- With your palms facing up, lie on your back. Position your feet falling slightly apart. Then, close your eyes.
- Hold your position for the entire duration of the exercise. Move only when you feel it’s necessary to adjust your position.
- Begin the body scan by focusing on your breath. Pay attention to your breath when you inhale and exhale. Feel your chest rising and falling.
- From your breath, shift your focus to the body. Scan through each part, starting from the toes of your feet all the way to your head.
- Feel your clothing touching your skin. Notice the texture of the surface where your back is lying. Bring your awareness to the temperature of your body and your surroundings.
- Focus on the sensations in your body. Note the areas where you feel tingling or sore and the ones you don’t feel any sensations at all.
- Hold gentle awareness on your body, the sensations, and the emotions that you feel. Then, acknowledge them.
Mindful Walk Exercise
Walking outside does wonders for the mind. This practice helps us develop our ability to observe our thoughts and emotions without reacting to solve them. And this ability is one essential process that mindfulness meditation can influence.
Remember: mindfulness focuses on reflecting rather than reacting to distressing situations. The goal is to be aware of the present moment to see things from a different perspective.
How to Perform Mindful Walk Exercise
- Take a short walk around the block.
- Pay attention to the things around you— the feel of the wind against your skin, the sounds, the smell, the people who walk past you.
- As you focus on the moment, notice any thoughts or emotions that you are experiencing.
- Reflect on those experiences and how it affects your behavior.
5 senses exercise
Noticing with your five senses is a quick way to achieve a mindful state. In this exercise, all you need to do is use your senses to notice things, then observe what you are experiencing at the moment.
How to Perform 5 Senses Exercise
- Bring awareness to five things that you can see. Look around you and focus on five things that you don’t normally notice. These can be a crack on the wall, patterns on the tablecloth, or shadows of an object.
- Bring awareness to four things that you can feel. Notice the texture of your shirt, the feel of your pillow against your skin, the breeze blowing through, or the surface below your feet.
- Bring awareness to three things that you can hear. Listen to the faint sound of traffic on the street, the chirp of crickets, or the hum of the Earth.
- Bring awareness to two things you can smell. Sniff the smell around you. These can be the smell of the scented purifier or even the bad smell of humidity.
- Bring awareness to one thing you can taste. Notice the taste of food that you can eat right now.
- Notice the thoughts and emotions that you experienced while using each of your five senses.
Mindfulness meditation is all about staying at the moment, observing and reflecting without resorting to impulsive reactions. And the above exercises allow you to better understand your thoughts and emotions. Doing so helps you identify the source of your worries, letting you to better manage your anxiety.
If you’re dealing with irrational worries right now, reinforce your treatment with the above mindfulness meditation exercises for anxiety.