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How to Reduce Anxiety Everyday with These 6 Mindfulness Exercises

How to Reduce Anxiety Everyday with These 6 Mindfulness Exercises

Coffees Ready ☺

Schedule in ten minutes to drink your coffee without a book, phone, or laptop near you. Spend ten minutes simply enjoying the luxury of your cup of coffee or tea. To increase your wellbeing, you should step outside on the balcony, into your garden, or head outside for a short walk. Bring your attention to your breath and the present moment as you enjoy nature. Just looking at green for a few minutes will calm your body and mind.

Another option is to enjoy your coffee break with colleagues or loved ones. Practice staying in the moment by listening with full attention. Don’t think of what you want to say next, or way you agree or disagree with what the person has to say. Let go of judging the speaker or what they are saying. Listen to what they are saying, and mirror the last few words back. At the end of the conversation wish them a beautiful day, and mean it. Sense the wish swinging out gently from your heart.

At the end of the coffee break take a long deep breath in, filling your lungs in 360 degrees, then exhale as slowly as you can through pursed lips. Repeat one more time and then set an intention for the next hour and for the rest of your day. This could be to stay calm and centered, or to finish a presentation, or to be patient and empathetic with your children. Your intention serves you. For best results, write your intention down.

The Refresh

After every time you use the restroom and wash your hands, take thirty seconds to check in and turn your attention to the present moment. Rub your hands together for a few seconds and then place them on your heart. Close your eyes and listen to your heart beat.

Take a deep breath in to the count of six, then breathe out as slowly as your can to the count of eight. Take a deep breath in to the count of eight, then breathe out as slowly as your can to the count of ten. Smile, then return to your day.

Yes, even if you don’t feel like smiling, do it anyway. Your brain will still get an uplift in feel good endorphins when you smile even if you don’t mean it. An authentic smile is better though, so bring up an image of someone you love, or a baby laughing, a puppy, or something you are truly thankful for. Let the smile float up to your lips from your heart center.

Bathe in Mindfulness

The next time you take a shower you can turn it into a mindfulness exercise to reduce anxiety. Before you get in the shower inhale deeply and lift your arms above your head. Exhale and fold forward over your legs, bringing your hands to the floor. You can bend you knees, or keep legs straight if you can still find length in your spine. Breathe in to the count of four and out to the count of eight five times. After five rounds of deep breathing, inhale and rise back up. Smile. Give your arms and shake and step in the shower.

Breathe evenly. Keep your attention on your breath as you begin to bathe.

But every time your attention shifts to thoughts floating into your awareness, turn the shower off. Breathe in for four counts and out for eight counts and then you can turn back on the shower. Play the game honestly. With time you will need to turn the shower off less and less.

All the Colors of the Rainbow

Go to the nearest grocery store or farmer’s market and search for a red fruit or vegetable and place it in your basket. Next seek out orange, yellow, light green, dark green, blue, and purple. Notice the shapes, sizes, textures, weight, and feel of the produce as you pick up each item and place it in your cart.

Get curious. Try new fruits and vegetables. Pick up the produce and smell it. Feel its texture. Appreciate the beauty of the produce laying on your counter at home

When you get home wash all the produce and take out storage containers. Bring your attention to your breath as you begin to prepare the fruits and vegetables. Develop a conscious deep, even, and serene breath.

Breathe in a three-part breath. Breathe into your belly, then fill your ribs, and last feel the air expand your front and back lungs, lifting your chest. Exhale pull the pelvic floor up and the abs in and as if they are sliding up under your ribcage.

Every time your thoughts pull you attention away from the breath, set your knife down on the counter. Label the thought type and emotion, and then refocus your attention on your breathing. Only then resume preparing the produce.

Mindfulness doesn’t mean serious. Let fun and enjoyment flood in. Delight in the taste of a fresh cut orange or the crunch of a red pepper slice as you work. Notice the vibrant colors as you peel and slice.

At the end of the mindfulness exercise note any patterns. Do you thoughts constantly tug you more into the past, or the future? Did you label, ‘planning’ many times? Did any emotion appear repeatedly, such as ‘sorrow,’ or, ‘fear’?

Observe your mental tendencies and patterns and write them down in a notebook. Compare a few different days or weeks of mental patterns you noticed during mindfulness.

Buying and preparing all the colors of the rainbow is just the first step. Eating the fresh produce will reduce your anxiety as you fill your body with nutrition rich food.

You can repeat this ritual daily, every other day, or weekly. Play with different variations on the rainbow theme. One day you can search out only different hues of red, orange and yellow.

Another day you could search out reds and greens, or produce in different hues of purple, blues and greens.

Take Your Shoes Off

When was the last time you went walking barefoot in the grass?

Step out into your garden or journey to your nearest park for a mindfulness exercise that can radically reduce your anxiety in minutes.

Take off your shoes and socks and sink your feet into the grass. Just connecting our feet to the earth is grounding. Imagine you are pulling in healing energy from the earth up through your feet as you begin to take your first steps through the grass.

When we come in direct contact with the earth’s energy charge while walking barefoot, we experience a boost in well-being.

Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Unclench your jaw. Soften the face.

Bring your attention to the breath. Notice how the air is cool as you inhale and warm as you exhale. Inhale through your nose smoothly to the count of four. Exhale slowly through your nose or mouth to the count of eight. Making your exhalation twice as long as your inhalation will trigger the body to begin to relax.

Every time your thoughts pull you attention away from the breath, label the thought type and emotion, and then refocus your attention on your breathing. Inhale for four counts, exhale for eight.

For example, if thoughts swim into your brain about a deadline at work you can’t make, label it worrying and fear and then return your attention to your rhythmic breathing.

If the sun is out, feel the warmth of the sun’s rays on your face. Notice the feel of the grass against the bottom of your feet, your clothes against your skin, perhaps the feel of the wind as you walk.

Bring your attention from physical sensations of touch back to the breath. Notice how the air is cool as you inhale to the count of four and warm as you exhale to the count of eight.

Notice any sounds. Is it silent except for the wind? Do you hear children playing, people talking, the hum of traffic, the barking of a dog, the birds singing?

Notice any sounds, then bring your attention back to the breath. Notice how the air is cool as you inhale to the count of four and warm as you exhale to the count of eight.

What do you smell? Do you see any flowers? Stop and smell their scent. Do you see any trees? Walk over. Lean your back against the tree. Press your hands behind you onto the trunk of the tree, feeling the texture of the bark.

Trees have healing energy. According to research, time spent under a tree reduces your blood pressure and lowers the levels of cortisol in the blood. Imagine the tree’s healing energy flowing into your body.

Now check, are you still breathing long, deep, and slowly? Notice how the air is cool as you inhale to the count of four and warm as you exhale to the count of eight.

Walk once again through the grass, focusing on the feel of the feel of the grass with each step.

When you are calm and ready to end your barefoot walk, take a deep breath in and exhale through the mouth, releasing your shoulders from your ears, letting your head fall back gently, as you reach your arms out and you open your chest to the sky. Lift your arms straight up in a V and stretch on an inhale, then exhale smile. Close your eyes, and soak in the feel of standing in the open air with your feet in the grass.

Anytime anxiety arise in the future, you can close your eyes, and recall the feel of walking barefoot in the grass as you inhale slowly to the count of four, and exhale twice as slow to the count of eight.

Wishing you radiant health, joy, and love, Heather

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