7 Ways a Mindful Attitude Can Help You Cope with Anxiety

Anxiety in its many forms is a very widespread issue. As a result, there are many effective methods for addressing this condition. Maintaining a mindful attitude is fast becoming one of the more common approaches. Results have been promising. Plus, there are no side effects to worry about.

A mindful attitude begins with occupying the present moment. Anxiety tends to become more predominant when you excessively worry and focus too far out into the future. Staying in the present moment, therefore, is the logical thing to do. Being in the present moment without judging it has been shown to minimize or even alleviate anxiety. The good news is, each one of us is more than capable of developing a mindful attitude.

Here are a few good times to be mindful:

  • While you're eating
  • When you're doing housework
  • As you're listening to music
  • While you're walking
  • When you're exercising

One of the many benefits of mindfulness is that you can do it anytime or all of the time. Deliberately slowing down. Focusing on your breath. Appreciating the present. Living in the moment. A mindful attitude is a way of life. It may begin with a practice like meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi. You may discover your own personal path toward mindfulness. Regardless of how you get there, it can help when you're struggling with anxiety.

7 Ways a Mindful Attitude Can Help You Cope with Anxiety

1. Awareness

It can seem like anxiety sneaks up on you. This is less likely to happen when you are in the present moment. With awareness, you learn to recognize your thinking triggers and body warning signs. You feel the emotions as they are starting to rise. As a result, you are able to put the brakes on the process before it takes over.

2. Acceptance

An excellent personal goal is progress but never perfection. Mindfulness teaches you to accept things as they are. You can learn to trade your over-the-top expectations for gratitude. Nothing silences your inner critic more than acceptance.

3. Breathing

In the present moment, you can breathe. Your breath brings you back to where you are. There are a number of breathing exercises you can try. I like the 7-4-7 method…Count slowly to 7 as you take a breath in. Count to 4 as you hold your breath inside. Slowly exhale and count to 7 as you release your breath and anxiety away. That's all there is to it. What works for you is whatever keeps you feeling clear and calm.

4. Anchoring

This technique enables you to “root” yourself in the present. You want to feel grounded. When you transfer your focus to your feet and legs, you feel secure. Before you float off into an anxious episode, anchor yourself to the moment.

5. Self-Control

Anxiety makes you feel out of control. Feeling out of control makes you feel more anxious. This self-feeding cycle may be a challenge to break. A mindful attitude gives you enough detachment to slow-down to see what’s happening. Self-control keeps anxiety in check.

6. Balance

Anxiety can keep you off balance in your life. If you’re worried about what will happen next, it can be difficult to make decisions. What you need is the clarity that mindfulness can provide. Living mindfully in the present can keep you balanced.

7. Patience

All of the six previous topics lead you to develop more patience. It begins by having patience with yourself—without judgment. You are a work-in-progress. Anxiety is a real and often puzzling issue. Give breathing and mindfulness a try when you are out-of-sorts and heading in that direction. Without patience, you’ll just pile anxiety atop anxiety. Make your emotional health a priority. But don’t burden yourself with unrealistic expectations.

In our high-tech, fast-paced society, all of this may sound nearly impossible. Indeed, sometimes it appears as if we do everything except have a mindful attitude because we are running on overwhelm and over-scheduling. This is where it helps to have a mindful mentor. Working one-on-one with a counselor is an ideal first step. The idea is to not create more anxiety. Having someone to guide you in this process makes a huge difference.