A thought is one of the mightiest means of creation. With our thoughts, we create small things, and if we can train our mind, we can create large things in our life. Out of habit, our thoughts are usually all over the place and rarely in the present moment, and this is what contributes to anxiety. Try practicing mindfulness for anxiety with these two simple techniques.
We live where our attention is. If we can be mindful in the present moment, we are truly alive. How many times have you been in a meeting and your thoughts wander to the plans you have for the evening? Or maybe you are watching a boring presentation, and you cannot stop thinking about the great time you had last weekend? Or maybe you are concerned about world news and how it is going to affect your stock portfolio?
Without being aware, our thoughts are all over the place. If we would completely pay attention to what everyone is saying in the meeting, you would feel more engaged and alive. The time would pass by quickly. If we could train our mind to be fully present now we could lift the burdens of the past and the future: say goodbye to regret, anxiety, guilt, and worry.
These two tools will help you to train your mind to stay in the present moment. The key is to teach the mind to do only one thing at a time. That is how you will feel fully alive and reduce anxiety.
1. Think of occasions when you do more than one thing at a time. For example, you are eating lunch and reading a book, or you are talking on the phone and checking email, or you are watching television while your son is talking to you.
Choose one activity and for a few days, give it your one-pointed attention. For example, if you are talking on the phone, stop, sit down and give that person your one-pointed attention. This tool will train your mind to stay present. In time, you will see cross-over to other occasions.
2. Worry is not useful at all. Most of the time, what we worry about never happens. We are projecting ourselves into the future in a negative fashion. Get a blank notebook or journal; this will be your “Worry Journal.”
Next time you are filled with anxiety, get out your journal and at the top of the page, write in one sentence or less what you are a concern. Below it writes a prayer or the word “God.” Take your attention away from your worry and fill your heart and mind with God’s presence. When you are ready, go back to the task at hand and leave your worry in the journal.
If you look through your journal later, most likely some of the worries, just faded away.
You have a choice to let your mind and thoughts wander or train them to stay mindful and in the present moment.