Can Mindfulness Treat Anxiety Disorders?
Those who suffer from anxiety will know just how much the condition impacts everyday life, managing to find its way into everything from work to hobbies to relationships. If you’re one of those people, it makes sense to do all you can to calm your mind and keep the irrational thoughts at bay.
The art of mindfulness dates back thousands of years, and is now being championed by the wellness industry as a means to help ease stress and encourage relaxation, and is practised by all walks of life, such as comedian and writer Ruby Wax, who uses mindfulness to ease her own mind.
But can mindfulness help to better manage anxiety?
First, what is mindfulness? To put it simply, mindfulness is moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. Mindfulness can involve:
• accepting how you feel in the present moment, physically and emotionally
• taking in your surroundings and being aware of yourself in them
• not being distracted by thoughts from the past or future
• being kind and nonjudgmental to yourself and others
Practicing mindfulness can help to equip you with the mental tools to slow yourself down and calm and ground yourself when feeling overwhelmed. Becoming more consciously aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours serves as a powerful therapeutic tool.
With greater conscious awareness, we can make the changes we want and decide what we want to do.
Is mindfulness effective for anxiety?
Anxiety means that in your mind, you are living in some terrible future scenario, convinced that the worst is going to happen, acerbating your anxiety.
Mindfulness helps to connect you back to the present moment allowing you to become an observer of your thoughts and feelings, so you can take a step back and calmly reevaluate what is going on, and help identify the root cause of your anxiety.
Researchers in a 2015 study, found that scans revealed that engaging in a mindfulness practice decreases the amount of neural activity in the amygdala — the part of the brain that responds to stress.
If you’re looking for a mindful therapist online, come and talk to us today.