“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” •Oprah Winfrey
Mild anxiety began in 2012 during my years at a community college.
It was probably the fear and stress that I felt while trying to maintain a high GPA to transfer to an prestigious university. I also had to decide what my future plans were. Or perhaps it was because of the time I knew I’d wasted slacking in high school to fit in with what I was surrounded by and to preserve my loud-mouthed drama-seeking status.
Over the next several years I focused on the future and past a lot.
In late 2016 I faced my first severe anxiety attack in the laundry room of my parents’ home while sitting against the washing machine and holding onto my legs curled up against my chest.
First time I ever felt such a deep, gnawing pain in my core that it was as though there were large rocks piled up to my throat. It made my breathing difficult. It was the first time I ever felt this demoralized, helpless, lonely, and lost.
In my later years, anxiety attacks became so severe that my hands and feet began to tingle and my face started to numb.
It wasn’t until countless severe anxiety attacks in that I had a glimpse of awareness behind my ongoing stream of thoughts. I found that I was experiencing stress and fear about what had happened in the past or would happen in the future and realized that I’d lost the present moment.
Many people suffer from anxiety every day. It is difficult to focus on our goals, such as advancing in our career, earning a good income, supporting our families and putting food on our tables.
I realized that many of us are constantly on the run to the future trying to be certain about what’s next, and if we slip and fall along the way, we worry about why it happened, which takes us into the past—eventually emerging from an egoic-state of fears, wants, needs, and expectations. It was me.
There’s always going to be something new that we’ll want, need, and expect while trying to stay up to par with the people and situations that surround us. We’ll spend a lot of time sulking over setbacks, failures, and loss. Ultimately, suffering from stress and anxiety will bury what we’re meant to experience, learn, and grow from in this moment, the present moment. Because we can’t fully immerse ourselves in this moment if we’re worrying about the next or regretting the one prior.
I’ve spent the last few years exploring, reading, learning, and practicing how to heal stress and anxiety with the simple, yet profound practice of being present, conscious, and aware.
With this practice, I’ve strengthened my ability to acknowledge and allow suffering to take its course when facing life’s inevitable difficulties and challenges.
These are just a few of the many ways I practice present. This has not only helped with my anxiety but also increased my appreciation for the immense joy and peace you can feel when we stop trying to control our thoughts and become more aware.
Here are 4 ways to practice presence
1. You can practice non-judgment, no-attachment, or non-resistance.
You can lose yourself into the past and future when you’re judging, getting attached to, and resisting what is. It happens because we get too attached to the present moment, our desires, and expectations, instead of experiencing it fully. To minimize suffering we must be present in the moment, and let go of our expectations. Please bePass.
This is a practice that I am well aware of.
I’ve had days where I was over the moon with immense joy during moments of achievements, when sharing laughs with family, and while celebrating milestones like my wedding. I became emotionally attached to the moment and felt disappointed that it had to end.
On the contrary, I’ve also had days where I felt gutted and devastated over the loss of my dad, and I couldn’t help but judge and resist the experience of losing him. He was expected to be there for any future moments and milestones.
Yet, I’ve learned that moments are undeniably and inevitably temporary. Joy doesn’t last forever, but neither does pain. Let the difficult moments pass, and enjoy the pleasant ones with all your attention.
Pray being This moment is to be present and let go of attachments, judgments, and resistance. Enjoy the good moments and learn and grow from the ones that aren’t that great.
You will be able to let go of your pain and allow the flow of the world to happen.
2. Concentrate on your breath.
You have no control over the future or past of your breath. Only what is happening right now can you influence. The future is uncertain and your past actions are not controllable.
In many experiences in life, from meditation, yoga, exercise regimes, and sports to childbirth and even suffering, we’re always reminded to just breathe. It’s the breath that guides us into the present moment where the actual beingIt is possible to do it.
Try to focus on your inhaling/exhaling rhythm at a slow and steady pace through your day. It’s a form of meditation that can be done anywhere and anytime to dissolve any stress and anxiety you face.
I practice this throughout my day all the time whether I’m at work or on the couch, just to redirect my focus into the now, especially when I become aware of nonstop thoughts, which can set the stage for suffering.
This will allow you to get out of your head into your body, and help you shift your attention away from worries, fears and regrets.
3. Get lost in the natural world.
Are you ever able to feel a sense of peace when looking out at sunrise and sunset, or surrounded by trees, plants, rivers and lakes?
When you’re with nature, you instantly become connected to its stillness, silence, and simplicity.
Nature reminds us, even during storms of the worst sort, to be in tune with the moment and allow it to pass.
To be in nature, you don’t have to go far. You can take a walk in the neighborhood or go into the back yard. Take time to admire the beautiful flowers and the wind that blows through the trees, and then embrace the joy and peace that comes from them.
You’ll find that nature truly has a way of reconnecting you to this moment.
4. Trust what you have and be grateful.
Thank you so much As I stood in my backyard, I thought to myself. My husband was playing with Oakley and I was watching the sun set.
It would have been easy to lose myself to thoughts about what’s next and why I still at times feel lost and hopeless, but those thoughts never resolve how I feel and only ignite my anxiety. I decided to instead be grateful for the blessings in that moment, trust that what’s next will get here when it does, and for now, practice being present with what is.
Be grateful for what is right now, even if you’re going through challenging times. Your trust in the process should be greater than your anxiety, fear, and stress. Trusting the process means you can tell the universe that you believe in it and you allow it to grow you, make you more confident, and teach you new things.
You can take a deep breath and appreciate the moment. Perhaps it’s this blog, a family member, your pet, a plant, a cup of coffee, or a meal. Maybe it’s the sun or rain.
It’s easier to let go of the past and stop trying to control the future when you’re fully immersed in the now. It doesn’t matter what you live in, just be there. That is how you can heal and discover your true power.
Jasmine Randhawa, a former paralegal in personal injury law, has more than seven years’ experience as a researcher, writer, and has personally worked with people who have suffered stress, anxiety and trauma. As someone who suffered from severe anxiety, she now finds it enjoyable to share ways to overcome suffering and encourage everyday joy and peace. You can visit her website at https://www.jasminekrandhawa.com/; Instagram @jasminekaurtoday; or Twitter @jasminekaur2day for more.
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The post How I’ve Eased My Anxiety by Being More Present: 4 Practices to Try appeared first on Tiny Buddha.