"We Have Lots of People With Anxiety Right Now - What Can We Do?"
The world is filled with lots of people with anxiety right now... what can we do to heal that feeling within? Here are 3 simple yet powerful exercises that can heal anxiety.
Living in the Here-and-Now - Most people are always thinking about what might happen and they totally forget about what they have now. Right now everything is totally fine, we have food to eat, and a roof over our head, what more could we ask for? But when we constantly think about negative things in the future we create anxiety. So it's extremely important that we pull our mind back from the brink of anxiety by always living in this moment... as the only moment that exists. That seems simple yet it takes great practice to live in the here-and-now.
First Exercise - Here is a great exercise that everyone should try. Start listening to what you are thinking. What are you thinking now? Is it a thought about the past? Is it a thought about the future? Or are you here right now aware in this present moment? If you are somewhere other than being in the here-and-now then remind yourself that the past is already over and the future has not arrived yet and bringing your mind back to this moment. Today do this process all day long, and also tomorrow, and for the rest of the week. Thus creating a habit of living in the here-and-now.
Second Exercise - Pick up a piece of fruit. Smell the fruit, what does the fruit smell like? Feel the texture of the fruit, what does it feel like? Notice the color and try to name the color of the fruit. Place the fruit near your check and notice if the fruit feels hot, cold, or normal temperature and tell yourself what that temperature feels like. Next, take a knife and cut a piece of the fruit and notice how the knife cuts through the fruit, is it hard? Is it soft? Is it a medium density fruit? Tell yourself what that experience is like. Now, look at the color of the inner part of the fruit, what color would you call that inner part of the fruit?
Next, smell the freshly cut fruit and try to describe that smell as best as you can. Now, take a bit of the fruit and notice the texture of the fruit, is it soft, hard, gritty, smooth, what would you call that texture? Now, what does that fruit taste like, is it sweet, sour, bitter, or acid? How would you describe the flavor of the fruit? Now decide if you like the fruit or not and tell yourself why. This is all about living in the here-and-now. Most of what we do all day long is done so automatically that we gulp down our food and drink and never experience anything about the world we live in.
Third Exercise - Now, sit quietly for a few minutes. What do you hear around you? Can you describe those sounds, do you know what they are? Perhaps there is a bird outside singing. Now, tell yourself what that sound is. What is the temperature of the room like? Is it hot? Is it cold? Is it just right? Tell yourself about the comfort of the room temperature. Now, what do you smell around you in the room? Is there an odor of some kind? Then describe that odor to yourself. Perhaps there are flowers in the room, and they are giving off a scent.
Next, feel your body, what are you feeling in your feet? Are they comfortable? Now, describe what you are feeling in your feet. Now, go to your lower legs, what are you feeling in your lower legs? Are they tense, achy, feeling comfortable, do they feel good, what are you feeling in your lower legs? Now, move up to your upper legs and hips, what are you feeling in your upper legs and hips? And then move up into your abdomen, what are you feeling in your abdomen? Describe that feeling. Next, move up into your neck and shoulders, what are you feeling in your neck and shoulders? Describe that feeling. And then move to your arms, back, and head and describe exactly what you are feeling in every part of your body. This may seem like a simple exercise, but most people have totally forgotten how to be in touch with their body... they are just too busy to even notice their body.
After These 3 Exercises - After doing these 3 exercises how do you feel? Perhaps, this is the first time in years that you have been present in the here-and-now and feel a bit more relaxed and calm. This process has been used in clinical settings to help people to be present and stop thinking so much. In fact, it's been found that people who have had one heart attack and then taught this process have an 85% lower chance of having a second heart attack.
Being free of anxiety is really how we are supposed to live... noticing all the little things around us. This is a small glimpse of what it must have been like for Henry David Thoreau who lived for a year "On Walden Pond". And wrote about his experience of in a book by the same name... noticing all the small things going on in nature around him.
Relax, slow down, live in the here-and-now and let go of anxiety. This is our God-given right... this is the inner calm and peace that we are supposed to feel every single day.
Many Blessings to Everyone!
Dr. Paul Haider
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