5 Mindfulness Techniques for Anxiety & Depression
During March of 2020, while much of our world was shut down, I developed Anxiety for the first time in my life. Fear of the unknown led me to seek out a professionals help and was later put on medication to cope with the anxiety attacks I was having. This topic is one that has come to light since then, but yet so many of us don't know where to turn for resources or how to cope. That is one of the reasons I started this community. I wanted to share my Journey to healing with all of you, so it can help you learn and grow, and know that you are not alone.
While anxiety can feel unavoidable, there are many mindfulness exercises we can implement to help bring ourselves back to center, and significantly benefit our physical and mental health. These practices are some of my favorites, that will help you cope with tough times and can enhance and encourage your joyful moments. We are all in this together!
The goal of Mindfulness practice is to help free ourselves from intense thoughts, feelings, and really put anxiety/depression in its place! We cannot allow ourselves to let fear, worry, painful memories and panic, stand in the way of how we live our lives and doing what we care about most. Acceptance is the first step, and combining that with mindfulness can help change the response to those anxious thoughts.
Below are the 5 Techniques that help me the most in my most anxious & low moments!
Mindful Breathing / Deep Breathing / 4-7-8 Method - This will help regulate your "fight or flight" response in so many ways, as well as regulate your nervous system. There are numerous Breathing Techniques that I will site here for reference. 4-7-8 Method is one I use the most frequently throughout my day. Breathe in for four seconds, hold for seven, and exhale through your mouth for 8. Repeat as many times as you like (but if you ever get light headed, please stop haha)
Guided Meditations / Walking Meditation - Meditation can be very intimidating if you don't know where to start. It is a simple technique that we can practice as often as we like, for as long or short as we'd like. I've linked several here that I've used consistently, until I was able to guide myself through my meditation practice.
Hiking & Connecting with Nature - If you live in an area that has access to hiking trails or are near a body of water (my absolute favorite) then this will help tremendously! I've linked a site here to find trails near you! If you don't, you can step outside and give gratitude for the environment around you. Long walks outside are shown to improve all areas of our mental and physical health.
Yoga / Mindful Stretching - Do you ever feel like your anxiety lives in a certain area of your body? That may sound silly, but stress actually does build up in our bodies and its so important to release. Yoga is a fun way to begin, or even mindful deep stretching. Starting your morning this way and my setting an intention, can definitely help ease you into your day and eliminate stress.
Journaling / Writing - This has been a saving grace for me! I've journaled since I was a kid, but using this technique in my adult life has truly helped me express what I'm feeling, without fear of judgment. This forces you to slow down, organize your thoughts and focus on them one at a time. I recommend this to everyone! It's a place that you can go to release your thoughts, fears, and gain clarity on what's going on. I will have a separate post with some Journaling prompts to try, if you don't know where to start.
I hope this brings you some comfort knowing you are not alone in your struggles. It's important to actively practice the techniques that you feel work best for you, as well as consistently implement them in your life. Healing and change really does start with you, and making the choice to move forward in your healing. Comment on this post with some of your favorites, or which technique worked best for you! :)
****It is not the intention of Fierce & Fine to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information and advice from personal experiences and struggles. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and the F&F community urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions. Mental health conditions are complex, people differ widely in their conditions and responses, and interactions with other conditions and treatments are best evaluated by a physical examination and consultation with a qualified clinician. *****