Mindfulness for Anxiety, Stress and Worry:

With all the media stories, articles and books about mindfulness now available, it's probably true that you have heard about mindfulness and you may even have dabbled with it yourself.

As with hypnosis, there is a growing body of research that suggests that for many people, mindfulness can be helpful for anxiety, stress and many other issues. And as with the research showng that combining congnitive behavioural therapy with hypnosis substantially enhances treatment outcomes, there is a huge benefit to combining elements of mindfulness with hypnosis to overcome issues and feel better. 

Many people that I talk to about mindfulness tell me that they have found it frustrating and difficult to work with or achieve the results they are seeking. That frustration can then lead to never quite getting around to it with any sort of motivation or dedication and ultimately deciding it isn't for them.

So here I've got some simple techniques that you can start using quickly and effectively in your daily life so that you can benefit from mindfulness for anxiety, stress and worry.

What is Mindfulness?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, mindfulness is "the practice of being aware of your body, mind and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm. Mindfulness can be used to alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression."

So essentially mindfulness is about being aware of what you are experiencing right now (such as what you can see, hear and feel) and being aware of your thoughts and feelings without judging them, getting drawn into them or buying in to any meaning you may have been giving to them.

Rather than getting drawn into thoughts and feelings leading to catastophising, dwelling or running unhelpful future scenarios, you learn to be more in the here and now. This then leads to feeling more at peace and calm right now without getting lost in a maze of unhelpful thoughts and feelings.  

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In many ways this is where mindfulness and congnitive behavioural hypnotherapy are perfect companions in that you can draw on the benefits of each of these to break the cycle of stressful or anxious thoughts and feelings so that they no longer have the same grip upon you.

In fact, I often tell my cleints how using mindfulness with hypnosis can help them not only feel calm and in control in the present moment, it can also help you to take that calmness and control over thoughts and feelings into future situtations.

How To Start Using Mindfulness

To start making use of mindfulness in your everyday life, make use of these three techniques (and remember, like any other skills, you need to find the time to do them consistently and with the expectation that the more you practice them, the better the results you will enjoy): 

1) Mindfulness Breathing

You can use your breathing to start bringing yourself back to the here and now. Take a slightly deeper breath in and as you breathe out, allow your eyes to comfortably close. Tune in to your breathing and how it happens all by itself. You may notice whether the temperature of the air as you breathe in compared to when you breathe out. You can notice the rise and fall of your tummy as you breathe.

You don't need to try and change your breathing or stop it from changing, just tune into it and observe it for as long as you wish. If your mind wanders at all just gently bring it back to noticing your breathing. 

Some people find that by imagining breathing in calmness and breathing out any tension, they naturally feel calmer and more in the present moment.

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2) Thinking In The Now

When you struggle with anxiety, worry and stress, it is easy to get lost in dwelling on things that have happened in the past or running worst case scenarios about the future, all of which tend to amplify those unwanted thoughts and feelings and leave you more and more stuck in unhelpful patterns.

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By bringing your attention back to the here and now, you can gain some freedom from all those unwanted thoughts and feelings, allowing you to feel calmer and more at peace in this moment.

To do this, start saying sentences, thoughts and phrases in your mind that begin with the words 'now' or 'at this moment' or 'right now at this time' and so forth. For example you might tell yourself that 'right now I am sitting here with my feet flat on the floor' or that 'here and now I am safe and secure' and so on. Become aware of your current experience in this moment and start feeling more at peace right now. 

3) The Mindfulness TV Channel

Often when we run thoughts in our minds, we can get caught up in them, almost as if we are right there in some imagined scenario. Or we may give meaning and weight to things that just happen to run through our minds. We lose sight of the fact that thoughts are just thoughts, that we have thousands of them a day (most of which just float on by) and that we don't have to believe them, buy into them or react to them.  

Whilst you could just notice your thoughts as they happen inside your mind, often it can be easier to create some distance from them so you can view them from afar. A great way to do this is to imagine a TV or movie screen in front of you and let all of your stream of thoughts be up there on the screen so it's as if you are watching them over there, separated from you. 

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As you watch them over there, you can allow yourself to feel calmer and more comfortable over here. Then you can just watch them happening over there on the mindfulness TV screen for as long as you wish before you switch off the TV or change channel to something you would rather think about or focus upon.

Help With Anxiety, Stress and Worry

Remember, mindfulness is not something you do for a couple of minutes on one day and then sit back and wait for your life to miraculously improve. You need to put aside some time and put it into place consistently and with a positive mindset.

And if you are struggling right now with anxiety, stress or worry and could use some help then be sure to get in touch and ask to book your free consultation. We can meet, chat and soon work out how to help you start feeling better quickly and effectively.

To your success,

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy Ely, Newmarket, Skype

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