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How to Help Anxiety with Mindfulness

TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development Life Coach, CBT, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, thoughts, behaviours, emotions, mindfulness, depressions, anxiety, past, present moment, future, thought awareness

Mindfulness can be an excellent way to help with anxiety and depression

Do you experience anxiety?

Have you ever been depressed?

Do you believe your thoughts?

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is generally experienced when we are afraid of a future event.

We have perhaps catastrophized the event — just seeing the worst possible outcome, or predicted that it will be bad no matter what happens. When we allow our mind to use us in such ways it is no wonder we live in constant states of anxiety.


What is depression?

Depression is usually experienced due to past events that are still affecting our thougths and ability to see the point of doing anything. We sink into a cycle of despair, apathy, and feelings of hoplessness. 

What anxiety and depression have in common: Lack of being present in the moment

Both of the above are examples of not being present and aware of this moment. When we are only concerned with what we are doing now, there is no room for stress or anxiety. They only exist in the past or the future. Mostly the present moment is pleasant with nothing much happening.

Many of us find it challenging to be in the now where nothing is happening, and have to create problems or something to think or worry about. This makes us feel alive and important in some way. We identify with our thoughts and create a self around them.

This habit can be detrimental in many ways. These thought patterns create feelings and emotions in the body that make us feel bad about our self and our situation. This in turn affects the behaviours we exhibit.

The vicious circle of anxiety and depression

Let me give you an example:

A person who is depressed may have negative thoughts about themselves and other people. They see the worse case scenario and feel out of control of their situation. These thoughts then have a knock on affect to how they behave.

Imagine waking up feeling such despair. Are you likely to spring out of bed and look forward to the day ahead or pull the covers over your head and avoid doing anything? Typically a depressed person will do the latter which in turn affects how they feel about themself. Sadness, anger, guilt, irritability, shame and anxiety are some of the many self deprecating emotions people express in such situtations. 

If left unchecked, this pattern can soon become habitual and vicous cycle. Through mindfulness it is possible to become aware of the process of despair and notice it when it starts to happen. When the mind is fully present, any uneasiness is felt more keenly than if a mind is distracted with past and future.

How to escape the vicious circle

Keeping a record of your thoughts, noticing your behaviours and how they affect you are useful tools used in CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) to assist others to become their own therapist. We all know what we need at some level, only we are not sure of how to get there. With a skilled therapist you can become aware of your thought processes, reframe them and find new ones that are more productive. 

To get a glimpse of this, try practising a mindfulness technique:

  • Take all your attention to whatever it is you are engaged in now
  • Notice how you feel
  • Notice the sensations in your body
  • Become aware of every process involved in your activity
  • Marvel at the aliveness in your body
  • Engage all your senses — sight, sound, smell, touch, taste

How did that feel? Did you have anxious thoughts? Were you calm and present? Did you feel good?

I invite you to notice your thoughts, behaviours and emotions throughout the day to uncover what is potentially holding you back and preventing you from being the best you can be.

For further information on this process please do not hesitate to contact me.

Photo Credit : Filosofias filosoficas


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  • Mrs. E. Gerard
    July 05, 2014

    Thank you Tracy!!! So true about it becoming a VICIOUS cycle of anxiety and depression, dwelling on future and past thoughts... Mindfulness sounds so simple but it's so easy to forget to do. So thanks thanks thanks for the reminder and I will try to remember this.

  • Coach Cat Ross Hamilton
    Cat Ross Hamilton
    July 05, 2014

    Hello Mrs Gerard, You're welcome :) So glad you found this helpful. You're right, it is so easy to forget as we get caught up in life and repetitive unconscious thought patterns that do not help us. The good news is that every time we notice our thoughts and become aware of ourself, we are breaking the old habits and the VICIOUS cycle. Good luck with your practise!


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