In working with anxious clients, I encourage them to use a tool that is always with them: the breath.
Observing the breath can be a helpful tool in reducing anxiety. I think that is because it brings our focus to living fully in the moment. That’s so important for everyone, but especially for someone with anxiety, which causes a focus on the future with its constant and underlying “What if…” mantra.
When we observe the breath, we take in the moment with grace, humility and awareness. With the help of the breath, we can help heal the body, master emotions and thoughts, and experience what the Yogis call Sat-Chit-Ananda (Truth-Knowledge-Bliss) at any given moment.
Are you anxious? Try this with your breath:
When you are outside today, look at the sky, look at the ground, feel the fresh air on your skin, listen to the sounds around you, then take a full breath in and breathe it all out. Finally, take a few mindful deep breaths – simply observe the sensations of the breath. Then observe, how are you in this moment, right now?
You can do this any time: stop where you are, feel the moment through all your senses, breathe it all in and let it all out again and again. Take the time to absorb and reflect on your experiences and find peace and stillness within.
~Marina Lisjonok, MSW