Anxiety feels awful. It can be the crippling force that makes people give up on their dreams and throw away the things they love. If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety, we highly recommend you seek advice from friends over at www.counselling-directory.org.uk.
Given the choice, almost no one who has ever experienced anxiety would ever choose to feel it. It’s not something that anyone ever enjoys. It’s often something that doesn’t make sense in a person’s life. It’s irrational and illogical and it only hurts. It seems an entirely pointless aspect of humanity that has no apparent upside for those it plagues.
Attempting to incorporate mindfulness into all aspects of life while suffering from anxiety can feel impossible.
Being mindful in any given moment requires you to be conscious of everything going on in that moment. That includes everything that is going on in the world around you and everything that is going on in the world within you.
When the world within you is in turmoil, panicking for no logical reason and twisting everything you sense and feel into something dark and terrible, it can be tempting to give up on mindfulness at all. To shut down and avoid feeling anything. To become numb.
At least, until the anxiety passes.
And then you can get back to experiencing the world moment by moment. Then you can be mindful.
But, while it is understandable to want to avoid those feelings as much as possible, it won’t help you to pretend it isn’t happening.
Instead, try to be mindful of your anxiety. Try to understand it. While it likely still won’t make any sense, try to get used to the feeling of it. Become familiar with it. Learn about it.
Use the skills that you have developed in your usual mindfulness practice to get better acquainted with this part of you.
To start with, it will be hard. You will have to delve into one of the most unpleasant feelings that people can experience. You will have to face all the paranoia and the pain that anxiety brings. You will have to explore the things that you are most haunted by on a level that you might not have imagined before.
It will hurt.
But it will be worth it.
In the same way that teaching yourself mindfulness also means teaching yourself patience and observation and tranquillity, teaching yourself to be fully mindful of your anxiety is a slow process. But, once you have pushed through the difficult beginning, your anxiety as a whole will become a lot easier to handle. Having a better grasp of it, a deeper understanding of its roots and a more intimate knowledge of its hold over you will help you deal with it every time it strikes.
It will mean that you are more prepared for it, that you’ll have a firmer strategy for dealing with it. That you’ll be able to sit with it, when it comes, and remain calm. And try to take in what it’s trying to tell you without letting it overwhelm you.
And learn from it. And live with it.
If you or someone you know is suffering through anxiety, we would highly recommend checking out this book, Self Help For Your Nerves by Dr Claire Weekes. It has helped one of the owners of Daily Zen out more than you could ever imagine!