I’ve been hearing about meditation and mindfulness for years, but I always wrote them off as nonsense. They never made any sense to me. But recently, I discovered the power of living in the moment. While meditation is a skill that I likely won’t take the time to learn, I now believe that mindfulness should be practiced at every opportunity.
The counseling agency that I go to has their own app. It’s fantastic. It helps you track your mood and add notes about how things have affected your day. But it also teaches skills for dealing with mental illness. It has various exercises for different things, and I of course picked the anxiety track. In addition to CBT techniques, the app also provides mindfulness exercises that are really great to use when I notice that I’m starting to get upset. There’s a technique called reframing, for example, in which you look around the space you’re in and pick out things that make you feel positive in some way. It’s soothing, and it also helps to restructure my thoughts. I even took a minute to set reminders in my phone for times when I know I may be stressed and transition periods.
I’ve also been consciously slowing myself down. When I walk, it helps to keep my heart rate down, and that is subconsciously calming (due to the relationship between anxiety and increased heart rate, slowing down has an opposite effect). When I work, it helps to limit mistakes. That means fewer times rewriting my paperwork and more time to do what I want to do. In the words of a wise fire chief, “slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”
I’m not here to say that you should be trying these things, because they might not be for you. What I am saying is that sometimes, it’s good to try new things. You never know what might stick.