It’s amazing to see how we all, almost universally, sense that anxiety comes from worrying about highly improbable future events. And that staying in the moment helps.
I’ve found that getting OUT OF MY MIND really helps when I’m anxious. Since all our anxiety inducing thoughts are just that…thoughts running around in our minds. So what I’ve learnt to do is:
1) I try to name the feeling: For e.g: “I’m feeling anxious” or “I’m feeling angry”… Just recognizing the feeling and saying it out loud can be helpful.
2) Remind myself that I’m NOT my thoughts. That thoughts and feelings are temporary, they come and go, like leaves floating in a river or clouds in the sky…
3) Do a brief body scan mindfulness: This seems to bring my awareness out of my own mind and into the present moment in a very tangible way. If anyone is interested, here is a good one by Elisha Goldstein: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsCVqFr6j1g
4) Do just one small thing that would help me feel a bit more in control of the situation: like if Im anxious about a presentation coming up, just do a mental practice one more time. Or if I’m anxious about a trip with my kids coming up, maybe email a friend who has been there for some tips on best places to eat with kids or where are the 24 hour pharmacies etc; Anything. However small, taking that action to problem solve for yourself can help you feel calmer.