Mindfulness can be described as an ability to be fully present and aware of the existing moment, without interpreting or judging it. Practiced through meditation, mindfulness exercise can help you become aware of your negative, self-critical thoughts. Moreover, mindfulness can increase your optimism, boost your mood and improve your self-image.
How can Mindfulness help you Overcome Anxiety?
It is completely normal to feel worried, nervous or afraid from time to time. Most of us experience these feelings daily. However, anxiety disorder is quite different from normal feelings of apprehension or fear. Anxiety includes a non-specific feeling of discomfort that doesn't have the real reason and is rather related to the perceived or future threat.
When you are lost in constant worry, it is easy to mistake your worries and fears for facts, instead of recognizing that they are just your thoughts. And when your negative thoughts become so real, they provoke an emotional and physical response to them, known as anxiety.
Anxiety affects the way we feel, think, and behave. In addition, anxiety often manifests through the real physical symptoms like upset stomach, migraines, chest and back pain and other. Therefore, this condition can seriously impact the quality of youreveryday life.
Although serious, anxiety is at the same time a successfully treatable condition. And mindfulness meditation is believed to be one of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety.
Both science and experience have proved the positive effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction. Mindfulness meditation can help us stopthe automatic fight, flight or freeze reactions that lead to anxiety. By bringing mindfulness to our actual experience in the present moment, we can stay focused and utilize more conscious control over our behavior.
The Science of Mindfulness reduced Anxiety
Research proved that mindfulness exercise can actually rewire our brain in ways that affect our thoughts and behavior. Namely, mindfulness has the power to reduce the activity in the part of our brain called amygdala. This cluster of neurons in the limbic system of our brain plays a vital role in processing emotions. Moreover, it is a starting point for our anxiety reactions.
Thus, when the emotional or environmental stressors convince your amygdala that you are in danger, amygdala sets to action by preparing you for the flight or fight response. As a result, you feel anxious. Impacting and reducing amygdala's activity, mindfulness exercise reduces your background level of stress and anxiety.
Anxiety often leads to depression and low self-esteem. Mindfulness practice for managing anxietycan help you increase optimism and boost your self-respect.
Mindfulness and Self-esteem
A healthy self-esteem is described as a positive attitude towards yourself. It includes an appreciative, realistic, and balanced view of yourself.
It is normal that you feel self-critical and engage in negative thinking about your abilities from time to time. We all do that. However, when you tend to see yourself as incompetent, unworthy or inadequate for most of the time, your self-criticism becomes a low self-esteem issue. Thus, if you want to feel good about yourself, you need to nourish your confidence.
Psychologists have found that mindfulness exercise can help you overcome low self-esteem. Mindfulness trains your mind to observe your feelings and thoughts as they appear, without reacting to them. In order to build your self-respect, you need to be willing to turn toward and acknowledge your negative emotions.
Practicing mindfulness allows you to feel the way you are feeling instead of avoiding to think about your feelings or trying not to feel upset. If you learn to acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to feel the certain way in the moment, it is more likely for those feelings to settle down and pass.
Focusing on your breathing and calming your mind and body for a few moments every day should help you will feel more relaxed. When you find yourself starting the usual self-criticism, acknowledge what is happening and remind yourself that those are just your thoughts, not facts.
Mindfulness Techniques for Boosting Confidence
You need to keep in mind that, no matter how self-critical or self-depreciating you might feel, building self-assurance is a matter of choice. Boosting your self-confidence with mindful meditation can be done through various techniques:
Visualization is a powerful tool of constructing an image of yourself as you want to be, within your mind. Visualizing a positive version of yourself can increase your motivation, activate your subconscious and induce the law of attraction.
- Focusing on the things you are good at
People who lack confidence tend to focus on their mistakes. Try reframing your mind around the things you are doing right instead of thinking of the things you didn't accomplish.
- Exploring your inner world
Mindfulness allows you to become self-aware of your thoughts and how they impact your feelings and behavior. Consequently, this enables you to reduce your insecurity and negative thoughts.
- Recognizing and changing negative thoughts
Negative thoughts generate an insecure and anxious mindset. Using principles of cognitive behavioral therapy for recognizing and correcting dysfunctional thoughts, you can help yourself reduce anxiety and boost self-esteem.
Mindfulness has proved to be effective in both reducing anxiety and improving self-confidence. Try mindfulness techniques and make them part of your everyday routine. Then see what happens.