COLUMN: A meditation for anxiety

WHEN we are feeling anxious it can be difficult to break that cycle in both the mind and body.

Anxious thoughts or fears causes the body to pump out certain chemicals, because the body believes that it is under threat.

One way to try and break the cycle is to keep focusing on your breath. With anxiety you can feel jittery, nervous, and even sick. Staying focused on the breath does several things.

It helps refocus us away from our thoughts and our thinking.

It helps to switch on our calming nervous system.

It allows to home in on the cause of our anxiety.

We all have feelings of anxiety, worry and fear sometimes. These can be normal responses to certain situations and the reaction in the body is known as ‘fight or flight’. Our brains respond to a threat or danger by releasing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.

Even if the danger is not real, these hormones cause the physical symptoms of anxiety and once the threatening situation has stopped the body will usually return to normal. But if you have an anxiety disorder these feelings of fear and danger can be ongoing and interrupt your daily routine long after the threat has gone.

Anxiety can make things are worse than they actually are and everyone’s experience of anxiety disorders is different. Not everyone who has an anxiety disorder will experience the same symptoms.

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