I’ve actually just gotten on this mindfulness train myself. I don’t have a full grasp on what it is or how it works, but for me it’s something along the lines of “staying in the present moment” and “being aware of your current point in time.” That to me means to stay away from thoughts and feelings that stray too far into the past and too far into the future.
I tend to associate thoughts and feelings pertaining to the past with my depression and thoughts and feelings pertaining to the future with anxiety.
Obviously, we all know that negative emotions do not create positive outcomes. Knowing that, I decided to create my own mindfulness practice, which I will detail for you below. It is a beginner technique and my number one method for instantly getting yourself on a path toward emotional equilibrium and reducing anxiety and depression.
GO FOR A WALK
Yes, that’s it. It’s really that simple. Whatever situation you are currently in is what is causing your anxiety or depression. For mindfulness beginners it isn’t easy to just meditate their way to a new “positive” or even “neutral” feelings or thoughts. I’m sure with time such feats will get easier, but for beginners it’s best to physically remove yourself from the situation whenever you can. I find the easiest way to do this is to just go for a walk in the sun or at the gym if the sun isn’t out or it’s too cold.
When walking you really shouldn’t be trying to do anything, honestly. The change in scenery will naturally draw your wandering mind away from the feelings and thoughts of anxiety. So long as you embrace this distraction, your mind will begin to become clear and the sense of “impending doom” will begin to dull enough for you to believe more neutral thoughts with regard to whatever situation is causing you to feel so negatively.
HOW TO GET “CLEAR”
Once you’ve made your way to a new “neutral thought” or the pulsating “negative feeling” has dulled, you should be able to create a plan of action in order to work you way to a positive outcome. The point of mindfulness is to get yourself back into the present moment (whatever the technique) enough to calm down so you can think clearly and create an effective plan of action to address what’s bothering you. That’s all that there is to it. I find going for a simple walk the easiest method to do so. Some people can accomplish this simply by removing themselves from their current room, but I think walking is much better because it gives not only your mind something new to focus on, but your body something to do as well.
I also firmly believe that physical movement is an act of self-care, so when you do it, you are creating a feeling of positivity from deep within toward both yourself and your actions.
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious and you haven’t mastered advanced mindfulness (whatever that truly is, honestly), just try taking a baby step toward calming your mind by strapping on some good shoes and WALK. Your restless mind will thank you.