Utilization of some mindfulness techniques can be crucial in dealing with anxiety
Happy Wednesday y’all. Today has been a bit weird for me. . The ragweed in Missouri is out in full force. I was out checking cows last night and my truck came back with that hallowed green dust sprinkled upon it. So I woke up this morning feeling like someone took my nasal passages and tied them in a knot. Needless to say, I did not get my usual run in. A big part of my new found self is my morning routine. So when that gets screwed up, I just feel off. So I’m doing my best today to do all of my normal things despite not getting a run in.
This week I’ve tried to be open about the things that have helped me in my struggle with anxiety. Medications and counseling have both played a major role in me being able to manage this condition. I had reservations about starting both of them, but I’m happy to report that they have had a positive effect on me and my life.
This brings me to my next method for dealing with anxiety, meditation and mindfulness. This is one I’ve not had so much luck with. It’s very hard for me to turn my mind off to the world going on around me. It’s also hard to find a place for me perform meditation. I know these sound like petty excuses (probably because they are). However, I just dont feel like I have enjoyed meditation like it has been advertised.
Just because, I don’t enjoy or benefit from meditation doesn’t mean it may not work well for other folks. An article from the American Psychological Association highlighted many of the well documented benefits of meditation and mindfulness in regards to anxiety. Decreased rumination (focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress), stress reduction, and less emotional reactivity are all benefits observed from some form of mindfulness. Many well known high performers concur, stating that meditation helps them to give them an edge. Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, and Clint Eastwood all claim that meditation has been key in their success.
Even though meditation has not been that great for me, simple breathing exercises have been awesome. My favorite technique I’ve utilized is called box breathing. You may not have heard the term box breathing, but anyone with a smart watch probably knows the technique. Its the breathe app on Apple Watch. I have a Garmin and its called “Relax Timer.” Box breathing is a breathing method utilized by Navy Seals in times of intense psychological stress. Author and former Navy Seal, Mark Devine, says “It is something you can do anywhere—and any time, so long as you are not performing a highly complex task. I practice it in the morning, before a workout, while standing in line, while I’m stuck in traffic and whenever else I can. It helps me slow down my breathing rate and deepen my concentration. When I perform box breathing, even just for five minutes, I am left with a deeply calm body and an alert, focused state of mind.”
Here is You Tube link to Mark Devine’s tutorial for box breathing.
Anytime I encounter a stressful situation or I just feel off, I take a few minutes to do some box breathing. I’ve used it in the middle of the work day, while I’m driving home, and even in the middle of working cows. It’s a valuable tool because of its effectiveness and its ease of practice.
Have you ever tried meditation? Have you had more positive experience than I have? Have you ever tried box breathing? Please provide some feedback so we can engage. Thanks for taking the time to read to day. Please don’t forget to subcribe and share!!