Anxiety, Mindfulness And 4 Ways To Achieve It

Mindfulness meditation is fast becoming a great way to not only reduce anxiety and panic disorders, but also a great way to have a more peaceful way of life. Not only does it give you the benefit of multiple body and brain rewards, it also allows you, from a spiritual standpoint, to connect to your soul.

I remember when I first learn’t about mindfulness…It was a few years ago, when I first bought, ‘Be Here Now’ by Ram Dass, and I first go into the idea that all there is the, ‘now’.

Then, ‘The Power Of Now’ By Eckhart Tolle became extremely famous, and being, ‘present’ suddenly became mainstream.

Being mindful isn’t difficult, and here, we talk about the top 4 ways in being mindful and how to achieve them. I will warn you though, they may look simple, but don’t be so easily fooled…the beauty of mindfulness is in it’s simplicity;-)

1- Feeling Your Energy Body

This is a great way of not only being in the, ‘now’, but also reducing the onset of colds and bugs, as well as allowing you to feel happier.

Feeling your energy body is also a great way to feel slightly, ‘alive’ and feel your Qi flowing throughout your body.

True story: I was at work once, having a cold. I was sneezing and coughing (doing all sorts). I wasn’t having a great time…

I began to feel my Qi and try to be, ‘present’. Pretty soon, my body was in mild ecstasy and my sneezing had been significantly reduced. I was almost on the path to self-healing.

This is how powerful this technique is. The trick is to try to feel the Qi in your blood and your body, but therein lies a problem..most people don’t know what Qi is, not alone what it feels like.

The easiest way of finding this one out, is to rub your hands quickly to make them warm; after around 15-30 seconds, if you keep you hands apart from each other by around a few inches, you should feel a subtle energy vibrating that you can, ‘feel’.

This is your Qi. Imagine this flowing through your inner being, and you should be able to feel your body, ‘come alive’.

2- Peripheral Vision

This has numerous benefits, from reducing internal mind-chatter, to allowing your to make quick decisions, to even accessing your sub-conscious mind (I’m still testing this one out with psychic ability, like remote viewing).

When done right, not only will you be activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which will automatically allow you to become more calmer, you will also be slightly more focused and you will find that you will be activating your third eye (used for intuition).

It is no accident, that people use their soft gaze for peripheral vision to see non-physical things, like auras around people.

The only thing about peripheral vision, it has to be said, is that it could be tricky in and of itself to get into that awareness. So you have to start small…look at an object, and slowly expand your awareness, so you can see both the left and then to the right of it. Keep this up until you can see the above and below of this object. Then all you have to do is to increase this vision, until it completely accompanies your field of view.

3- Watching Your Breath

This is an old tried-and-tested method in increasing your presence. Simply by observing your body, you can achieve mindfulness…but this time, instead of focusing on your internal Qi, we are going to focus on your breath.

Just watch your breath coming in and out, and feel it enter your lungs (you should be doing deep, diaphragmatic breathing, or, ‘belly breathing‘ for this to work properly). After a few short moments, you will feel more peace and become more present with everyday life, giving you a clarity of thought.

4- Opening You Eyes

This is one that I discovered several years ago, and only recently remembered that it works to produce a great sense of presence.

The technique is simple: open your eyes as fully as possible, while still comfortable.

That’s pretty much it, yet as simple as this technique sounds, it is brilliantly effective. You should feel more present, more alive, and your thoughts should die down. Not only that, but as it is incredibly easy to do, you can even use the little thoughts you have left for other things.

Of course, no technique is perfect, and with this, there is an issue with complacency. For example, I was walking near the canal the other day, and opened up my eyes a bit wider to really take in the scenery. Great so far, feel pretty much at peace, and feel like I’m present.

Did it stop all of my thoughts though?

No!

Within a few short moments, I found myself fantasizing about something else…

Of course, when this happens, my eyes automatically returned to their normal size, so with repetition this should work very well.

Not only that, but this technique won’t work if you have an eye injury. Widening your eyes it going to prolong any injury you have, so it is best to try other techniques before using this one.

Try the above out, and let me know which mindfulness trick works best for you. I would love to hear your experiences.

 

How to stop feeling that you are losing control in a panic attack!

Panic attacks affects over 6 million Americans each year, and it is no wonder that out of the many symptoms of a panic attacks one of the most dreaded symptom is the fear of loosing control.

You know the feeling. You’re in a shopping mall, waiting in the queue, looking around slightly anxiously at a crying baby. Then suddenly a deep fear rises in your stomach, and starts to spread towards your whole body…

Before you know it, your legs start to feel shaky and you feel like you are going to pass out. All the while, some people in front of you are laughing out loud, yet you see nothing funny. To you, it’s turning into a sick dream…

Does this sound like you?

It’s no wonder that if you feel you are going to loose control, you may want to avoid going to the shopping mall altogether, yet this is the last thing you want to do.

And yet, strange as it may seem, people who loose control are actually very much unaware that they are going to do so

The irony is, while you think you are going to loose control, your senses are essentially heightened.

I remember thinking I was going to loose control myself, years ago, being in a queue and wanting to pay for my goods. Thankfully, the panic attack didn’t last long, and I was able to use some psychological tips to get myself out of this situation…tips I’m going to share with you today. But I won’t ever forget that horrible sensation of thinking I was going to loose it.

That sensation can play on your mind it you let it. Thankfully, as the years have gone by, I’ve learn’t a lot of things about panic attacks, so my life is no longer ruled by them.

The first thing in a panic attack is to recognize it first. The usual symptoms are light-headiness, a deep terror (usually located around the stomach area), shaking, sweaty hands and a racing heart beat, plus more. Once you’ve realized this, the trick then is to quickly let the fear, ‘wash’ over you, by distracting your attention.

You see, by paying too much attention, you can inadvertently make the panic attack worse.

Distraction, on the other hand, is a great way of just, ‘being’ with the fear while you focus your mind on something other than the attack itself. And by distraction, it can be anything that involves using your mental capability, so a moderate maths sum which takes a small while for you to work out would be ideal.

After you have tried to distract yourself, so the feeling of fear is slightly reduced, try belly breathing which should significantly calm you down.

The trouble with a panic attack, is that it can make you shallow breath without you even realizing it. Deep breathing (or in some peoples cases, just conscious normal breathing would suffice) is needed to calm the nerves, and to let the system essentially, ‘reset’ itself. By belly breathing, you help calm yourself down, which will lower your stress levels and help eliminate the panic attack.

After you’ve done this, a great way to finish off would be to practice being mindful. Mindfulness meditation is all about paying attention to the present moment. You can do this by paying attention to yourself breathing in and out through your lungs.

If you find it hard to do this, try softening your gaze, so you expand your peripheral vision. This should also help you becoming more present to the now.

Hopefully, if you have practiced the above techniques, the fear of loosing control will not seem like a big deal. Going outside and being in situations shouldn’t be an ordeal, and if you do find yourself having repeated panic attacks, you may need to try some relaxation methods to help reduce your general nerves.

Having an increasing relaxed attitude, while may look impossible to the panic attack sufferer, is a great way to keep the panic attacks at bay, and allows you to begin the recovery process.

Try the above out and let me know how you get on. Don’t preoccupy your mind with the thought of loosing control, use your mind to make a life instead. Your future depends on it;-)

 

Had A Bad Nights Sleep? 4 Ways To Be Super-Focused In Work When You Have OCD And Are Knackered!

How do you stay focused when you’re tired? How do you force yourself to stop thinking depressing or negative thoughts, when you drive to work? How do you force yourself to sit down, and using sheer mental will-power, try to not only survive the following hours, but thrive and meet targets and deadlines? Do you believe this is even possible?

Sure, it isn’t too difficult if you’ve had a good nights sleep, but if you suffer from OCD and are paranoid, it’s a different ballgame. OCD is naturally a lot worse when you’ve had a bad night, as you don’t have that much mental energy to begin with, and the will-power needed to stop some of the OCD rituals quite frankly isn’t there. Put simply, a good nights sleep helps reduce OCD, but a bad nights sleep can increase it, due to negative subconscious re-programming.

But is is actually possible to somehow thrive at work, meeting deadlines, when you are tired like hell, have OCD, and the memory of a fish (which, last time I checked, was around 7 seconds!). Do you even believe it’s possible? Maybe you would be one of those people who would write of your losses, and call in to do a, ‘sickie’! You know, much rather stay in bed for a few hours and just write one day off, then somehow force yourself to go through hell in work.

I wouldn’t blame you to be honest. I probably would’ve done the same thing myself years ago, in my early twenties, had it not been for my parents (I was living with them until my mid-twenties). But my parents were of the strict sort, so pulling a, ‘sickie’ (despite an excellent track record for not having an illness) was simply not an option. Unless you were dying, you went to work. End off. No discussion…

This meant that, during my emotionally unstable years, I would still have to drive to work and fight the barrage of negativity my subconscious gave me (and almost with pleasure). I had to fight for everything in my mind. It was strange in one sense, and quite sad in another. I never went out to drown my sorrows at the weekend, instead I would take my anger after a hard day in the office playing computer games. Yes, I was a bit of a gamer, but I didn’t care. This was my life, and I was sick to death of it, and I was going to have fun come what may!

It wasn’t until years later did I understand spirituality, and how the mind worked, did I finally grasp on how to better myself using the power of attention and intention (i.e. what you focus on in the physical world, and what you focus on in your imagination). Even then, it wasn’t a quick fix. I had to listen to many audiobooks, watch a few DVD’s and read many books before I finally, ‘got it’.

Having said that, I still wasn’t perfect, and still suffered the odd bad night, making my next day of work precarious. So, what was the cheat way of doing this?

In order for you to not only survive but thrive when you have OCD and are tired, we have to assume you know a few things…

Firstly, that you know what NLP is (or at least a decent concept of it) so you understand about posture.

Secondly, you understand the importance of deep breathing. I will go into this more later.

And finally, you know how to change your inner talk when you need to, because the following tips will require that you monitor your thought patterns, and if your imagination is a bit too wild, this may seem like a lost cause!

You’re still with me?

Great!

Then here we go….As always with me, you probably already recognize some of the techniques here, but it’s always nice to have a refresher just to get the ball moving. And don’t forget that you can use the following techniques if you’ve had a great night sleep and you don’t suffer from OCD. That would give tremendous benefit (but that is an article for another day;-)

 

Authoritative Inner Talk

You need to change the inner talk in your mind, especially if it is of the extreme negative type (which won’t be easy if you’ve had a bad nights sleep), but with a twist. It needs to be like a commander is speaking to you. No, I’m being serious, whenever I try it like this, I find that I automatically increase my productivity 10 fold. I type more faster, I act more quicker…you get the idea. One thing I would say, to counter this (because you can get super-stressed out very easily and quickly, and we don’t want that) is to give an equal amount of self-congratulating as well.

For example, you could act like you have a manager watching you shoulder, barking instructions out to you in your mind, but after, say, a few seconds, congratulates you on how quickly you did that task.

Self-congratulation is so key here. If it was just the commanding voice, you would be wreck and ruin in no time at all, and your stress levels (which are probably high already) would go through the roof. So make sure that you congratulate yourself in your mind (or get your imaginary manager to do it for you) as often as you can. Lets try to keep the negativity at bay here;-) After you finished a bad task, get your imaginary manager to say well done (and mean it!). When you find your thoughts are starting to wonder (easy when tired) get your imaginary manager to tell you to keep going, and that you’re doing a great job. Whichever is easiest for you!

 

Physiology

This is a hard one to remember, I know, but by keeping the correct posture will help keep your mind focused. I’ve used the Physiology of Excellence DVD to great effect. Essentially, I kept my back straight when sitting down, and yelled out some commands in my mind, so I could focus better. Yes, mental anchors do work that great, and the DVD will show you a case study of one being created in action. But even if you don’t believe in NLP, or have an interest in learning about mental anchors, that’s fine. Just keep your back straight and your head slightly high. This helps give you mental control and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can focus.

 

Deep Breathing

I mentioned this before, but this time I will go into more detail. Essentially, your breathing and your attention span are linked. Put simply, when you belly breath consciously, your attention span is easier to control. When you are having a panic attack, or you are chest breathing, your attention span can be all over the place (not always, but most times). If you can remember, try to deep breath while you rush around trying to keep your deadlines being met. This will help keep your stress levels from spilling over the top (and your internal authoritative voice in check!).

Don’t forget, Staccato breathing can be used here to give you a quick boost in energy, as well as slightly improved cognitive functioning. Be careful though, the increase in energy might trigger an anxiety attack, so only do the Staccato breathing once, for safe measures (please see this article on how to do Staccato breathing).

 

Self-forgiveness

Now, this article is for people who may have OCD and anxiety, so it is important that while you do have a firm voice in your head, commanding you one second and giving praise the next, your OCD will flair up. This is natural, as you are rushing around trying to complete jobs, while having a mindset with a poor attention span. The trick here is to be forgiving of yourself when your OCD kicks in every now and again (yes, despite the commanding inner talk, your OCD will resume business as usual, or at least will try to exert some control). Don’t get angry when this happens, just be patient (let your internal voice be compassionate for a few moments) and when you have done a bit of double checking (or whatever the OCD requires you to do) go back into, ‘fast work’ mentality.

This switching of mentalities is important, as it allows you to cool of steam slightly (don’t forget, you have some form of anxiety if you have OCD, so when you do your ritual, your anxiety should be slightly reduced as a result). Try to forgive yourself, and be compassionate to your own condition when this happens, and you’ll recover a lot quicker. After all, it’s never easy to work quickly when you have OCD.

When you follow the above, you’ll find that it will be tough to get going to begin with, but gets easier as the hours goes on. When I did it, my anger and bitterness grew, but then after a certain point, as results were coming in, I began to relax more into it. Yes, my OCD hadn’t disappeared, but I was somehow slightly energized (maybe I was stalling my tiredness…I’m not sure). Yes, I was initially angry, but then it was replaced by some form of super-focus. It actually got a tiny bit easier near the end of the day, so when my OCD did kick in, I wasn’t that bad over it.

Be fair to yourself…you’ve had a bad night sleep, your attention span will be all over the place, so don’t be too harsh on yourself. But you did need to gain some authority in your mindset (hence the internal, ‘managers’ voice, which I think is ideal). Just make sure that you keep the little bit of positivity you have up, by congratulating yourself every now and then, especially when you finish tasks and you meet deadlines. Try to be grateful for what you have accomplished. When you leave the office, you will feel slightly more powerful, and not emotionally battered and bruised.