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In a Panic?

Try these Mindfulness Tools...

These mindfulness techniques have been proven to help decrease your stress level, help you feel grounded, and improve anxious symptoms before reaching full-blown panic. Anxiety softens when we can create a space between ourselves and what we’re experiencing. This is why it’s so important to clearly define the difference between reacting with unawareness and responding with mindfulness.  

 

When you become aware of the present moment, you gain access to resources you may not have had before. You may not be able to change a situation, but you can mindfully change your response to it. You can choose a more constructive and productive way of dealing with stress rather than a counterproductive or even destructive way of dealing with it.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Source: OM the moment

Another popular exercise for practitioners of mindfulness is called the Body Scan. It requires very little in the way of props or tools, and it is also easily accessible for most beginners. Try this 30 minute guided narrative by expert and founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Jon Kabat Zinn:

Five Senses Exercise

This exercise is called “five senses”, and provides guidelines on practicing mindfulness quickly in nearly any situation.  All that is needed is to notice something you are experiencing with each of the five senses.

The Self-Compassion Pause

Source: Positive Psychology Program 

 

The Self-Compassion Pause worksheet guides the reader through an exercise on practicing mindfulness and self-compassion.

It is an ideal worksheet for many who struggle to show themselves compassion, even though they may be quick to extend compassion to others. It is also a great way to practice mindfulness by bringing awareness to emotions and staying in the moment with them.

  • The worksheet begins with noting the date and whether the focus on awareness is on heart, body, or thoughts on the current day.

  • Next, the worksheet provides a short description on the importance of self-compassion for maintaining the quality of life.

  • The next section provides the method for the exercise.  You start with noticing feelings by taking a moment to pause thoughts and actions, with a focused awareness that being mindful can help.

  • Next, the worksheet instructs you to move a hand over the heart, give yourself a hug, or make physical contact with yourself in some other way, and take a few deep breaths.

  • After this is the important step of acknowledging suffering.  This step is both a place to practice mindfulness and encourages mindfulness as result.  The aim is not to become overwhelmed by the pain or emotion but rather acknowledge it as real and hurtful, while giving yourself permission to feel it.

 

While the last step may be the most difficult, it is also a very important one. It involves vocalizing three statements:

  1. “This is suffering” (or something similar)

  2. “Suffering is part of being human” (acknowledge that all humans suffer and struggle)

  3. A phrase that you feel offers compassion, such as “May I love and accept myself just as I am”

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