NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Monday, May 9, 2022

Mindfulness Meditation Can Help to Reduce Anxiety

In my last two articles, I focused on how to reduce anxiety (see my articles: Self Help Tips For Anxiety and Getting Help in Therapy For Anxiety).  In the current article, I'm focusing specifically on how mindfulness can help to reduce anxiety (see my article: The Mind-Body Connection: Calming the Mind, Calming the Body).

Mindfulness Meditation Can Help to Reduce Anxiety

What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the here-and-now (see my article: Living Fully Present in the Moment).

Being present in a mindful way includes:
  • Body Awareness:  Body awareness includes being aware of physical sensations in your body as well as your internal emotional state.  When you have developed this ability, you can regulate your emotions more effectively.
  • Focused Attention:  When you develop the ability to focus and pay attention, you can focus on yourself or a task you are engaged in rather than getting distracted.  
  • Self Perception:  Practicing mindfulness can also change how you see yourself.  There is some research indicating that mindfulness can increase your self esteem as well as self compassion.
  • Physical Health: Mindfulness meditation can reduce blood pressure and the stress hormone known as cortisol, which makes it a potentially effective way to reduce your anxiety.
What Are Some Examples of Different Mindfulness Practices?
  • Sitting, standing, walking
  • Taking pauses throughout the day to be fully present in the moment
  • Combining mindfulness with other practices, like yoga, breathing, and so on
For instance, if you are walking, you can focus on how you feel picking up each foot and putting it down.  Notice how each foot feels on the ground.

In a prior article, I gave suggestions about how to do mindfulness meditation if you're a beginner (see my article: Mindfulness Meditation).

Mindfulness in Practice
There is nothing mysterious about mindfulness.  Just about anyone can develop a mindfulness practice.

Once you have learned to do mindfulness meditation, you can do it on your own.

Mindfulness meditation can help reduce anxiety because focusing on the here and now has a calming effect (see my article: Being in the Present Moment).

How Else is Mindfulness Helpful?
Mindfulness can be used in many different ways.  

For instance, you can eat mindfully.  

You can also enhance your sex drive by being mindful.

Almost any activity can be done in a mindful way by focusing on it.

For instance, if you are washing dishes, you can focus on the task at hand.  Whenever your mind wanders, just bring it back to the task.  This can be calming--even if you don't like doing dishes.

Getting Help in Therapy
If mindfulness meditation isn't enough to reduce your anxiety because you have other underlying issues or unresolved trauma, you could benefit from working with a licensed mental health professional.

A skilled trauma therapist can help you to work through the underlying issues or unresolved trauma (see my article:  What is a Trauma Therapist?).

Rather than struggling on your own, seek help in therapy from a qualified professional.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples.

As a trauma therapist, I have helped many clients to work through unresolved trauma.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.