Anxiety is an intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations that often interferes with daily activities. What this means is that when we are experiencing feelings of anxiety, we are focusing on either the past or the future, rather than living in the present moment.
The trouble with this is that the past is gone, and the events of the future have not yet occurred. In fact, the events we are anticipating may never happen. What this means in less scientific terms, is that we have lost our connection to our spirit. By nurturing your spirit, and living in the present moment, it is possible to rid yourself of anxiety.
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A wonderful way to nurture your spirit is to spend time in nature. Lao Tzo, the Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism, said that “nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
While this quote encourages us to slow down and live a more purposeful life, it also reminds us of the beauty in nature. When we take the time to appreciate the beauty in our lives, we are practicing gratitude, and gratitude crowds out anxiety. Watching and listening to the sounds of nature, the buzz of insects, the rising or setting of the sun, can do wonders for your spirit.
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Meditation is one of the most prominent methods of calming the mind and getting in touch with our spirit. When we allow ourselves to go inward, we redirect focus from the external things we cannot control. Instead, we are guided to the present moment only, and allow our thoughts to float through our mind, giving them acknowledgement, and then letting them go.
With regular practice, we can learn to release the anxiety associated with many thoughts’ patterns, since we are not attempting to rid ourselves of these thoughts (which will likely only make them more persistent). Instead, we are able to allow them to exist, without reacting. Meditation also teaches us how to be still and practice breathing techniques that we can access when anxiety does strike.
Journaling is an incredibly valuable tool in pouring out your soul and analyzing your thoughts and feelings and learning to understand the underlying issues that may be causing you anxiety.
You can delve into past scenarios that caused you concern and what those fears were, and then review that actual outcome of events and your feelings about that experience.
Keeping a dream journal is another way to nurture your spirit and calm a worried mind. When we dream, our subconscious mind is processing the day’s events and our thoughts. You can learn to understand your thoughts by taking a close look at your conscious and unconscious mind to find common themes that you can actively work through.
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There is no doubt that strong community ties and relationships nurture our spirits. Having someone that you can depend on who will provide a non-judgmental, empathetic ear and solid advice is priceless.
The ability to reciprocate that empathy when they call on you will also do wonders for you in knowing that you are not alone, and a part of something greater. When you do find yourself in situations that provoke anxiety, you will rest easier knowing that you have someone by your side.
Practicing patience is another great way to rid yourself of anxiety and nourish your soul. Patience grants us the space between experience and reaction, allowing us a moment to process our feelings and then decide thoughtfully how to act, rather than impulsively, and possibly with regret. Patience frees us from anxiety by encouraging us to live in the present moment and not in the past or future.
Anxiety is an all too common mental health concern, exacerbated by our fast-paced lives. We forget sometimes that our bodies and minds will always let us know when things within us are out of balance. It is when we look inward and take purposeful action to nurture our spirits that we will be better equipped to maintain harmony within ourselves.
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