Some anxiety is a normal part of being human. When anxiety gets out of control, it can start to run our lives. People suffering anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorder spend so much time worrying about stuff that might happen in the future, that they lose their capacity to live in the now.
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
We have this fantastic ability to anticipate the future and to plan. This capacity sets our species apart from others and helps to prevent bad things from happening.
But when anxiety dominates, our minds obsess about what might go wrong. Once we are caught up in anxiety, the stress response kicks in and our bodies start to act as if we’re under threat. Our heart starts pumping, our breathing quickens, our chest tightens, our stomach churns and our minds start racing.
The biological responses are so compelling that we tend to believe what we think, even when we know it’s exaggerated or just plain ridiculous.
(image – awaiting approval from artist)
HIJACKED BY ANXIETY
Anxiety is a hijacker. It can redirect your life and ruin a perfectly good moment, day or week. Unchecked, anxiety can turn into a panic attack or paranoia or a nervous breakdown. Anxiety has the capacity to destroy lives.
WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY?
Difficult experiences can lead to anxiety becoming a way of life, rather than a part of life.
- A challenging childhood
- Threatening relationships
- Parenting, family, school experiences, bullying
- A break up or divorce
- Prolonged stress at work
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Devastating news such as personal loss or a bad prognosis
- Social situations
Our nervous systems have evolved to ensure our survival. We are hardwired to scan for potential threats so that we can avoid them.
The trouble is, we’re so good at watching for bad news that we lose sight of all the good stuff happening right here, right now. We’re robbed of joy, peace, beauty, wonder, contentment and resilience.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
It’s important to realise that whenever we are thinking about the future, we are making stuff up. No matter how convincing our anxious thoughts are, they are only speculative. Just as we don’t live in the past, we don’t live in the future. We live in the present. The present is our only opportunity to affect change. Mindfulness is a kind of mental training that grounds us in the here and now. It trains us to explore and enjoy our moments, without the burden of constantly forecasting into the future or reflecting on the past.
Dr Neil Bailey, Neuroscientist from Monash University, Australia, says:
“People who practice mindfulness show better mental health than 70% of the population on average. People with anxiety and depression have even larger gains than that.”
Few serious health issues come with an instant fix. Just as it takes time to build fitness, it takes time to build mindfulness. Rapid adoption of mindfulness requires a talented coach.
At Simply Mindful, we focus exclusively on mindfulness practices – nothing else. We have specialist trainers who have become expert at delivering the world’s leading mindfulness training program, “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR).
While the name of the program is a mouthful, MBSR is widely acknowledged as the industry leader, with 40 years of refinement and scientific review. MBSR is a non-secular, evidence-based program. It combines elements of meditation, psychology and science to improve health, mental health and wellbeing.
To date, more than 26,000 participants of the MBSR program have contributed to ongoing research.
FREE YOUR MIND
The MBSR program retrains your brain to avoid unhelpful patterns of thinking. It builds new neural pathways while also deepening our understanding of how our mind, emotions and body work. This enables us to shift unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviours, while at the same time developing a kinder, more compassionate attitude towards ourselves and others. Mindfulness is a happier place to live.