The simple trick that can save you in moments of fear and panic

Relaxed woman resting outdoors

We live in extremely stressful times. From increasing threats to our global sustainability and security to individual stressors surrounding health, safety and economic well-being, we have a lot on our minds.

In addition to this chaos, modern technology relentlessly puts all our worries first, where our brains can’t help but stay alert.

For both your mental and physical health, you need to find ways to escape from the many stressors in your life, a way to take a “brain break,” if you will.

Unfortunately, too many people turn to alcohol and chemicals to artificially numb themselves from the problems, which ends up compounding their problems.

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A much better choice is to take a “brain break” where you slow down and mindfully go within.

This option is available to everyone. All it takes is to focus your conscious attention on the present moment and let go of unproductive thoughts and worries.

It’s a way to connect authentically with the here and now without letting past regrets or future fears take their excessive toll on your mental state.

In addition, an accumulation of evidence-based research proves the direct and indirect benefits of mindfulness.

Neuroscientists have found that the practice of mindfulness meditation triggers neurotransmitters that relieve stress and anxiety.

As a telling sign of the times, nearly one in five people in the US suffer from an anxiety disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and anxiety disorders. that arise from phobias (intense fears).

And those who experience any of these mental health challenges are also found to be susceptible to illnesses related to neurological health, including heart attacks, cancer, and various types of infections.

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The best antidote is a regular mindfulness practice.

It triggers neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin. They all play key roles in modulating and regulating behavior and anxiety.

Mindfulness is even better than drugs, which can have harmful side effects, because it effectively reduces existing anxiety and helps prevent future stressors.

For example, among the many studies showing the benefits of mindfulness meditation on mental health, PTSD survivors were divided into two groups.

The first group underwent eight weeks of psychoeducation, while the other group practiced mindfulness meditation for the same period.

Researchers found better results in reducing PTSD in the group that practiced mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a way of shifting attention from a threatening stimulus to a more accepting, graceful, and peaceful way of being in the world.

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Use this meditation to begin a mindfulness practice to quiet the mind and connect to present moment awareness:

  • Find a quiet place to sit.

  • Close your eyes.

  • Feel yourself where you are now.

  • Pay attention to what you perceive: any sounds, thoughts, feelings, or bodily sensations.

  • Invite yourself to be present in your meditation.

  • Tell yourself it’s OK to let go of everything and everyone.

  • Focus your attention and awareness on your breathing.

  • Take a few deep breaths in and out.

  • If at any point your mind begins to wander, return your focus and awareness to your breathing, which always brings you back to the present moment.

  • Silently say, “I am in this present moment.”

  • Silently say, “Now is all there is.”

  • Silently say, “I accept this moment that I’m in.”

You can repeat this to yourself as many times as you like.

When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes. Be aware that you are still in the moment of “now” and there is no need to rush out of it.

Take the time to step out of your meditation.

Return to that inner place of relaxation whenever you feel like you need another “brain break”.

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Ora Nadrich is certified life coach and mindfulness trainer. She is also the president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity. For more information, visit her website.

The simple trick that can save you in moments of fear and panic

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