Calming anxiety: one breath at a time
Women are no strangers to anxiety. According to a global review from Cambridge University, we’re almost twice as likely to experience it as men.
The report suggests this could be due to our fluctuating hormones, our traditional role in the family or because we’re simply more prone to stress. Whatever the reason, life’s not much fun when anxiety comes calling.
Anxiety can feel different from person to person. Sometimes it can show up as physical sensations like nausea, an upset stomach, sweaty palms, rapid breathing or a racing heart. It can be feelings of dread, fear, even panic. Anxiety can also make you sleep badly, dwell on negative experiences and find it difficult to concentrate.
Whatever anxiety means for you, it’s good to get familiar with your own personal symptoms. Because the sooner you can identify anxiety, the sooner you can do something about it. And this is where mindfulness comes in.
How mindfulness can help with anxiety
Mindfulness is a gentle practice that shows us how to pay more attention to our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations in a non-judgemental way. And numerous studies have shown how it can be an effective way to cope with anxiety.
It works by teaching us to observe what we’re experiencing. The space that this creates helps to quell the rush of panic in the body, causing anxiety to soften and loosen its grip.
Mindfulness also shows us that we can respond skilfully to anxiety, rather than reacting with old behaviours done on auto-pilot. You may not be able to change your situation, but you can mindfully opt for a more constructive way of coping with the stress, such as focusing on your breathing, setting boundaries or choosing other acts of self-care.
And the good news is, you don’t need to practice for years to get the benefits. It’s been said even a single mindfulness meditation session could reduce anxiety.
Start by exploring your breath
If you’ve come across this article because you’re feeling a little anxious today, you could try some mindful breathing right now.
Start by bringing your awareness to your breath. Where can you feel it the most in this present moment: in your chest or your belly? Gently place your hands wherever your breath feels the clearest to you.
And now just breathe – as normally and naturally as you can. As you breathe in, observe yourself breathing in. As you breathe out, observe that you’re breathing out.
Feel your hands softly rise and fall with each breath. Continue this way for a few more breaths then take a moment to pause before you carry on reading. Notice how you’re feeling in this moment. Do you feel any different?
A mindfulness app for women with anxiety
If you’d like to try more techniques to help calm your anxiety, Clarity could be perfect for you.
Clarity is a mindfulness app made by women for women. It features a range of short meditations and mindfulness exercises specifically designed to calm your anxiety and help you feel more relaxed.
It also helps you manage some of the causes of anxiety that come from fluctuating hormones, such as hot flushes, insomnia and low libido.
Offering bite-sized audios of self-care that you can fit into your busy day, Clarity gives you the tools to create moments of calm and stillness when you need them most.
Download the Clarity app now
You‘ll get instant access a range of free sessions, such as our grounding 3-minute breathing space, soothing ‘InstaCalm’ track and our super-relaxing body scan meditation.
Take out a subscription and you’ll get unlimited access to all the content – plus you can download your favourite sessions to use offline.
As a special offer, you now can get a 6-month subscription for a low introductory price.
And all our subscriptions start with a free 7-day trial so you’ve absolutely nothing to lose.
Go ahead, get some Clarity in your day.