How to Practice Mindfulness for Anxiety


Do you feel overwhelmed by anxiety? You're not alone.

The good news is that mindfulness practices can help reduce anxiety symptoms. Mindfulness is maintaining awareness of the present moment with openness, curiosity, and acceptance. Research shows mindfulness effectively lowers anxiety levels and improves overall well-being.

In this post, you’ll learn simple yet powerful mindfulness techniques to find calm and relief from anxiety. With some practice, these methods can transform your life.

How Does Mindfulness Help With Anxiety?

How Does Mindfulness Help With Anxiety?

Before we dive into the techniques, it's important to understand why mindfulness is effective for anxiety.

Mindfulness trains us to focus on the present. Anxiety often arises from worrying about the future or ruminating on the past. By continually redirecting our attention to the current moment, mindfulness stops anxiety-provoking thoughts.

Additionally, mindfulness teaches us to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgement. We learn to identify anxiety when it arises but avoid criticizing ourselves for it. This reduces anxiety's disruptive power over us.

Finally, mindfulness cultivates self-awareness of anxiety triggers. With time, you gain insight into situations that commonly spark anxiety so you can better manage them.

Now let’s explore 5 easy mindfulness approaches to relieve anxiety through presence, acceptance, and insight.

1. The Mindfulness of Breath

Our breath is always with us, making it the perfect mindfulness anchor for relieving anxiety.

Here's a simple breathing mindfulness exercise:

  • Find a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths.
  • Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Inhale slowly through your nose, feeling the breath expand your belly then chest.
  • Exhale slowly through pursed lips, deflating the chest then belly.
  • Focus attention fully on the physical sensations of each inhalation and exhalation.
  • When your mind wanders, gently return focus to your breathing.

Aim for 5 to 10 minutes daily. Be patient and non-judging whenever distracted. Over time, this simple practice can create space between anxiety triggers and reactions, bringing relief.

Breath-focused mindfulness disrupts anxiety by activating the body's relaxation response. It also strengthens neural pathways of presence and equanimity.

Continue reading to learn 4 more mindfulness techniques that reduce anxiety.

2. Body Scanning Meditation

Body scanning cultivates whole-body presence - an embodied mindfulness that counteracts anxiety.

Here’s how to practice:

  • Lie down and close your eyes. Notice the full length of your inhalations and exhalations.
  • Bring attention to the physical sensations in the toes of left foot. Notice any tingling, pulsing, tension without judging.
  • Progress attention slowly through left and right feet, ankles, shins, knees, thighs, hips, etc, scanning section by section.
  • If anxiety hijacks your focus, gently return attention to body sensations.

Aim for 10 to 20 minutes daily. With time, body scanning builds the mindfulness skill of keeping embodied presence when anxiety appears. This allows us to short-circuit the anxiety reaction.

Scientific studies confirm body scanning mindfulness lowers anxiety by activating parasympathetic nervous system relaxation while dampening worry-provoking brain activity.

3. Mindfulness Of Anxiety Itself

This mindfulness practice uses anxiety sensations themselves as the focus of meditation.

Here are the steps when anxiety arises:

  • Notice anxiety symptoms in your body without reacting or judging. Expand awareness to include racing heart, tight chest, dizzy head, shaky limbs.
  • Investigate the anxiety carefully - its sensation texture, color, temperature, density, size. Get curious about it.
  • Imagine breathing into the anxiety epicenter then exhaling mindfully from it.

This disarms anxiety's disruptive power by befriending rather than resisting it. Developing curiosity about anxiety actually soothes emotional alarm signals in the brain.

Studies show anxiety is less overwhelming when we mindfully turn towards it with presence and equanimity. This builds long-term anxiety resilience.

4. Mindfulness In Daily Life

Integrating mindfulness into everyday activities multiplies its anxiety-relieving benefits.

You can choose routine tasks - brushing teeth, waiting in line, washing dishes - as mindfulness anchors. Here’s how:

  • When doing chosen activity, fully shift attention to sensory input and physical motions.
  • If anxiety intrudes, note bodily signals then redirect focus to sensations of the activity itself - smells, sounds, touch, movements.

Research confirms informal mindfulness practices reduce anxiety while increasing life satisfaction and resiliency. Benefits accumulate from regularly infusing daily moments with mindful presence.

5. Loving-Kindness Meditation

This mindfulness practice activates body-mind states that counter anxiety.

Here are the steps:

  • Find a comfortable seated position, eyes closed. Visualize your heart center.
  • On each inhalation, mentally repeat positive phrases like "May I be happy”.
  • On exhalations, visualize these qualities spreading from your heart through your whole body.
  • After a few minutes, shift the mantra to loved ones, community members or all people.

Studies show loving-kindness meditation dramatically reduces anxiety while increasing social connection and support - key resilience factors. It replaces threat-focused mental states with inner peace.

The more we infuse daily life with presence, self-care and compassion through mindfulness, the less anxiety can take hold. Committing to just 10 minutes a day provides profound, lasting relief.

Be kind to yourself in the process - anxiety developed as an evolutionary survival mechanism. With mindfulness, we can slowly rewire this alarm response into a signal for presence and possibility instead.

Integrate Mindfulness For Lasting Change

There you have five research-backed mindfulness methods for easing anxiety:

  1. Breath-Focus
  2. Body Scanning
  3. Befriending Anxiety
  4. Informal Practice
  5. Loving-Kindness

While 10 minutes of formal meditation is ideal, one minute of mindful breathing or presence during stuck in traffic can reshape your entire day too.

The key is continuity. Just like strengthening a muscle, neuronal pathways of mindfulness and resilience are sculpted via gentle, sustained practice over time - not intense bursts. Be patient with the process.

To reinforce mindfulness habits:

  • Mark reminders in calendar to practice at consistent times
  • Download apps like Calm or Insight Timer for guidance
  • Join local meditation community meet-ups
  • Keep a mindfulness journal

When anxiety feels overwhelming, simply redirect attention to your next breath, footstep or blink. This returns you to the safety of the present moment - the only place where life happens and wise choices can be made.

By continually relaxing into the living now with mindfulness, anxiety loses its disruptive grip and becomes far more manageable long-term. Inner peace and expansiveness come to replace distress.

Some days will be easier than others. Expect setbacks during uniquely stressful periods. Self-compassion is key - anxiety is a deeply embedded protective impulse. With mindfulness, we can gradually attune its alarms to respond skillfully rather than reactively.

Over time, presence comes to infuse more moments of life than absence. Mindfulness sows seeds of embodiment that blossom into steady freedom from anxiety’s turbulence. We come home to our true nature beyond worry - that aware space where we are whole and at ease.

So instead of "Don't worry, be happy” - the mindfulness path is “Don’t worry, be present.” Moment by breathful moment, we unwind anxiety’s grip and unfold inner peace. Give it a try!

In closing, mindfulness is proven to significantly ease anxiety when integrated into daily life. By continually returning attention to sensory experience with loving presence, we short-circuit negative thought loops, lower emotional reactivity and build resilience.

While formal meditation accelerates the process, informal mindfulness works well too. Use sensory input from routine activities as anchors. Most importantly, bring patience, self-compassion and continuity to the practice - long-term constructive change to anxiety pathways requires sustained effort.

To learn more about using mindfulness to relieve anxiety disorders, check out the resources below or speak to a mental health professional. With time and practice, peace and possibility can flower - may we water these seeds wisely.

Can CBD Oil Help With Anxiety?

With growing interest in natural remedies, many are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp plants to ease anxiety. CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system involved in regulating mood, pain perception, and other functions.

Unlike marijuana plants, industrial hemp contains extremely low levels of THC so CBD oil does not cause intoxication or impairment. Early research indicates CBD may be a promising option specifically for anxiety relief.

In studies, CBD demonstrates acute anxiolytic effects - reducing symptoms during stressful situations. CBD also shows potential as a chronic daily supplement to help manage underlying anxiety vulnerability long-term.

Exact mechanisms are still being uncovered but likely relate to CBD altering serotonin signals in the brain and inducing feelings of calm and relaxation. More human clinical trials are underway on CBD oil for anxiety disorders.

While not a standalone cure, CBD oil may complement mindfulness practices nicely. Cannabidiol’s calming properties can provide anxiety relief in-the-moment so mindfulness techniques can better take root. Consider integrating hemp-derived CBD oil into an overall anxiety wellness plan under medical guidance.

Choose high-quality CBD products manufactured under cGMP standards with independent lab verification of contents. Work closely with your healthcare provider to find optimal CBD dosing - effects feel highly personalized. Note CBD may interact with certain medications like blood thinners.

In summary, emerging research suggests CBD oil may help ease anxiety, especially when combined with mindfulness, lifestyle and therapy approaches. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system differs - carefully monitor your experiences to see if CBD oil aids your anxiety recovery journey.

Frequently Asked Questions on Mindfulness for Anxiety

Practicing mindfulness is proven to reduce anxiety, boost resiliency and improve overall wellbeing. But many common questions arise on the nuances of building a mindfulness routine for anxiety management.

Below you’ll find answers to the top questions on using mindfulness to find relief from anxiety.

What's the best time of day to practice mindfulness for anxiety?

It’s ideal to anchor your mindfulness practice at consistent times to build the habit. Most people find practicing first thing the morning energizes the whole day with presence. The quietness allows us to set our compass towards presence before getting swept up in daily tasks.

Others prefer practicing at lunch break or just before bed - find blocks of time with minimal distractions. Even five minutes of mindful breathing during anxious periods can reset the nervous system.

Experiment to find your optimal routine. Regular practice is key - not long weekend warrior meditations. Consistency over time gradually constructs new thought highways that bypass anxiety.

How long should my mindfulness sessions be for anxiety?

For beginners, start with just 5-10 minutes per day. This prevents goal-setting that triggers anxiety when results don’t manifest instantly. Remember mindfulness is about process not achievements.

Over weeks and months as formal mindfulness gets easier, aim to build sessions up to 10-30 minutes daily if possible. micro-doses continually infuse the nervous system with presence. Several shorter practices can work too.

During acutely anxious periods try 1-5 minutes of mindful breathing as-needed for relief in the moment.

Where should I practice mindfulness for anxiety?

Low stimulus environments allow mindfulness practices to most easily take root, though not required. Begin by finding a quiet space - bedroom, park bench, library.

Shut down screens and devices to prevent digital distraction. Consider earplugs if noisy, and eye shades if bright. Lie down, stand in mountain pose or sit upright with spine elongated.

When you’ve built more mindfulness muscle, inject presence into busier situations - riding the subway, waiting in line, walking the dog. Transferring mindful states into anxious environments is powerful medicine.

What happens if mindfulness practice makes my anxiety worse?

Some days mindfulness meditation stirs up rather than settles anxious mind-states - especially for beginners. This is natural given how deeply wired the anxiety response is.

Rather than criticize yourself, explore these difficult meditations with curiosity. Notice where in the body you feel the anxiety, experiment with diverting focus to sound sensations. Stay open and patient through challenges.

If anxiety persists beyond a few minutes, gently end the session. Try grounding exercises like mindfully washing hands, walking slowly or sipping tea mindfully. Consider speaking to a trauma-informed mindfulness teacher too.

How soon will I see changes in my anxiety from mindfulness?

Have realistic expectations - mindfulness is a gradual path with occasional glimpses of progress. Subtle anxiety relief can occur in the first few weeks. But rewiring deeply embedded mental grooves takes months of patient, sustained practice.

Think growing a garden - seeds sprout quickly but fruits ripen slowly from continual nourishing care. Don’t judge your practice by mood or life circumstances, rather stay focused on regularly watering seeds of presence.

Over time anxiety loosens as we become more familiar with our inner terrain - not judging thoughts, welcoming all sensations, responding rather than reacting. Rooting into the living now heals anxiety.

How can I stay motivated in my mindfulness practice?

Building any wellness habit presents motivation gaps - the key is not judging yourself while persistently restarting practice after each break. Celebrate small wins.

Create reminder systems - calendar alerts, notes on mirrors, mindfulness apps sending practice time prompts. Have cues ready for when motivation dips - favorite books, videos, nature photos.

Connect with community to nourish motivational roots - meditation meetup groups, mindfulness conferences, retreats or online gatherings. Putting faces to the practice sustains consistency.

Most importantly, framed daily mindfulness not as another item on the to-do list but as mental hygiene self-care time - like bathing or teeth brushing. Shower your mind with presence when it needs cleansing. Motivation follows joy.

How do I know if mindfulness or meditation is right for my anxiety?

The only way to truly find out is by experimenting yourself. Thankfully mindfulness requires no special skills - just guiding attention continually back to the present richness available always right here.

Try breath focused meditation for a few minutes. Explore focusing on sensations during daily tasks. While not a cure-all, studies confirm most people experience significant anxiety relief from short daily mindfulness sessions.

Look for practices resonating with your unique personality too - loving-kindness, walking meditation, chanting, visualization, yoga nidra body scanning. Mindfulness is endlessly creative in its applications. Stay open and curious.

The key is giving techniques an extended test drive - several weeks of daily micro-doses rather than a few attempts. Anxiety developed over years so patience required in untangling its knots. But the rewards blossom exponentially too.

How can mindfulness teachers support my anxiety recovery?

A qualified mindfulness teacher provides immense value in overcoming anxiety obstacles - establishing supportive accountability, troubleshooting motivational blocks, tailoring practices to your needs.

Finding a compatible guide you resonate with is key - there are diverse styles. Search locally or try online sessions. Look for teachers trained in trauma-informed mindfulness specifically. A caring human creating safe space for this vulnerable inner work is invaluable.

Group classes also build community, remind us we're not alone. Hearing how others creatively apply mindfulness inspires our practice too. Investing in a teacher accelerates progress through stuck points when determination wavers.


We hope these answers have provided clarity on effectively cultivating mindfulness for anxiety care. Remember slow patience with yourself as life’s greatest teacher. Through continuously reorienting attention to the now during formal meditation and daily living, anxiety loses its disruptive grip.

Stay open, curious and kind with yourself when challenges arise - anxiety is strongly wired neural patterning that takes time to rebuild. But with dedicated daily practice, peace and possibility come to infuse your life exponentially.

May these mindfulness seeds you plant flourish into fruits of freedom to savor. We wish you the very best in your journey of awakening beyond anxiety into inhabiting your whole self.


Anxiety disorders affect over 40 million adults in the US. The good news is research confirms mindfulness practices significantly reduce anxiety symptoms and cultivate long-term resilience. Mindfulness means maintaining nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment.

This article explores 5 powerful yet accessible mindfulness techniques to find relief from anxiety:

  1. Breath-Focus Meditation
  2. Body Scanning
  3. Befriending Anxiety through Mindfulness
  4. Informal Mindfulness in Daily Life
  5. Loving-Kindness Meditation

Practicing just 10-minutes daily, these methods activate relaxation responses, strengthen present-moment neural circuitry, provide anxiety relief in-the-moment, and cultivate embodied presence. Scientific studies confirm regular mindfulness melts away anxiety, worry and panic by training focus upon sensory experience instead of anxious thoughts.

Additionally, an FAQ section addresses common questions on building motivation, finding time, working with teachers, and more to effectively establish mindfulness for anxiety. The key is framing mindfulness not as another task but as mental hygiene to cleanse worrying mind loops. With patient, sustained practice, anxiety gives way to equanimity. By continually relaxing into the living now, we construct new pathways of peace.

Sign up to our newsletter and enjoy 10% off one order

Which product do I need?