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Three Mindfulness Exercises To Reduce Anxiety

Three Mindfulness Exercises To Reduce Anxiety

How to defeat anxiety with mindfulness

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders. Left untreated, it can result in a significantly lowered quality of life, reduced productivity, and even depression. Fortunately there are a number of self-help methods that can reduce anxiety. One of these is mindfulness.

In essence, to be mindful is to pay attention to your surroundings in such a way that you remain focused on the present. This provides immediate relief for those with anxiety, as much of the stress experienced by anxiety sufferers arises from a tendency to ruminate on past experiences, worry about the future, or both.

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Three simple exercises to help you get started

Although the positive effects of mindfulness on anxiety are simple enough to understand, it can be difficult to know exactly how to apply this approach in everyday life. Below are three mindfulness exercises that can be used almost anywhere to help you slow down and center yourself in the present. They require no special equipment, can be learned quickly, and are even suitable for children and teenagers.

1. Grounding exercise

Stand up straight and maintain good posture without letting your back become stiff. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with your arms hanging loosely by your sides. If you are wearing high-heeled shoes, take them off and let your feet rest flat against the floor. Close your eyes. Take slow, deep breaths.

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Once you have settled into a pattern of deep breathing, shift your attention to your body. Notice how your feet are set firmly against the floor. Flex your toes, noticing how it feels to contract your muscles. Imagine that you are being pulled towards the center of the earth. Notice how much calmer you feel.

2. Breathing exercise

Breathing exercises regulate the amount of carbon dioxide circulating in your blood, which can help overcome some common symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks such as hyperventilation. Sit, stand or lie down in a position that is comfortable for you. Close your eyes. Inhale, and as you do so, count to three. Exhale slowly, counting to four. Focus on the feeling of air entering your body, and the sound of your inner voice as you count.

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3. Sensory noticing exercise

Sit down in a comfortable position with your eyes open. Take a few moments to register what you are seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing and feeling. Notice each piece of sensory information. When we feel anxious, we often miss that which is literally in front of our faces because we are so lost in negative thoughts and fears.

You can carry out this exercise wherever you are, but if you need more direction find a small object upon which to focus your attention. Something like an ornament or a kitchen implement works well. Turn the object over in your hands and notice how it feels. Take a close look at it. What color is it? Does it make a noise when you tap it? Making this kind of careful investigation in a mindful manner will help calm internal chatter and ground you.

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When to practice your new mindfulness skills

Once you have learned these three simple mindfulness tips, you need never be overwhelmed by panic or anxiety again. When you begin to feel overwhelmed in a situation, pick one of these exercises and carry it out. If you find these techniques difficult in the beginning, know that this is normal. It may take a while before you can focus your attention on the present moment. Give yourself time to master the art of mindfulness and rest assured that your efforts will pay off in the long run.

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know

10 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know

Sleeping is one of the most important things we do every night.

Getting the right amount of sleep has an untold number of health benefits and not getting enough sleep is a serious problem in many countries around the world.

So you should have heard of the many benefits of getting adequate sleep, but did you know that you can get additional benefits by sleeping naked?

Here are some benefits of sleeping in the nude:

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Video Summary

1. It is easier.

When you don’t have to worry about sleeping in clothes, things start to get easier. You don’t have to buy pajamas, which can save you money. You have less clothes to wash and less clothes to put away. You may have to clean your bed sheets more often, but not nearly as often as you’d have to wash your pajamas when you run out.

2. It forces you to be ready to go more often.

Some people get off of work, change into their pajamas, and use this as an excuse to stay home the rest of the evening. This can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle, which has been attributed to things like weight gain.[1] When you keep your regular clothes on, you tend to go out more often and that’s a good thing.

3. It can make you feel happier and more free.

Just imagine the feeling of laying in bed naked. You’re free of your pants and underwear. Women, you’re not wearing a constrictive bra. It’s just you sandwiched between two cool sheets. The feeling just makes you want to smile and it makes you feel more free. Everyone can use that kind of good feeling every now and then, and it may even help you be happier as a person.

4. Skin-on-skin contact is the best.

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    If you’re married, or living with your significant other, sleeping naked gives a greater chance of skin-on-skin contact, especially when it comes to cuddling. This kind of contact can also lead to a more active sex life. All of this releases copious amounts of oxytocin, which is the neurotransmitter that helps you feel those good feelings about your significant other.[2]

    5. It could lead to better sleep.

    Let’s revisit the scenario I described above. There are no drawstrings or clothes getting tangled in sheets. You don’t have to worry about shirts getting twisted. All of these distractions go away when you sleep naked and it may help you get better, deeper sleep. You don’t need science to tell you that better, deeper sleep only helps you be healthier.

    6. It can help your skin.

    For once your body gets to breathe. Your private parts, armpits, and feet are generally restricted all day and are often covered by multiple layers, even in the summer time. Give those parts a chance to air out and breathe. This can lower the risk of skin diseases, like athlete’s foot, that result from wet, restricted skin.[3]

    7. It helps you regulate your cortisol.

    Cortisol is a very strange chemical in the body but it can do a lot of damage. When you sleep naked, it helps keep your body temperature at the optimal ranges so your body can better create cortisol. If you sleep overheated your cortisol levels tend to stay high, even after you wake up. This can lead to increased anxiety, cravings for bad food, weight gain, and more terrible things.[4] Sleep naked so you can keep your body temperature down and sleep well so your body can properly produce and regulate cortisol.

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    8. It balances your melatonin and growth hormone.

    Continuing along that same vein, keeping your sleeping environment below 70 degrees (F) every night can help your body regulate its melatonin and growth hormone levels. These chemicals help the body do things like prevent aging and are essential to good health. When you sleep in clothes, your body heats up and prevents effective use of these hormones. In other words, sleeping with clothes on makes you grow old faster.

    9. It can keep your sex organs happier.

    For men, the cooler sleeping conditions allows your testes to remain at a cooler temperature. This helps keep your sperm healthy and your reproductive systems functioning as normal. For women, the cooler and more airy sleeping conditions can actually help prevent yeast infections. Yeast grows better in warm, moist conditions.[5] When it’s cooler and dryer, the growth of yeast is prevented.

    10. Sleeping in the summer is more bearable.

      Summertime is a tricky time to get good sleep. If you don’t have air conditioning, then you may find your bedroom a bit stuffy at night.

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      Shedding those bedtime clothes can help the bedroom feel more comfortable. You may even be able to turn the A/C off on those cooler nights, which can save you a few bucks on your electricity bill.

      Don’t wake up drenched in sweat again because your thermostat is downstairs and the hot air expands up to your bedroom where the thermostat can’t read the warm temperatures.

      Sleep well with your naked body!

      With these tips in mind, it’s time to start taking off your clothes at night!

      Of course, there are times where clothes are preferable. If you are ill or it’s cold outside, then you should sleep with clothes on to help you stay warm and prevent further illness. Otherwise, go commando!

      If you’re looking for more tips to sleep well and get up feeling energetic, I recommend you to check out this guide:

      Want to Feel More Energized Throughout the Day? Start With This

      Reference

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