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Easy Mindfulness Exercises for Anxiety

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

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In our previous blog post 'How to use mindfulness to manage anxiety' we went through some of the basic mindfulness techniques you can use to manage anxiety including breath awareness, body awareness, and awareness of thoughts.

In this post, we want to provide more hands-on tips and practical mindfulness exercises for anxiety, offering something tangible to rely on when you feel the waves of anxiety starting to rise.

A seashore with 'mindfulness' written to the sand. Mindfulness is a great for managing anxiety.
Mindfulness exercises are a great way to relieve anxiety.

So let's get straight to it!

1. The 4:6 Breathing Technique

As stated in our previous blog posts, mindful breathing is a very powerful way to calm our minds and nervous systems down when we are feeling stressed and anxious.

A very powerful breathing technique called The 4:6 breathing, which is often used in, for example, yin yoga, is a great way to boost the calming effects of your mindful breathing.

In 4:6 breathing, you inhale on a count of four and exhale on a count of six while guiding the breath deep into your belly.

The prolonged exhale signals your nervous system that you are safe and it's ok to relax. The counting gives your mind something else to do besides generating anxiety-inducing thoughts.

2. Five Senses Exercise

The five senses exercise is a great way to ground yourself in the present moment. To do the exercise either write down on a piece of paper or your phone or say out loud:

  • Five things you can see right now.

  • Four things you can touch.

  • Three things you can hear.

  • Two things you can smell.

  • One thing you can taste.

You can repeat the exercise as many times as you need until you feel more grounded and less anxious.

3. Mindful Walking

Physical activity in general is a good way to ground yourself in the present moment and relieve anxiety.

So if you start feeling anxious, start walking and pay close attention to each step, how your feet feel hitting the ground, the rhythm of your breathing, the wind against your skin, and the sounds around you.

You can also start jogging: The steady rhythm of your feet is shown to help with feelings of anxiety and stress.

A person walking on sunny street. Mindful walking is a great way to get grounded when feeling anxious.
Mindful walking is an easy and effective exercise for anxiety.

4. Grounding Object

Choose a small object that you can keep with you, something that is always available when you start feeling anxious.

The object can be something with an interesting shape or color, or something that evokes positive feelings in you.

When anxiety starts to rise, take the object in your hand and really focus on it: Observe how it looks, and feel its texture. In time it is likely that the object becomes your power tool against anxiety.

5. Body Scan with a Touch

The body scan in itself is a very powerful mindfulness tool. However, when you add a light touch or gentle tapping, it becomes one of the most grounding mindfulness exercises for managing anxiety.

Starting from your head, go through all of your body parts, noticing any sensations or discomfort. Pay special attention to the way these parts feel, whether there's tension, warmth, coolness, or nothing at all.

As you focus on each part, tap or touch it lightly, acknowledging its presence, before moving on to the next.

Remember to maintain a steady, gentle breath throughout the process. This practice can help ground you in the present moment, easing feelings of anxiety.

A woman lightly touching her neck, representing body scan meditation with a touch.
Body scan meditation with a light touch or tapping is one of the most effective anxiety management methods!

These were some of the most useful and easiest mindfulness exercises for anxiety!

Read also our post How does meditation help anxiety? for more information about how mindfulness and meditation are beneficial in dealing with anxiety.

We would really appreciate it if you shared this blog post with your friends so that more people who suffer from anxiety could benefit from our tips!

We will cover more easy mindfulness exercises for anxiety in future posts so stay tuned! And follow us on social media for more amazing, daily mindfulness and self-care content 🤗

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