The Anxiety First Aid Kit by Rick Hanson

The Anxiety First Aid Kit by Rick Hanson

Author:Rick Hanson
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Published: 2020-06-29T20:55:24+00:00

What to Do

The next time you feel anxiety, seek a quiet place to practice mindfulness. Let your focus be on your bodily experience, and allow your awareness of anything else to fade. If your attention wanders, simply bring it back to the experience of anxiety in your body. For example, if you feel a rush of adrenaline, consider the experience and simply allow yourself to feel it. How intense is it? What parts of your body are affected? What sensations do you have? How do the sensations change over time?

Look at your body to see if you notice signs of anxiety. Are you trembling? Are your legs trying to move? Also notice the impulses you have, perhaps to say something or to leave. Be aware of these impulses without acting on them, and observe what happens to them as you observe. Likewise, notice the thoughts that are coming into your mind. You don’t have to analyze them; just let them be there. Don’t judge yourself as you make these observations; simply observe. Accept your anxiety as a normal process. Let yourself experience it as it moves through you, changing over time, without fighting it or encouraging it. Simply observe.

A lot like a savings account, mindfulness works best if you commit. Try to practice mindfulness in response to anxiety for about a month, making small deposits whenever you can take even a few minutes to attend to your anxiety. You can further develop your ability to use mindfulness with anxiety by focusing on different components of your anxiety response. For example, one time you might choose to focus on how your breathing is affected, another time on your heart, another on your thoughts, and so on. Notice how your sense of your anxiety changes when you take this approach.


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