When the mind casts itself into the future and plays out ‘what if’ scenarios or imagines what might go wrong, when it ‘catastrophises’ (that is, it predicts bad outcomes that haven’t and will likely never eventuate) our bodies respond to those thoughts as if the threat were real. The result, we feel stressed, worried and anxious. Now this can happen when you’re sitting in a perfectly peaceful room or garden where you’re safe and everything is actually ok in that particular moment. But if we can begin to recognise these thoughts when they arise, identifying them as just that – thoughts – and not something we have to take seriously or buy into, they lose their power to pull us into emotional reactivity. In this way we unhook ourselves from our anxious thoughts and can be more calm and at ease in ourselves.
Today, you can take 5 minutes to do this ‘name it to tame it’ meditation. It can help us learn how to work with anxiety in daily life by using a label to create some detachment from thought to notice its nature as fluid not fixed. You can read Mrs Mindfulness full article here, you will find a longer 10 minute guided meditation and many more resources to follow up one should this way of working with the mind appeal.