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Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of what’s happening in the present moment, without judgment. By exerting more conscious control over our behaviors and attitudes, we learn to work with our intention, wise effort, and capacity to be kind to ourselves. These are all skills we all have and can be cultivated to get rid of anxiety and depression. The following qualities are important in order to work mindfully with anxiety.
- Volition or intention
Your intention, will, or volition is what sets you on the mindful path to working within yourself to gradually transform your anxiety and find more peace. Bring intention to working with anxiety and you will develop persistence in seeing yourself as whole, capable, and resourceful.
- Beginner’s mind
You should open your mind to seeing from a fresh perspective. Be willing to adopt another point of view and new possibilities will arise. This can help you challenge habitual anxious thoughts and feelings.
When feelings of anxiety are challenging, patience can offer a broader perspective, allowing you to be aware that moments of anxiousness will pass in time.
This quality leads you at meeting your experience as it is. You can acknowledge that anxiety is present and how much you don’t like it, but knowing it will pass.
This means experiencing the present moment without the filters of evaluation. Stepping out of a judgmental mind-set allows you to see more clearly and many sources of anxiety simply fade away.
You should be willing to meet any experience as it is, without trying to change it. That is nonstriving, the quality to understand the importance of being with things as they are—being with your experience without clinging to or rejecting what’s there.
This quality should help you developing inner confidence. With practice, you can learn to trust yourself and your ability to turn toward your anxiety.
- Letting be or allowing
This is a quality that gives space to whatever you encounter in the moment. For instance, if anxiety comes up as you meditate, you could choose to work with it by allowing the feeling to be there.
You have to meet yourself with kindness and self-compassion. This quality will naturally grow as you practice meditation. It is about being your own best friend, offering your hand in a moment when help is needed.
- Balance and equanimity
These two qualities are related and they provide a broader perspective so that you can see things more clearly. You will understand that your experience is so much wider and richer than temporary experiences of anxiety.