As I imagine is the case with many right now, I've felt more anxious in recent times than I normally would. I've tried approaching this anxiety using mindfulness, experimenting with a few different approaches.
One approach that has helped me tremendously, has been to express gratitude spontaneously. It builds on my daily habit of maintaining a gratitude journal. I noticed that bringing my attention to all that I feel grateful for at the end of the day, helped me put the sources of my anxiety into perspective. With this realization, I decided to try expressing gratitude spontaneously when feeling anxious.
We might not realize it, but most of us still have a lot to be grateful for. By bringing our attention to it, I have found that we can uplift ourselves and reduce some of the burdens of anxiety. Expressing it spontaneously can help us put overwhelming situations that make us anxious into perspective, and deal with it in real-time.
The idea behind this isn't necessarily to downplay the source of our anxiety, but to evaluate the weight we place on it, in comparison to all that we have to be grateful for.
I've done this by asking myself a simple question whenever I've felt anxious. I ask myself – “does whatever I’m feeling anxious about outweigh all that I have to be grateful for?” As you might imagine, more often than not, the answer to that question turned out to be a “no”. Yet, I was spending time and energy on it, as if the answer was “yes”.
Taking a pause and asking this question yielded an awareness of all that I’m grateful for. This has, in turn, helped me bring my attention to what feeds me, instead of the sources of my anxiety, which drain me.