I often find my mind caught up in too many things at once. I indulge myself in the stresses and anxieties that surround me. I let them consume me. My heart starts racing. I feel the pounding in my chest reaching to my throat. My lungs tense. Despite these symptoms, there are time I can barely tell I am reaching my limit. This building up of anxiety happens so often that it can often pass as normal, whether or not it stays longs.
On Tuesday, I began having a strong bout of anxiety. I have recently started an internship at a wonderful not-for-profit organization. However, I am the only designer. I am a one woman show that has been dropped in head first. It’s not that I don’t enjoy designing what they’ve asked me to; I simply let all of the things given to me to do overwhelm me.
After working through lunch, I finally realized I needed a break. Luckily, my workplace has a nice loft area I could escape to where I opened my Pacifica app to find a relaxation exercise. I had never tried mindfulness before. In fact, I felt skeptical about doing it as I thought mindfulness was an exercise for those losing touch with reality. Little did I know that anxiety can make a person lose touch with reality.
Mindfulness, in essence, is an exercise that makes you focus on your senses to ground someone in the present moment. I pulled up the five minute guided mindfulness exercise that moved my focus through my five senses. The woman prompted me to pay attention to the small details—the lingering taste in my mouth and the subtle scents in the air.
Peacefulness and happiness overcame me after the exercise. I actually started smiling for seemingly no reason. I no longer suffered from my heart banging against my ribs or my thoughts racing. I felt ready to do what needed to be done. Most of all, I didn’t feel the overwhelming burden of my tasks. To be honest, I have never found such a quick and effective method of stopping both my racing heart and obsessive thinking.
Have you tried mindfulness? If so, how did it help you?