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PodcastAnxiety, My Old Friend

Anxiety, My Old Friend

How you relate to anxiety is up to you. Today, Dora walks us through letting go of anxious thoughts.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

(soft music) Headspace Studios. (footsteps shuffling) (serene music) Hi, I'm Dora from Headspace. And welcome back to another episode of the "Sunday Scaries." Before we go any further, I want to invite you to take a deep breath in through your nose, filling the lungs, expanding the belly, and then letting everything go. Letting any thoughts go, any feelings, whatever's there just dissolving it with the breath. Let's do one more. So breathing in and then breathing out. All right. So if you're someone who experiences lots of anxious thoughts ahead of the week, then you may well find that you feel quite overwhelmed by the time that Monday morning comes around. I remember Sunday nights in university being particularly hard for me. I would literally count down the minutes until my first class began. And the funny thing is, when I look back now, I can't remember what I was worrying about or maybe those worries have evolved. I didn't have a strong meditation practice back then but now I do. And I've found that it's really important that we learn how to identify our anxious thoughts because we're often not fully aware of them. Sometimes anxiety becomes so familiar that we aren't even aware that it's happening and when Sundays roll around, we're already in an anxious state of mind that becomes heightened when we think of the week ahead. It's a vicious cycle because the mind recognizes those uneasy thoughts and in return creates more uneasy feelings. It's very difficult to step out of this train of thought. So again, it's important that we learn how to identify those thoughts and feelings, see them for what they are, and let them go. You can be quite literal about it. Try it. Wait for an anxious thought, hold onto it, acknowledge it, and let it go back to wherever it came from. So wherever you are, just take a moment to get comfortable. Sitting down, lying down, whatever feels right for you in your body. Keeping the eyes open. And just take one big deep breath. Breathing in through the nose. And as you breathe out through the mouth, just allowing the eyes to close. Feeling the weight of the body sink down, allowing the muscles to soften. And for a moment, just allowing any thoughts to come and go. Just allowing the mind to do whatever it wants to do. Not focusing on any one thing, but just slowly becoming more aware with the rising and falling sensation of the breath. If you'd like, you can place your hand on your stomach, feeling each inhale and each exhale. And we're just going to stay with the breath. Noticing any thoughts that pop up in the mind and just allowing them, knowing that it's normal, it's natural. And the moment that you find yourself caught up in thinking, just acknowledge it. Oh, yeah. Thinking. And then letting it go, coming back to the breath. Again, knowing that these...


Duration7 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

    More about Kessonga
  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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