Joyful Daily

Credit: File

Credit: File

Joyful Daily offers ideas for improving mindfulness and actively seeking joy every day.

Transform worry and anxiety

Have you ever been paralyzed by an ongoing sense of dread and persistent worry? If so, you’re certainly not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 13% of Americans struggle with some kind of anxiety disorder.

There are many clinical approaches to anxiety, including medication. You may want to consult your physician for an assessment. There are also complementary approaches that have been proven helpful in lowering worry such as meditation and certain research-based supplements among others.

One innovative way to transform this issue is based on the idea that worry, anxiety and fear are experienced in the body, not the head. The mind is where the ruminating thoughts persevere, but the body experiences the alarm of the mind-body loop of anxiety. And therein lies a solution: to use the body to shift worry patterns. The mind can flood you with thoughts like an out-of-control train. To slow the thought train down, try mindfully attending to your body.

Medical professionals such as Drs. J.A. Armour, Russell Kennedy (author of “Anxiety Rx”) and others contend that consciously connecting with the heart and body as an anchor can transform those worrisome thought patterns.

Among many approaches, here is one effective way to soothe worrisome thoughts:

  • Become aware of the sense of alarm in the body that occurs in tandem with worry thought loops.
  • Focus on -- and even place your hand(s) -- on the place where you feel it most.
  • Tune in to the emotion(s). Allow the worry, anxiety and/or fear to organically move and morph without an inner commentary.
  • Simply experience the emotion(s) as you breathe slowly and deliberately through it.

    Credit: HANDOUT

    Credit: HANDOUT

    Angela Buttimer and Dennis Buttimer are psychology experts and the founders of Atlanta Center for Mindfulness and Well-Being. Learn more about their work at Send questions or comments about Joyful Daily to