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10 Mindful Attitudes That Decrease Anxiety

An article from Mindful.org by Bob Stahl

Mindfulness is, in short, the practice of being aware of what’s happening or what you’re experiencing in the present moment. It’s being here and now without judgment. This is a capacity that all human beings possess. Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful.

Although more research is needed to illuminate the mechanisms at work, it’s clear that mindfulness allows us to interrupt automatic, reflexive fight, flight, or freeze reactions—reactions that can lead to anxiety, fear, foreboding, and worry. By bringing mindfulness to our actual experience in the moment, we can increase the likelihood of exerting more conscious control over our behaviors and attitudes. In so doing we learn to work with our intention, wise effort, will, discipline, and capacity to be kind to ourselves. These are all resources that can be harnessed and cultivated.

Mindfulness allows us to interrupt automatic, reflexive fight, flight, or freeze reactions—reactions that can lead to anxiety, fear, foreboding, and worry.

With that in mind, there are certain attitudes that play an important role when working with anxiety mindfully. These attitudes are central to mindfulness, and fostering them will help you develop and sustain your practice. It’s similar to adding nutrients to the soil to cultivate a vibrant and healthy garden. By attending to the attitudes of mindfulness, you can support your practice and help it flourish. And just as a well-tended garden bears seeds and fruit, so too will practicing mindfulness help foster all of the attitudes of mindfulness. Keep in mind that you may find slightly different lists of the attitudes of mindfulness in other places. Below are the qualities that we believe all play an important role in working with anxiety mindfully.

1.

Volition or intention is the foundation that supports all of the other attitudes. 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 ease, freedom, and peace. By bringing intention to working with anxiety, you’re developing persistence in seeing yourself as whole, capable, and resourceful.

2.

Beginner’s mind is an aspect of mind that’s open to seeing from a fresh perspective. Meeting anxiety in this way, with curiosity, can play an extremely important role in transforming your experience. When you’re willing to adopt another point of view, new possibilities arise, and this can help you challenge habitual anxious thoughts and feelings.

3.

Patience is a quality that supports perseverance and fortitude when feelings of anxiety are challenging. Patience offers a broader perspective, allowing you to see that moments of anxiousness will pass in time.

4.

Acknowledgment is the quality of meeting your experience as it is. For example, rather than trying to accept or be at peace with anxiety, you meet it and your experience of it as they are. You can acknowledge that anxiety is present and how much you don’t like it, even as you apply patience and see anxiety as your current weather system, knowing it will pass.

5.

Nonjudgment means experiencing the present moment without the filters of evaluation. In the midst of anxiety, it can be all too easy to experience a secondary layer of judgment on top of the already uncomfortable anxious feelings. Stepping out of a judgmental mind-set allows you to see more clearly. When you let go of evaluations, many sources of anxiety simply fade away. When you feel anxiety, adopting a nonjudgmental stance can reset your mind into a more balanced state.

6.

Nonstriving is the quality of being willing to meet any experience as it is, without trying to change it. With nonstriving, you understand the importance of being with things as they are—being with your experience without clinging to or rejecting what’s there. (Note that nonstriving relates to your present-moment experiences during meditation and doesn’t in any way negate the value of setting a wise intention to grow, learn, and change your relationship to anxiety.) In the midst of strong anxiety, the first response is often to flee or get out of the situation. If you can pause and really be with your experience without exerting any force against it, you gain the opportunity to know your experience more clearly and choose your response. You can also become less fearful of the physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions that accompany anxiety.

7.

Self-reliance is an important quality for developing inner confidence. With practice, you can learn to trust yourself and your ability to turn toward your anxiety or any other uncomfortable feeling. In turning toward these feelings, it’s important to bring other qualities of mindfulness to your experience, allowing the feelings, acknowledging them, and letting them be.

8.

Letting be or allowing is similar to nonstriving. It’s a quality that gives space to whatever you encounter in the moment. For example, if anxiety comes up as you meditate, you could choose to work with it by allowing the feeling to be there. In time, you can learn to ride a wave of anxiety until it dissipates, just as a storm runs its course in the sky.

9.

Self-compassion is a beautiful quality of meeting yourself with kindness. Yet, sadly, so many people are their own greatest adversaries. Most of us probably would never treat another person the way we sometimes treat ourselves. Self-compassion will naturally grow as you practice meditation. And bringing this quality into your experience of anxiety can be like being your own best friend in the midst of hardship, offering your hand in a moment when help is needed. As your self-compassion grows, you will come to know that you are there for yourself, and your anxiety will naturally decrease.

10.

Balance and equanimity are related qualities that foster wisdom and provide a broader perspective so that you can see things more clearly. From this perspective, you understand that all things change and that your experience is so much wider and richer than temporary experiences of anxiety and other difficulties.

Mindfulness Practice:


Take some time right now to slowly reread the descriptions of the attitudes of mindfulness. After reading each one, pause and reflect upon what it means to you, especially as you begin to work with anxiety. Take a moment to try on each attitude and see how it feels. As you do so, tune in to how you feel in your body, mind, and emotions. Finally, after trying on each attitude, briefly describe your experience, noting how it felt. For example, did it feel natural or easy to adopt a particular attitude, or was it difficult? If it was difficult, why might that be? Was the attitude unfamiliar, or did you feel yourself resisting it in some way?

Full Article:


10 Mindful Attitudes That Decrease Anxiety


 BY bob stahl


Stahl, Bob. “10 Mindful Attitudes That Decrease Anxiety.” Mindful, 16 Oct. 2018, www.mindful.org/10-mindful-attitudes-decrease-anxiety/.

President

Rachel Wixey & Associates

[Rachel]

This article gets to the heart of so much with brevity. While the topic it is written for is anxiety, the 10 mindful attitudes apply to so much in life. I love that it points out that interrupting automatic reactions is a skill, that anyone can learn.

Day 1: Connect with Your Natural Awareness

An excerpt from Take a 3-Day Mindfulness Journey: 6 Practices for Spring by Barry Boyce, Sharon Salzburg, and Mark Bertin

Like any good spring cleaning, let’s get right down to the basics of mindfulness and meditation. One of the most foundational aspects of mindfulness is the ability to calm and focus the mind using your breath. By bringing your attention back to the breath each time you feel your mind wander during meditation, you can strengthen your brain’s natural ability to focus over time. Cultivate greater attention with these short meditation practices.

In the Morning • Tune In to Your Natural Awareness
(5 minutes)

In mindfulness practice, you might often hear the term “natural awareness.” By natural awareness, we mean the awareness that simply comes with being a human being. It’s free from judging and characterizing—it’s just noticing and sensing the world.

1.

Settle into your seat. Begin by taking a seat, or if necessary, standing. The important thing is to feel where your body is touching the seat and touching the ground.

2.

Scan the body. Sense where your bottom is touching the seat. Sit up straight or stand straight but not stiff. Make sure your feet are completely touching the ground, connecting you to the earth. Your eyes are open, so take in the surroundings of where you are. Lower your gaze slightly.

3.

Connect with the breath. Pay light attention to your breath as it goes out. Breathe in naturally.

4.

Follow the out-breath. At the end of each out-breath, let there be a gap while the in-breath is happening. And in that gap you have natural awareness: It’s there already, you don’t have to create it. So, follow the breath out, and take a moment to rest in your natural awareness before the in-breath. As thoughts arise, treat them as you would anything else you encounter: Notice them, and use that noticing to bring you back to the out-breath and ride it out.

In the evening  • Tune In to Your Meta-Awareness
(5 minutes)

The moment of noticing a thought is a very powerful moment. It’s really where the meditation occurs. That’s because there’s a spark of insight at that point, what in technical terms is called meta-awareness: You’re aware of your thought process, not just caught up in it. Now at that moment, there are lots of possibilities.

You can touch that thought and gently bounce back to attention on the breath and your body. But you might also say “Oh damn, there I go thinking again, I just can’t get away from this.”

One of the wonderful things about meditation is the fact that it allows for such a monumental amount of failure. Failure is just fine. So, if you’re sitting in meditation for 10 minutes and you don’t notice your thought until the bell rings at the end, that’s what that session was about. You learn from it. There will be another one. No big deal.

1.

First, feel your bottom on the seat, and your feet on the floor or the ground, flat, touching the earth. Your eyes can be open or closed, head tilted slightly down. Your shoulders are relaxed, your hands are resting on your thighs, and your upper arms are parallel to your torso. Just take a moment to feel that posture.

2.

Now we’re going to use the breath as an anchor for our attention. We don’t concern ourselves with trying to adjust the rate of the breath, we just come with whatever breath we have.

3.

Notice that your mind is like a waterfall of thoughts.As we try to pay attention to the breath coming in and out, our mind is filled with thoughts. And in mindfulness practice, just notice the thought. Touch it, and go back to the breath.

4.

Let your thoughts go. No matter what’s been going on during the session, you don’t need to evaluate it, just let it go. Open your eyes, and enjoy what’s coming next.

Full Article:


Take a 3-Day Mindfulness Journey: 6 Practices for Spring


 BY BARRY BOYCE, SHARON SALZBERG, AND MARK BERTIN


Boyce, Barry, et al. “Take a 3-Day Mindfulness Journey: 6 Practices for Spring.” Mindful, 1 Apr. 2020, www.mindful.org/take-a-3-day-mindfulness-journey-6-practices-for-spring/.

Director of Strategic Communications

Rachel Wixey & Associates

[nekiesha]

During this uncertain time, I’ve tried to remain mentally balanced by intentionally focusing my mind on things that make me feel hopeful. Spring has always filled me with a sense of renewal, so I choose this article because these practices seem like the perfect way for me to integrate more awareness to this new season.

A Two-Minute Mindfulness Practice to Unhijack Your Attention

An article from Mindful.org by Elisha Goldstein

In the midst of our busy lives, awareness can serve as an anchor, allowing you to get out of your head and into the present moment. But it can be difficult to find time to pause and acknowledge how your environment and your actions impact your overall well-being.

The good news is that awareness is a skill you can practice and strengthen over time. This two-minute mindfulness practice can be done wherever you are, so you can break out of autopilot and notice how your mind and body feel throughout the day.

Explore this three-step practice for cultivating mindful awareness:

1. Brief Body Scan

Start off by taking a single, deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. You are welcome to gently close your eyes, or keep them open. Notice your body where it is: the positioning of your body, and also how your body is feeling. If you’re feeling any tension anywhere, see if you can allow that to soften, or adjust your body as needed.

2. Tune in to Your Environment

Begin to allow your awareness to wander a little bit. Notice the sounds inside your environment or outside your environment. Be aware of how sounds have a nature of disappearing and reappearing, and also how your mind comes up with different comments or images on these sounds, or on your experience. Allow for all of this.

3. Notice Thoughts and Emotions

Now begin to gently open your eyes, noticing how there’s also visuals in your environment. Notice how you feel. Take stock of how you’re feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Full Article:


A Two-Minute Mindfulness Practice to Unhijack Your Attention


 BY Elisha Goldstein


Goldstein, Elisha. “A Two-Minute Mindfulness Practice to Unhijack Your Attention.” Mindful, 22 Mar. 2019, www.mindful.org/a-two-minute-mindfulness-practice-to-unhijack-your-attention/.

Marketing and Design Coordinator

Rachel Wixey & Associates

[emily]

I've realized that in a busy day, it's hard to find time to be mindful. That's why being able to take little snippets of time to center yourself is an important skill to have. Whenever, wherever, and for however long, making mindfulness a daily practice can change the way you see the world around you. 

Be More Mindful: 7 Tips to Improve Your Awareness

An article from Ellevate Network by Caroline Dowd-Higgins

My question to you is: Is it “business as usual” this year? Is everything working the way you’d like, or are you making changes?


Many of us are hoping to fulfill numerous plans – wanting “more” and “better” in the job, health, money and/or relationship departments. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting “better” and “more” in these areas, the pursuit can leave us feeling like a dog chasing its tail. It can be exhausting!


Author, speaker, and mindfulness coach Diane Sieg says that becoming more mindful of how we proceed through our day is the antidote to feeling like we’re running in circles. “It’s so easy to be on auto-pilot in your life – procrastinating or not getting enough sleep or exercise,” Sieg says. “Mindfulness is about being more present and aware of your behavior in each moment. It can help you change habits that are no longer serving you.”


Sieg, who is also a registered nurse and a yoga instructor, has made it her mission to help others slow down and “stop living life like it’s an emergency.” “Working in the ER for over 20 years, I saw the effects of stress – the diseases and injuries that resulted from it,” Sieg explains. “With today’s stress levels, we need mindfulness in our lives more than ever.”


Through her online programs, Your Mindful Year and The 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge, Sieg provides step-by-step guidance and support around living life with more calm and awareness. She suggests these 7 tips for bringing more mindfulness into your life:

1.

Meditate


Taking even just 5 minutes to sit quietly and follow your breath can help you feel more conscious and connected for the rest of your day

2.

Focus on One Thing at a Time


Studies have found that tasks take 50% longer with 50% more errors when multi-tasking, so consider “uni-tasking”, with breaks in between, whenever possible.

3.

Slow Down


Savor the process, whether it’s writing a report, drinking a cup of tea, or cleaning out closets. Deliberate and thoughtful attention to daily actions promotes healthy focus and can keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

4.

Eat Mindfully


Eating your meal without the TV, computer or paper in front of you, where you can truly taste and enjoy what you’re eating, is good, not only for your body, but for your soul as well.

5.

Keep Phone and Computer Time In Check


With all of the media at our fingertips, we can easily be on information overload. Set boundaries for screen time – with designated times for social networking (even set an alarm) – and do your best to keep mobile devices out of reach at bedtime.

6.

Move


Whether it’s walking, practicing yoga, or just stretching at your desk, become aware of your body’s sensations by moving.

7.

Spend Time in Nature


Take walks through a park, the woods, mountain trails or by the beach – wherever you can be outside. Getting outdoors is good for body, mind and spirit, and keeps you in the present.

As you pursue your goals, I hope you can incorporate Diane Sieg’s tips for more mindfulness into your life. You give yourself a real gift when you can remember to take things one step at a time and savor each moment.


Full Article:


Be More Mindful: 7 Tips to Improve Your Awareness


 BY Caroline Dowd-Higgins


Dowd-Higgins, Caroline. “Be More Mindful: 7 Tips to Improve Your Awareness.” Ellevate, Ellevate, 31 Jan. 2020, www.ellevatenetwork.com/articles/6170-be-more-mindful-7-tips-to-improve-your-awareness.

Marketing and Design Coordinator

Rachel Wixey & Associates

[emily]

I chose this article because I think it's a good reminder of all of the little things we can do to stay mindful. Most of these things would take little to no effort out of my day and yet it is still something that often gets put on the back burner. Putting importance on mindfulness can be as easy as 7 simple steps. 

Enjoy the Holidays More With Mindfulness

An article from Child Mind Institute by Jill Emanuele, PhD​​

As soon as the Halloween costumes have been tucked away, and the candy is disappearing, suddenly we realize that the holidays are coming….FAST. Thoughts of presents, turkeys, cards, relatives, parties, and shopping begin to dizzyingly swirl in our heads. And so the holiday rush begins, and we often find ourselves becoming champion multitaskers.


But in the rush to get everything accomplished, we often lose our connection with the present moment — how we feel, what we’re thinking. We become so future-focused that we sometimes miss out on the little things that make life beautiful as it is — a compliment from a stranger, a warm smile from a child, a beautiful sunset. And we find ourselves pausing on Thanksgiving Day to remind ourselves of what we are thankful for, when in fact the reminders are there each and every day for the noticing.


Contrary to common belief, one effective way to cope with the holiday madness is to SLOW DOWN and take a little time each day to cultivate and practice mindfulness. Perhaps you’ve heard about this concept, which is rooted in Zen Buddhism, and has recently become more popular in Western society. Research has demonstrated that practicing mindfulness is associated with improvements in well-being, physical and mental health, relationship satisfaction, and attentional focus. In addition, the practice of mindfulness has been shown to help reduce stress and associated negative emotions such as anxiety and sadness.


So, what is mindfulness? Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, internationally known for his work in bringing mindfulness into Western medicine and society, defines the concept as “awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained, particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”. When we practice mindfulness, we are focusing our full attention on the moment as it is, letting go of the past and future-directed thoughts, and allowing all of our senses to experience this moment, right now.


You may be asking, “Okay, so on a practical level, how can I be mindful?” In reality, there are infinite opportunities to practice mindfulness during each day. Here are some suggestions to get started:

1.

Find a quiet place for just a few minutes (I sometimes recommend the bathroom, as for some people this is the only quiet spot!). Get yourself into a comfortable sitting position with your feet flat on the floor. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing only. Do this for a few minutes. Listen to the sound of your breath and notice how your body feels during this time. When thoughts of other moments come racing into your mind, acknowledge them and let them go by as if they are on a conveyor belt, and refocus your attention on your breath again. Do this over and over.

2.

Spend a few minutes each day writing down five things you are thankful for that day.

3.

When you are walking outside, focus on one of your senses. For example, for vision, notice the colors of objects around you or for hearing, listen to the sounds around you and label them nonjudgmentally (eg “That building is gray,” or “I hear a horn honking”).


4.

Get the kids involved! One favorite thing I like to recommend is good old fashioned bubble blowing. Make a game out of it and instruct them (and yourself) to silently watch the bubbles float around the room. Resist the urge to pop the bubbles and see where they go.

By taking a few minutes each day to be mindful, perhaps even more than once a day, we can give ourselves the space to get in touch with ourselves, to fully experience the meaningful moments that often pass us by, and to take time to practice gratitude for what we have in our lives. This way, by the time Thanksgiving arrives, we will not be scrambling to think about what we are thankful for! Instead, we can experience gratitude daily, reduce our stress, and be more in touch with the little things that make all the difference.

Full Article:


Enjoy the Holidays More With Mindfulness


 BY Jill Emanuele, PhD


Emanuele, Jill M. “Enjoy the Holidays More With Mindfulness.” Child Mind Institute, 2019, childmind.org/article/enjoy-the-holidays-more-with-mindfulness/.

Marketing and Design Corrdinator

Rachel Wixey & Associates

[emily]

The holidays can be stressful, but they don't have to be. I chose this article because it not only gives great tips on how to stay mindful during this hectic time, but also how to involve others around you. Take a deep breath, plant your feet, and be thankful. Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season.

Mindful Wakeup: Start with a Purpose

An excerpt from 5 Simple Mindfulness Practices for Daily Life

How often have you rushed out the door and into your day without even thinking about how you’d like things to go? Before you know it, something or someone has rubbed you the wrong way, and you’ve reacted automatically with frustration, impatience, or rage—in other words, you’ve found yourself acting in a way you never intended.


You don’t have to be stuck in these patterns. Pausing to practice mindfulness for just a few minutes at different times during the day can help your days be better, more in line with how you’d like them to be.


Explore these five daily practices for bringing more mindfulness into your life:

Marta Locklear/Stocksy

Mindful Wakeup: Start with a Purpose

Intention refers to the underlying motivation for everything we think, say, or do. From the brain’s perspective, when we act in unintended ways, there’s a disconnect between the faster, unconscious impulses of the lower brain centers and the slower, conscious, wiser abilities of the higher centers like the pre-frontal cortex.


Given that the unconscious brain is in charge of most of our decision-making and behaviors, this practice can help you align your conscious thinking with a primal emotional drive that the lower centers care about. Beyond safety, these include motivations like reward, connection, purpose, self-identity and core values.


Setting an intention—keeping those primal motivations in mind—helps strengthen this connection between the lower and higher centers. Doing so can change your day, making it more likely that your words, actions and responses— especially during moments of difficulty—will be more mindful and compassionate.

This practice is best done first thing in the morning, before checking phones or email.

1.

On waking, sit in your bed or a chair in a relaxed posture.

Close your eyes and connect with the sensations of your seated body. Make sure your spine is straight, but not rigid

2.

Take three long, deep, nourishing breaths.

Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then let your breath settle into its own rhythm, as you simply follow it in and out, noticing the rise and fall of your chest and belly as you breathe.

3.

Ask yourself: “What is my intention for today?”

Use these prompts to help answer that question, as you think about the people and activities you will face. Ask yourself:

How might I show up today to have the best impact?

What quality of mind do I want to strengthen and develop?

What do I need to take better care of myself?

During difficult moments, how might I be more compassionate to others and myself?

How might I feel more connected and fulfilled?

4.

Set your intention for the day. 

For example, “Today, I will be kind to myself; be patient with others; give generously; stay grounded; persevere; have fun; eat well,” or anything else you feel is important.

5.

Throughout the day, check in with yourself.

Pause, take a breath, and revisit your intention. Notice, as you become more and more conscious of your intentions for each day, how the quality of your communications, relationships, and mood shifts.

Full Article:


5 Simple Mindfulness Practices for Daily Life


BY PARNEET PALCARLEY HAUCKELISHA GOLDSTEINKYRA BOBINET, AND CARA BRADLEY


Kornfield, Jack, et al. “5 Simple Mindfulness Practices for Daily Life.” Mindful, 13 Dec. 2018, www.mindful.org/take-a-mindful-moment-5-simple-practices-for-daily-life/.

Marketing and design Coordinator

Rachel Wixey & Associates

[Emily]

I chose this article because it's easy to lose site of little victories. These may seem like little things, but setting small goals for yourself throughout the day not only leaves you feeling accomplished, but mindful as well. 

Meditate at Your Desk

An excerpt from Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership by Janice Marturano

Most of us spend a great deal of time sitting behind our desks, or in conference rooms or colleagues’ offices, so having a short practice that helps you refresh your attention while at work can be beneficial. What I call the “desk chair” meditation gives you a way to incorporate a short mindfulness practice into your day.

This meditation can be done anywhere you are able to sit quietly and practice.

If you work in an open office (or classroom), you may need to be creative to find a quiet place to practice. Many people have told me that they’re best able to do this practice by leaving their office and finding an empty conference room, or even leaving the building to sit in their car during part of their lunch break.


The “desk chair” part need not be taken literally. This meditation can be done anywhere you are able to sit quietly and practice—be it the staff room, a park bench, or even an airplane seat.

1.

Begin by bringing your attention to the sensations of your breath.

2.

When you’re ready, direct your attention to the soles of your feet, opening your mind to whatever sensations are there to be noticed.

3.

Perhaps you are noticing the pressure on the soles of your feet as the weight of your legs rests on them. Perhaps the soles of your feet feel warm or cool.

4.

Just notice. No need to judge or engage in discursive thinking. If your mind is pulled away or wanders, redirect your attention, firmly and gently.

5.

Move your attention next to the tops of your feet, ankles, lower legs, knees, and so forth.

6.

Gradually scan through your body, noticing sensations, noticing discomfort, and noticing areas of your body where you detect an absence of sensations. No need to search for sensations; just keep scanning through your body, taking your time and being open to what is here.

MIC Note: Head over to the full article to listen to a “Desk Chair Body Scan Practice” guided mediation.

Full Article:


Meditate at Your Desk


 BY JANICE MARTURANO


Marturano, Janice. "Meditate at Your Desk." Mindful. 01 Oct. 2019. 08 Oct. 2019 <https://www.mindful.org/meditate-at-your-desk/>.

Marketing and Design Coordinator

Rachel Wixey & Associates

[Emily]

This article is great for those who think "I don't have time." Classrooms can be stressful, so being able to squeeze in a practice during lunch or between classes can the reset you need for a successful day. 

5 Strategies to Relieve Teacher Anxiety

An excerpt from Beyond the Classroom by Jill Eulberg

It's no secret that teaching can be incredibly stressful. A 2017 survey by the American Federation of Teachers and the Badass Teachers Association confirmed teacher anxiety is higher than most other professions. According to the survey, 61 percent of educators reported their work was "always" or "often" stressful—twice the rate of other professions.

If you're struggling with anxiety and stress related to your job, it can be hard to get things under control so you can be the best teacher you can be. Here are some strategies to help you manage teacher anxiety and feel more grounded and relaxed.

1.Practice Mindfulness

Anxiety is often caused by worrying about the future, so staying engaged in the present is a helpful antidote. Using your senses and identifying the sights, smells, and sounds going on around you at any given moment can help pull you from anxious thoughts back to the present moment. Taking deep breaths or focusing your attention on noticing the details of something nearby are also strategies to keep you grounded and present.

2.Seek Companionship and Inspiration

Teacher anxiety is something many of us keep to ourselves, yet the previously mentioned survey shows that the majority of teachers are in the same boat when it comes to stress. Reaching out to coworkers and talking about your feelings can be a great relief.

Also, seek out books, websites, or podcasts for inspiration. Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers podcast has great episodes on topics like beating Sunday night blues and feeling rejuvenated over the summer, which can help when you need support or motivation.

3. Care for Yourself


Taking care of yourself during the school year requires a focused effort. With days that are scheduled down to the minute, and work that often lasts well beyond an eight-hour day, it can be hard to find time to eat healthy, exercise, or even think about yourself. But as the saying goes, you can't pour from an empty cup, and many of us let ourselves run completely dry during the school year. Finding activities you enjoy and scheduling time for them in your week is key to beating teacher anxiety.

Additionally, you can create rewards for yourself—such as treating yourself to your favorite coffee or scheduling an hour to watch Netflix—to help motivate you through a difficult day or week

4.Prepare and Plan Ahead

Feeling unprepared can trigger anxiety. It's easy to get caught in the vicious cycle of feeling unmotivated to plan on Friday afternoon, putting off planning over the weekend, and ending up feeling extremely anxious and unprepared on Sunday night. Teachers who plan in advance tend to experience less anxiety. Some teachers plan ahead for a unit, quarter, or even the entire school year.

Obviously, plans can change, but having plans definitely helps reduce anxiety. Many teachers commit to staying at school on Friday until their plans for the next week are complete. Others commit to planning on Thursday, so their weekends can start right away on Friday afternoon.

5.Change Your Mind-Set

Many factors that impact a teacher's job are simply out of their control. While this can be frustrating, it doesn't have to cause anxiety.

At my school, we teach our students the "big problem/little problem" strategy. Students identify the magnitude of their problem, then determine the appropriate size of their reaction. For teachers, I think this strategy can also be helpful, but I'd add a third option: "Not my problem." Your energy is too precious to spend on issues that are out of your control. Choosing not to let these issues occupy your mind will help reduce stress and keep anxiety in check.

Full Article:


5 Strategies to Relieve

Teacher Anxiety


By Jill Eulberg, Veteran Educator, M.S. Special Education


Eulberg, Jill. "5 Strategies to Relieve Teacher Anxiety." Hey Teach! 17 Sept. 2018. 28 Aug. 2019 <https://www.wgu.edu/heyteach/article/6-strategies-relieve-teacher-anxiety1809.html>.

Receptionist

Rachel Wixey & Associates

[Beth]

Teaching in this day and age has become more stressful than ever before. These 5 strategies are excellent ways to combat the stressors that teachers feel on a daily basis. They are simple, easy to do, effective, and the practices take only minutes out of your day.

Mindful Challenges

Welcome to the Mindful Challenges category of our site. This section is reserved to invite you to join in Mindful Challenges that will help begin or grow your own mindfulness practice.

The practice itself is so important. We are all able to read and learn content, but it is through the practice that you gain true knowledge and experience the effects; you become able to offer a more grounded sense of awareness and greater presence in all that you do.

There is so much to be said about this! Here, we will practice together and present fun, doable challenges that help engage us further into this experience.


Mindful Challenge


Consider if you wish to begin a mindfulness practice and what you hope to gain from it. What challenges do you feel may be presented in getting started? Why do you feel it will be beneficial? Write this down for yourself and your reference. Leave comments for our team or your colleagues who also work in schools.

The Importance of Connection

There are many benefits to exploring how we foster connection with the people in our lives. Regardless of profession, it is through our healthy connection with others that our most meaningful relationships occur. It is also our own mental footing, and how we prepare our minds, that sets the stage for the contributions we make as individuals to those relationships.


This week’s note is to highlight the element of connection as part of our 2019-2020 priority. We’ll explore the importance of connection, how we show up in our relationships, and how this is key in our opportunities to reach youth.


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