While slogging through my particularly rough bout of anxiety recently, I’ve been working hard on breathing meditations and practicing mindfulness. Well, I’ll be honest, mostly I’ve only done the mindfulness stuff while doing the breathing meditations. Anyway… this morning I started the day off feeling anxious. It was a moderately low, but constant hum that threatened to expand into bigger things. I did many of my “help with anxiety” tricks (rescue remedy, breathing meditation on HeadSpace, writing down gratitudes, listening to my favorite anxiety podcast… ) but the hum of anxiety wouldn’t go away.
Then I got in the shower and I decided to try to make it a mindful experience. The shower is an easy time for the mind to loop and circle. There is nothing to distract you. I often have “additional” worry trigger thoughts pop into my mind while showering, which is definitely not helpful. So every time my mind wandered I focused on how the warm water felt, the smell of my shampoo or soap, the sound of the water… It wasn’t easy. I was redirecting my brain pretty much non-stop. But, it was an interesting exercise that turned out to be rather pleasant. Usually, I rush through my shower as just another step to my day. This time was different. I actively participated in my shower. And when I finished, I did feel better.
Nothing in my “anxiety toolbox” is a sure thing. Heck, even the sedatives aren’t a sure thing, they just make me so sleepy I go to sleep. But, when something does work, I really appreciate it. And I try to remember it, in case I need it another time.