There are many different anxiety disorders as well as different scales and levels of anxiety but to speak generally, anxiety is a feeling of general unease, worry or fear that may range from what can be described as mild to severe.
Research has shown that practising mindfulness can help to ease some symptoms of anxiety. It teaches us how to respond better to our own stressors and worries, as well as other peoples. For example, if our partner or friend shouts at us, our natural or immediate response might be to shout back, however mindfulness teaches us how to be aware of our own bodies and brains and adapt to a stressful situation in a calm, controlled way.
Mindfulness and its practise also teaches us how to focus better. Research has shown that mindfulness increases activity in the part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex or ACC for short- this brain area is involved in focus and attention. When we are focused, we’re way less likely to worry about little things that can easily become overwhelming.
Mindfulness also provides us with a space to step back and take a minute to calm down. Without practise, this can be very difficult to do in stressful situations but once you have meditated a few times, it’s easier to learn to breathe when things get scary or overwhelming.