This is part one of a two-part series: Part Two here
In this article we’re going to take a crack at anxiety in a creative, yet counterintuitive way.
Take a moment to read and practice the meditation below; this just takes five minutes.
Bring your attention inward to wake up your parasympathetic nervous system. You might like to close your eyes or leave them open, whatever you’re comfortable with. Focus attention on the internal sensation of breathing, the feeling of the air inside your lungs, the muscles in the interior of your chest expanding and contracting.
Isn’t it remarkable how just five minutes can make such a change? It’s an illustration of the fundamental principle and focus of this article, which is that using your mind skillfully can activate brain and bodily states that support your overall wellbeing and that of everyone whose life you touch. It’s the basic cycle of using the mind to influence the brain to benefit the whole being.
Next, imagine that you are at a crowded event. The speakers at this event ask you to take part in an exercise. Imagine how this makes you feel. This exercise will help show you where, in your own brain, the emotions of anxiety and security live. Most of the time, when anxiety and panic arise we are not aware. We find ourselves in the middle.
So what we’re going to do is have you greet as many people in the room as you can in the next five minutes. Walk around, and take ten to twenty seconds to introduce yourself to each person. Introduce yourself to people you’ve never met before, not people you already know, sharing however much you’re comfortable with. Watch yourself and watch others as they introduce themselves to you.