mindfulness for worriers and lonely people

If You’re Feeling Worried, Mindfulness Can Help

What causes you to worry is the thought that something bad or unfavorable toward you is going to happen. When you experience these thoughts, your emotions kick in with the response of fear or anxiety. These worries are over things that have never happened and have a strong probability that they never will. But what worriers have a tendency to do is to create scenarios in their mind of these probably future situations.

When you create a scene in your mind, your brain sees these thoughts as a mental image. It views this image the same way it would if you viewed a negative situation in a movie.

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It sees the vivid details and then your body experiences things like anxiety when you watch a scary or dramatic movie. Those are the same results that you get when you paint scenarios in your mind that havenít even happened.

Your mind registers this as something thatís occurring. So then you feel afraid and anxious. This thought pattern can make you anxious, irritable, and untreated can turn into an anxiety disorder.

Mindfulness can set you free by showing you how to stop these thought patterns in their tracks. When you have a worry thought, take a moment and redirect your focus back to the present rather than allowing your mind to be projected into what isn’t even happening.

Labeling worry

Don’t give the worries any power within your mind. When you worry, your mind goes in repetitive circles. This type of circular thinking makes no progress and you find yourself become more anxious. If you choose to use distraction techniques, such as watching a movie or taking a stroll, the worrying seems to return. You try your best for the thoughts to go away, but your body tenses up. Give the thought the title of what-if and then release it. In the words, label worry as “just worrying” and then bring your attention to your breathing or an object in front of you. When you catch yourself again in circular thinking, label it again. Mindfulness will help you learn to recognize those what-if thoughts and understand that they’re not reality. They’re not happening. By taking away the power, the fear dissolves and the worry is gone.

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If You’re Feeling Lonely, Mindful Volunteer Work Can Help

Loneliness is an emotion thatís universally understood. There can be many reasons that cause you to feel lonely. Sometimes, it can be because youíve experienced the loss of a love – or someone that you love has passed away and youíre lonely because of the grief.

You can feel lonely if you struggle with a health condition or youíve experienced some kind of life upheaval such as a move or a job loss. While going through an experience can be a cause of loneliness, that’s not always the case.

Sometimes, you simply feel lonely regardless of what situation you’re in. There are those who will sometimes confuse loneliness with someone who is by himself. But being alone and being lonely are two different things.

Experiencing loneliness is tied directly to your emotions while being by yourself is not. When youíre struggling with loneliness, you can feel sad. You might feel like youíre all alone in the world and that everyone has someone but you.

You might feel that you don’t have anyone to talk to and no one to love you. These emotions can often trigger thoughts that add to the loneliness. But there is a way that you can reduce and even eliminate the loneliness that youíre feeling and thatís through mindful volunteer work.

When you volunteer to help other people, it triggers your compassion response and helps you to become connected to someone else. Studies have shown that when you volunteer, it raises your level of contentment.

When you don’t take action to deal with loneliness, then your mind will get on a track of constantly thinking about things that only add to the feeling. These things might be thoughts of the past, or negative thoughts.

By practicing mindful volunteer work, you’re focusing on the present and the activity helps to keep your mind occupied, which keeps the negative thoughts from becoming a cycle.

Mindful volunteering allows you to feel involved with others which acts as a bridge to give you a connection. You end up feeling rewarded because mindful volunteering can give you the social connection that you need to break free of loneliness.

When you volunteer, you’re helping to meet the needs of someone else but in return, youíre getting your own needs met, too. Mindful volunteering means that you decide that youíre going to focus on helping someone else.

You’re going to be there for them without any thoughts of what youíre going to get in return. But what happens is that you always end up getting back a lot more than you give with mindfulness.

Helping others gives you a boost in positive feelings and thoughts. This is because youíre no longer focusing on how you feel, what you think or what might be missing from your life.

Instead, you’re pouring yourself into a cause or a purpose and you end up creating a support system for yourself as well as increasing empathy for other people.

Practice this mindfulness Tonglen meditation when you are lonely. Visualize helping a friend.

By Addy

Inspirational blogger, previous Yahoo Voices writer. Meditation practitioner.

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