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Using Mindfulness Tricks to Reduce Anxiety

Living with anxiety can be mentally and physically exhausting. It can also have real physical impacts on the body. However, there is good news for those who suffer from anxiety. Research has shown that it is possible to reduce your anxiety and stress with a simple mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is a process that increases your awareness of the present. It is all about being attentive of your daily life and the things around us that we usually tend to rush through. The practice of mindfulness is all about calming down your mind and bringing the attention back to your body. Read on to find out about using mindfulness tricks to reduce anxiety.

How Does Mindfulness Work?

Mindfulness attempts to counteract the worrying that causes anxiety. By focusing all your attention on the present moment, mindfulness helps to counteract the unnecessary worrying that most people with anxiety are used to.(1, 2, 3) Worrying about the future and pondering over the past are typical negative thinking processes. While it is important to learn from the past and plan ahead for the future, if we spend too much time outside of the present and in the past or future, it is likely to cause depression and anxiety. In such cases, mindfulness can be an important tool in helping people with anxiety focus on the present moment. Research has shown that mindfulness can help reduce depression and anxiety.(4, 5)

However, this does not mean that you have to spend hours and hours meditating or have to contort your body into difficult positions. You already have all the tools you need to practice mindfulness for your anxiety. Here are some mindfulness tricks to help reduce anxiety.

Mindfulness Tricks to Reduce Anxiety

  1. Begin By Setting An Intention

    One of the first things a yoga teacher is likely to ask you for is to set an intention for your mindfulness practice for that day. Now whether you do it before beginning your daily tasks or you write it down in your journal in the morning, setting an intention helps you focus and also reminds you about why you are doing something. For example, if something makes you anxious, like giving a presentation at work, set an intention for completing this task. You can even set an intention for taking care of your body before you head to the gym, or you can set an intention to treat your body kindly before you start to eat. An intention will help you focus on that particular intent and complete the task on hand successfully without feeling anxious.(6,7)

  2. Practice Mindfulness Or Guided Meditation

    Meditating has become easier than ever before today with the availability of so many apps. There are many online programs and apps that can be a great way to begin practicing mindfulness or meditation without committing to any expensive class or giving too much time. There are many free guided meditations available online that you can use to help yourself get over your anxiety.(8, 9)

  3. Color or Doodle

    Practicing mindfulness does not necessarily mean that you have to sit and meditate for hours. It can be as simple as coloring or doodling and being focused on that. Set aside a few minutes to just sit and doodle or color. This will not only get your creative juices flowing, but it is a great way to give your mind a break. Finishing a coloring activity also gives you the benefit of having accomplished something without feeling anxious.(10, 11)

  4. Go For A Walk

    Walking outside is not only great for anxiety, but walking is also an excellent form of mindfulness practice. While you walk, pay close attention to the feel of the wind against your skin, the sounds around you, and the smells around you. It is better if you leave your phone behind at home itself, or at least keep it in your pocket. Make an attempt to stay in the moment and focus on your senses and the environment. You can simply take a short walk around the block and see how you feel.(12, 13)

  5. Take A Look At The Sky

    We are all so lost in our screens that we rarely take the time out to look up at the sky and admire the stars. It can be a simple activity as taking out the trash or coming home late. Pause for some time and take a few deep breaths and look up and admire the stars. Let the sky remind you that life is bigger than your worries. Taking in deep breaths into your belly can help you calm down when you are feeling anxious.(14)

  6. Wish Good For Others

    This is another mindfulness trick that can help you feel better. You only need ten seconds to do this practice. As you go about your day, randomly wish for someone to be happy. This practice should be done in your head. There’s no need to go and tell that person. Just set the positive energy in your mind. You can try this out during your commute, at the gym, at the office, or even while waiting in line for the bus. This is especially helpful if you find yourself upset or annoyed with someone and you stop and wish them happiness instead.(15, 16)

  7. Have a Cup Of Tea

    Making a cup of tea has been found to be a deeply soothing activity. In fact, in many cultures around the world, this is a deeply cherished practice. You need to settle into this practice and focus on each step involved in making the cup of tea. Take in how the tea leaves smell as you pull them out. What does the water look like as you add the tea? Take the time to watch the steam rise up from the cup. Feel the heat of the cup against your hand. And it is best to try and sip your tea without any distractions around, including your phone. If you don’t like tea, you can also do this practice while making aromatic coffee.(17)

  8. Let Go Of Your Phone

    As time has passed, humans have become enslaved to their smartphones. Genuinely think about whether you need to bring your phone with you as you walk into the other room or when you go to the bathroom. Do you need to keep your phone beside you as you eat? Try to let go of your phone. Leave it in the other room, especially before you start to eat. And instead of worrying about your phone, sit and breathe and keep the focus on your food as you eat. Take a moment for yourself and your needs while you use the bathroom. Your phone is not going to run away. It will still be there once you are done.(18, 19, 20)

  9. Focus Only On One Thing At A Time

    Even your to-do list can be a form of mindfulness if you do it right. Begin by setting a timer for five minutes and give only one task your undivided and complete attention. You should not check your phone during this time nor browse online, and neither should you click on the notifications. There should be no multitasking of any kind. Only let that one task take up all your attention until the timer goes off.

  10. Take A Break As You Do Your Daily Household Tasks

    It is time you stopped obsessing over your clutter or your to-do list. Just let yourself relax in the present moment. Focus on the way the soap runs down the tiles as you clean the bathroom or dance while doing the dishes. You can also practice taking five slow breaths as you wait for the microwave to finish heating. Indulge in a spot of daydreaming while folding the laundry. These are all small mental breaks you can give yourself throughout the day.


Practicing mindfulness does not mean that you have to sit and meditate for hours on end. Every little bit of mindfulness can help reduce your anxiety and keep your focus on the present. What is most important is that you remain consistent with your mindfulness practice. When you practice mindfulness regularly, it can help you remain calm, move past negative emotions, and go about your day in a more peaceful manner. Try to make it a point to take out at least five minutes from each day to check-in and do a mindfulness exercise of meditation that you enjoy.


  1. Shapiro, S.L., Carlson, L.E., Astin, J.A. and Freedman, B., 2006. Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of clinical psychology, 62(3), pp.373-386.
  2. Bishop, S.R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Anderson, N.D., Carmody, J., Segal, Z.V., Abbey, S., Speca, M., Velting, D. and Devins, G., 2004. Mindfulness: a proposed operational definition. Clinical psychology: Science and practice, 11(3), p.230.
  3. Greeson, J.M., 2009. Mindfulness research update: 2008. Complementary health practice review, 14(1), pp.10-18.
  4. Hofmann, S.G., Sawyer, A.T., Witt, A.A. and Oh, D., 2010. The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 78(2), p.169.
  5. Roemer, L., Orsillo, S.M. and Salters-Pedneault, K., 2008. Efficacy of an acceptance-based behavior therapy for generalized anxiety disorder: evaluation in a randomized controlled trial. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 76(6), p.1083.
  6. Mindful. 2022. A 4-Step Practice to Awaken Your Intention. [online] Available at: <https://www.mindful.org/4-ways-to-awaken-your-intention/> [Accessed 28 January 2022].
  7. Desrosiers, A., Vine, V., Klemanski, D.H. and Nolen‐Hoeksema, S., 2013. Mindfulness and emotion regulation in depression and anxiety: common and distinct mechanisms of action. Depression and anxiety, 30(7), pp.654-661.
  8. Lemay, V., Hoolahan, J. and Buchanan, A., 2019. Impact of a yoga and meditation intervention on students’ stress and anxiety levels. American journal of pharmaceutical education, 83(5).
  9. Toneatto, T. and Nguyen, L., 2007. Does mindfulness meditation improve anxiety and mood symptoms? A review of the controlled research. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 52(4), pp.260-266.
  10. Eaton, J. and Tieber, C., 2017. The effects of coloring on anxiety, mood, and perseverance. Art Therapy, 34(1), pp.42-46.
  11. Curry, N.A. and Kasser, T., 2005. Can coloring mandalas reduce anxiety?. Art Therapy, 22(2), pp.81-85.
  12. Merom, D., Phongsavan, P., Wagner, R., Chey, T., Marnane, C., Steel, Z., Silove, D. and Bauman, A., 2008. Promoting walking as an adjunct intervention to group cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders—a pilot group randomized trial. Journal of anxiety disorders, 22(6), pp.959-968.
  13. Streeter, C.C., Whitfield, T.H., Owen, L., Rein, T., Karri, S.K., Yakhkind, A., Perlmutter, R., Prescot, A., Renshaw, P.F., Ciraulo, D.A. and Jensen, J.E., 2010. Effects of yoga versus walking on mood, anxiety, and brain GABA levels: a randomized controlled MRS study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(11), pp.1145-1152. Medium. 2022. Why You Should Look At The Sky More Often. [online] Available at: <https://2madness.com/why-you-should-look-at-the-sky-more-often-32a0393b98e2> [Accessed 28 January 2022].
  14. Walton, A., 2022. Like Loving-Kindness Meditation, Wishing Others Well Boosts Happiness. [online] Forbes. Available at: <https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2019/03/29/like-lovingkindness-meditation-wishing-others-well-boosts-happiness/?sh=4143b0f27a6f> [Accessed 28 January 2022].
  15. Psychology Today. 2022. Wishing Happiness for Others Makes Well-Wishers Happier, Too. [online] Available at: <https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201903/wishing-happiness-others-makes-well-wishers-happier-too> [Accessed 28 January 2022].
  16. Psychology Today. 2022. Wishing Happiness for Others Makes Well-Wishers Happier, Too. [online] Available at: <https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201903/wishing-happiness-others-makes-well-wishers-happier-too> [Accessed 28 January 2022].
  17. Lee, S., Tam, C.L. and Chie, Q.T., 2014. Mobile phone usage preferences: The contributing factors of personality, social anxiety and loneliness. Social Indicators Research, 118(3), pp.1205-1228.
  18. Gao, Y., Li, A., Zhu, T., Liu, X. and Liu, X., 2016. How smartphone usage correlates with social anxiety and loneliness. PeerJ, 4, p.e2197.
  19. Allred, R.J. and Atkin, D., 2020. Cell phone addiction, anxiety, and willingness to communicate in face-to-face encounters. Communication Reports, 33(3), pp.95-106.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 6, 2022

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