Mindfulness Can Calm Anxious Thoughts

Practicing mindfulness calms anxious thoughts and worry about the past or the future. By focusing on the present moment, mindfulness can reduce anxiety.

Anxiety, as you are likely very aware, is about worry. Not just worry, but intense, consuming worry. It can take over our minds, causing our thoughts to race anxiously from one to the next. It can be miserable, keeping us up late into the night or consuming our days. We toss, turn, sweat, fret, and think, think, and think. Ironically, the thinking often contains the key to overcoming anxiety. You see, focusing your thinking, or mindfulness, can calm anxious thoughts.

Mindfulness, In the Right Now, Calms Anxious Thoughts

Specific anxieties are as unique as the people who have them, but these anxious thoughts do have a theme in common. Usually, they have nothing to do with the present moment. Our anxious minds are frequently consumed with agonies over the past or worries about the future. Because these are things that can’t be changed in the exact moment that we’re in, our anxiety flares. We play the “what-if” game, and game that we lose and anxiety wins.

Here’s a “what-if.” What if we thought about the present instead of the past or the future? Focusing exclusively on the present is called mindfulness, and it’s part of numerous traditions, both cultural and scientific. Why? Because it works.

Mindfulness is one of the methods proven to work for treating anxiety. You can calm your anxious thoughts by pulling your mind out of the past and away from the future and by concentrating fully on what you are doing in the moment. You rob your mind of the chance to become anxious over the past and the future. Here, a short chat about mindfulness:

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2014, January 19). Mindfulness Can Calm Anxious Thoughts, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of numerous anxiety self-help books, including The Morning Magic 5-Minute Journal, The Mindful Path Through Anxiety, 101 Ways to Help Stop Anxiety, The 5-Minute Anxiety Relief Journal, The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, and Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps. She has also written five critically acclaimed, award-winning novels about life with mental health challenges. She delivers workshops for all ages and provides online and in-person mental health education for youth. She has shared information about creating a quality life on podcasts, summits, print and online interviews and articles, and at speaking events. Tanya is a Diplomate of the American Institution of Stress helping to educate others about stress and provide useful tools for handling it well in order to live a healthy and vibrant life. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

November, 20 2014 at 6:44 pm

Thanks so much for this site/article. I am dealing with the exact things mentioned.
Worrying about the future in particular and feeling insecure.
I will read more on mindfulness and focus my thoughts on the present. My only other option is to justn"drown" in my endless "sea " of negatively.
I am grateful for finding this today. I choose to be happy, but need better coping skills to achieve that.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 21 2014 at 12:03 am

Hello Faith,
Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts. Believe me, you aren't alone. I love your attitude about choosing to be happy rather than drowning in the negative. With anxiety, it so often does seem like we're drowning in negative, racing thoughts. I've found mindfulness to be very helpful, but it does take time and practice to teach our minds what to focus on. Be patient with yourself and know that you definitely can be happy.

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