Anxiety can creep in and out of our lives. For some, anxiety sits lurking for opportunities to derail us and for others, it might strike when it’s completely unexpected. The good news is you do not need to be at its mercy. You can win the battle against it. You are in control. These are some quick easy steps that can be done anywhere at anytime. Read through them, you don’t need to memorize them, just remember the theme, BE PRESENT.

  1. Notice where you are at (in detail, the more detail the better)
  • Are you in a room? What is on the walls, what color paint, any textures? Is there carpet, notice the texture? Any windows? Are there tiles on the ceiling?
  • Are you outside? Notice grass (weeds, dirt, flowers), trees, buildings, people, cars, signs.
  • Inside a restaurant or store? Notice how it’s decorated, papers on the tables, advertisements, people, types of chairs, windows, doors, etc.
  1. Notice the temperature?
  • Is it cold, hot, comfortable?
  • Is there a breeze or no movement in the air?
  • Is it stuffy? Stale?
  1. Notice any noise?
  • Can you hear the air conditioner?
  • A Clock?
  • A Buzzing?
  • People talking, a door closing?
  1. Notice how your body is grounded?
  • Are you sitting? Can you feel the chair beneath you? Your back against the back rest? Can you feel your shoes on the ground?
  • Are you standing? Can you feel your feet on the ground?
  1. How are you feeling in your body?
  • Can you feel your arms, legs or any body parts? Maybe your legs are crossed and you can feel pressure in your leg from the other? Or arms folded, you might feel pressure or warmth where they touch.
  • How are you feeling? Calm? Relaxed? Nervous? Tense?
  1. Now notice your breath.
  • Feel the air come out of your nose.
  • Feel the air go down your throat and into your lungs.
  • Notice the pace.
  1. You are now centered; add one final element to your breath:
  • When you inhale, in your mind say “calm”.
  • When you exhale, in your mind say “safe”.
  • You can change these words if something else resonates better.

If you want to deepen your experience and increase your sense of happiness, add one more step: notice something you enjoy about the moment (a song on the radio, a child’s laugh, the beauty of nature, a pleasant smell, feeling comfortable in your body, a gentle breeze, someone smiling, anything that brings you happiness. Soak in this experience and let if lift you so you feel light and joyful.

Being present allows you to become aware, conscious, connected and happy.