May 8, 2024

A NYC Therapist’s Inside Scoop on Mindfulness for Anxiety

Filed In
A neon sign that reads "and breathe". Representing how mindfulness can help your anxiety. Begin anxiety counseling in NYC today!

If you’re a young professional in NYC, you’re probably familiar with those mornings where upon waking , your mind immediately starts racing. Did I remember to send that email last night? What do I wear to work today for this meeting? Why did my friend leave that comment on my Instagram post? Did I ever RSVP to that party? Meanwhile, your phone is starting to buzz with work emails, texts from friends, and reminders to work out and grocery shop.

With all of the hustle and pressures of city life, including the non-stop demands of work, the prevalence of social media, and the stresses of dating and balancing a social life, it makes sense that you might feel constantly on edge and overwhelmed. This is a recipe for constant anxiety and stress.

Mindfulness is a way to press pause and break the cycle of your anxious thoughts. Mindfulness anchors you in the present moment and helps to calm your mind. Contrary to popular assumption, you don’t need to take hours out of your busy schedule or go to a fancy, expensive retreat to learn mindfulness. With just a few minutes and some basic techniques, you can start using mindfulness to relieve your anxiety right now.

In this post, I’ll provide you with some evidence-based mindfulness strategies for anxiety that are specifically designed to help busy individuals like yourself find a sense of calm, even on the most chaotic, overwhelming days.

Understanding Anxiety and Mindfulness

Let’s start with defining anxiety. When you feel your heart racing like you just had one too many espresso shots, your palms feel sweaty, and “what if” thoughts swirl through your head at all hours of the day (and night!), – these are anxiety symptoms. Experiencing these symptoms day in and day out is often emotionally and physically draining.

As a young professional in the city, it feels like anxiety is inevitable. It can hit you at any moment. A stressful email from your boss, a dating app conversation gone wrong, an upcoming work deadline, social media comparisons – these are all potential triggers for anxiety. Unfortunately, they’re likely stressors that are familiar to you.

A blonde woman looking out at the NYC skyline. If you're looking for an anxiety therapist in NYC, NY then look no further! Develop a mindfulness practice today.

Imagine if you had a way to escape the loop of anxious thoughts with something to slow down your mind (and heart rate) that you could do anytime, anywhere. That’s mindfulness. It might sound like a trendy buzzword. However, it’s actually a well-researched strategy for managing the anxiety that comes along with a fast-paced lifestyle.

Mindfulness is about bringing your attention to the present moment because this disrupts the cycle of anxiety. Think of mindfulness as operating like an emergency brake. Especially for those moments when you feel caught up in anxious thoughts about your career, relationships, or anything else for that matter. By anchoring yourself in the present, you’re hitting pause on all of your worry thoughts, whether they’re about the future or the past.

Mindfulness in NYC Daily Life

As a therapist and a New Yorker, I understand the aversion to adding something new to your plate. That’s actually why I suggest you practice mindfulness. It’s really simple. It helps lower stress, it alleviates symptoms of anxiety – and there are easy ways to incorporate it into your life. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some suggestions:

Mindful Breathing

It sounds almost too easy. However, one of the most powerful mindfulness practices for anxiety relief involves breathing. Conscious breathing exercises target physical symptoms of anxiety and can help you find a sense of calm by focusing your attention on nothing but inhaling and exhaling. One technique you can try is box breathing. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and then repeat. You can also try the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Breathing techniques activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes feelings of calm and relaxation.

No matter what exercise you choose, focusing on your breathing allows you to anchor yourself in the present moment, rather than staying stuck in a cycle of worrying about the future and ruminating on the past. The best part about breathing exercises for anxiety is that they can be done anytime, anywhere, and they don’t take up much time at all.

Mindful Meditation

No one thinks they have time to meditate, but that’s because most people hear the word “meditate” and imagine sitting cross-legged on the floor for hours, tuning out the world. But the reality is that meditation for anxiety management doesn’t have to look like that. Even just 5-10 minutes of guided meditation on your commute, during your post-workout stretch, or before bed can help slow anxious thoughts and relieve tension and stress.

All you have to do is put on your AirPods, open an app like Calm or Headspace, and follow along as a meditation guide coaches you through simple grounding exercises. These can help relieve anxiety and promote feelings of relaxation. If you don’t want to download an app, you can also find excellent guided meditations for free on channels like YouTube. And if guided meditation isn’t for you, you can also meditate on your own. It can be helpful to visualize something calming and peaceful. For example, walking through a quiet forest or watching the waves roll onto the beach. When your mind starts to wander, simply return your focus to the visual.

A woman holding a yoga pose in her apartment. Yoga is great for a mindfulness practice! Learn more from a NYC anxiety therapist.

Mindful Movement

Moments during the day that you might spend mindlessly scrolling on social media or zoning out are great opportunities to incorporate mindful movement for anxiety relief. If you’re in an Uber and sitting in traffic, instead of scrolling social media or texting, try practicing some neck rolls or shoulder stretches. Take a minute to be aware of your body and what you’re feeling right there at that moment. Rather than zoning out, allow yourself to release physical stress by stretching. Perhaps even relaxing the parts of your body that carry the most tension and grounding yourself in the present moment.

Yoga is another great way to practice mindful movement. Its ability to relieve symptoms of anxiety is supported by decades of research. Whether you attend a yoga class in person or find a class online to take at home, yoga is an opportunity to focus on your body. Be intentional with your movement and breath, which is the cornerstone of mindful practice.

You can also add mindfulness into your existing workout routine, especially if yoga isn’t for you. Rather than going through the motions of jogging on the treadmill, be intentional with your focus. Think about the rhythm of your steps, your rising heart rate, and the sound and feeling of your breath. Making this mindset shift is an easy way to add mindfulness into your day and hit pause on those anxious thoughts.

Mindful Daily Tasks

A stack of dishes after being washed. Learn how to develop a mindfulness practice with the help of an anxiety therapist in NYC, NY. Our anxiety counseling can support you!

Practicing mindfulness for anxiety doesn’t have to involve any extra time in your day. This is because any activity can be done mindfully, even your daily tasks. Take your morning shower, for example: instead of going through your day’s to-do list in your head, take a minute or two to focus your attention on how the warm water feels on your skin. Maybe what the body wash smells like, or what the water sounds like hitting the tile. Focusing on these sensory details is a way to ground yourself fully in the present. Each of these tasks can help to alleviate your anxiety and stress. The idea is to intentionally immerse yourself in the present moment, even if it’s just for a few minutes. The more you can practice mindful attention to the present moment, the less anxious you will feel throughout the day.

There are countless opportunities each day to practice mindfulness, even in the smallest of moments. Whether you’re washing dishes, folding laundry, or cooking dinner, remember that any seemingly mundane task can be done mindfully by bringing all of your focus and awareness to the task itself. You don’t need an app or a class. Most importantly, you don’t have to add anything to your already busy schedule. By simply being intentional about where you place your focus, you can add mindfulness for anxiety into your routine and find relief from the cycle of your anxious thoughts.

Try Mindfulness for Your Anxiety Today

At the end of the day, being a young and busy professional in NYC involves navigating constant stressors that can trigger your anxiety at every turn. The good news is that you now have mindfulness tools at your disposal to help you find a sense of calm and quiet the anxious thoughts that get stuck.

By incorporating mindfulness into your day, you’re retraining your brain to get unstuck from the cycle of anxious thoughts. Whether you try breathing exercises at work after a stressful call, a yoga class, stretching, a 5-minute meditation on Calm, or mindfully folding laundry, there are plenty of opportunities each day to be present and focus on the moment you’re in now, rather than the thoughts racing through your mind about yesterday or tomorrow.

If you’re not sure where to begin, I suggest starting small: try picking one mindfulness suggestion from this post that resonates with you and test it out. The idea is to eventually make mindfulness practice for anxiety into a daily habit. You deserve a break from your anxiety, so use mindfulness to give yourself a moment of peace each day.

Finding Extra Support in NYC: Therapy for Anxiety

Mindfulness is a great tool, but it doesn’t have to be your only resource for managing anxiety. If you feel that your anxiety is impacting your daily functioning and it’s significantly influencing your work, relationships, or ability to live your life the way you want, then seeking professional support can be incredibly empowering.

Anxiety therapy at Gold Therapy NYC can provide the extra reinforcement you’re looking for when anxiety feels too overwhelming to tackle alone. The right anxiety therapist in NYC will help you explore the root causes of your anxious patterns and equip you with coping skills and strategies that are tailored to your personal needs. Insights about yourself that are gained from therapy can even make mindfulness practice more meaningful.

Get Started with Anxiety Counseling in NYC!

At Gold Therapy NYC, we’re committed to giving our clients a comfortable space to engage with their anxiety in new, productive ways. As NYC-based therapists who understand the unique pressures that you’re experiencing, we know how important it is for you to have personalized strategies that you can realistically and easily integrate into your daily routine. With guidance from our anxiety therapists, you can develop self-awareness. As well as coping skills to maintain your center of calm, despite all the chaos around you.

Other Services Our Anxiety Therapists Offer at Gold Therapy NYC:

You’re goal-oriented and want to learn more mindfulness tips that will help you better manage your anxiety, but you might be thinking about addressing other parts of yourself that hold you back from reaching your full potential. At Gold Therapy NYC, we offer a variety of therapy services to meet your specific needs. It’s our goal to help you feel more empowered and confident. We offer additional therapy services for Depression, Communication & Boundaries, Self Development & Esteem, and more. Together, we can work towards creating a life that feels fulfilling and authentic to you. To learn more about our therapy services, visit our website. You deserve to have satisfying relationships built on trust and genuine understanding. Let us help you get there.