10 Mindful Attitudes To Help Overcome Anxiety

10 Mindful Attitudes To Help Overcome Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, affecting over 40 million adults. The chronic stress, worry, and tension of anxiety can significantly diminish one’s quality of life. While medication and therapy have traditionally been the go-to treatments, mindfulness has emerged as an increasingly popular supplement or alternative.

Mindfulness is purposefully bringing awareness to the present moment without judgment. Substantial research shows mindfulness can lessen anxiety. A fundamental way it does this is by cultivating new attitudes and perspectives. This article will explore ten powerful mindful attitudes with the potential to transform one’s relationship with anxiety. Integrating these philosophies into daily life can gradually reshape your mindset and approach to anxious feelings. With consistency over time, anxiety begins to lose its control and grip.

Understanding Mindfulness

Mindfulness means waking up and engaging in the present rather than dwelling on the unchangeable past or worrying about the uncertain future. It is awareness without criticism, openness without fixation. Research reveals mindfulness activates parts of the prefrontal cortex associated with positive emotional states.

Regular mindfulness meditation has been found in scores of studies to reduce anxiety. But beyond formal meditation, we can bring mindful attitudes to everyday activities to ease anxiety. Mindful eating, walking, working, and listening can all be impactful. Adopting conscious attitudes creates mental space from anxious thoughts, lessens their frequency and believability, and reduces reactivity. Here are ten conscious attitudes to overcome anxiety:

1. Non-Judging

Judging oneself or circumstances very often amplifies anxiety. Non-judging is about perceiving without criticism – we notice thoughts and feelings without declaring them good or bad. There’s an inner acceptance.

When anxious, we often judge our anxiety quite harshly. This piles on even more unease. Shifting to non-judgment allows us to accept emotions with less turmoil. We gain the perspective that thoughts are just thoughts.

2. Patience

Cultivating patience is about allowing life to unfold at its own pace rather than hurrying to be somewhere we are not. Impatience around anxiety often backfires – we tense up wishing anxious thoughts would stop.

Patience can be nurtured through letting things be – without needing immediate solutions to distress, without time urgency, without grasping. This allows space for fresh ways of approaching difficulties to merge naturally.

3. Beginner’s Mind

Beginner’s mind refers to perceiving life with fresh eyes as if undertaking an activity for the first time. We let go of preconceptions, judgments, and habits around things.

This attitude lessens anxiety, as being too set in our ways can be unsettling. Cultivating a beginner’s mind allows us to encounter experiences, including anxious ones, with openness and curiosity – two qualities that reduce worry.

4. Trust

Self-trust gives us inner stability, a knowing that we will be alright regardless of circumstances. It enables facing difficulties without as much frantic reactivity or the need for constant control.

Anxiety often arises when we lose trust in ourselves and our capacity to handle challenges. By cultivating trust, we can meet anxiety with an assuredness that things will work out, lessening the urge to eradicate the anxiety forcefully.

5. Non-Striving

Much anxiety is fueled by constantly striving towards goals and clinging to specific results. With non-striving, we shift efforts from relentlessly trying to achieve an outcome to simply doing our best relaxedly.

Non-striving lessens unease about needing perfection or specific results. We create mental and physical space to move harmoniously with life’s flow. Anxiety is further eased by adopting non-striving self-acceptance regardless of outcomes.

6. Acceptance

Acceptance means bravely meeting life’s challenges while saying yes to things beyond our control. This includes tolerating unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or situations without avoiding or excessively fighting them.

Acceptance lowers anxiety’s intensity by encouraging peaceful coexistence with worries rather than straining to control or eliminate them. Much stress is fed by non-acceptance. Meeting it with “this too shall pass” self-compassion stills anxiety.

7. Letting Go

Letting go is recognizing we often torture ourselves by trying to control things that cannot be controlled – including many anxiety triggers. By letting go, we open our palms to allow life’s unchangeable circumstances to occur, doing our best to handle things within our power.

Releasing the tight grip of needing certainty or comfort lessens anxiety fueled by outcomes outside our control. Letting go ushers in fresh possibilities absent when hooked on a rigid vision. Things flow more freely when removed from the vise grip of anxiety.

8. Gratitude

Regular gratitude practice powerfully transforms perspective. Anxiety often arises when we fixate on problems or lack. Gratitude gently moves attention to the blessings right under our noses that may be missed.

Focusing on gratitude for small things boosts optimism, opens eyes to the support and resources already present, and elevates attention beyond anxiety and worry. It’s tough to hold both gratitude and anxiety simultaneously.

9. Self-Compassion

Compassion for oneself and one’s anxiety is enormously comforting. Rather than harsh self-criticism exacerbating anxiety, we soothingly recognize anxiety as part of the shared human condition. Befriending oneself makes worries feel less isolating.

Self-compassion encourages personal care when anxiety strikes – we give ourselves the kindness we might provide a distressed friend. This lessens identifying with anxiety as some essential broken part of ourselves needing fixing. Anxiety becomes emotional weather – stormy but transient.

10. Generosity

Generosity toward others reduces attachment to the self-centered narratives driving anxiety. Acts of kindness toward the people in our lives or larger communities tap into our innate altruistic nature. This elevates focus beyond our narrow worries.

Giving attention, time, resources, or encouragement to help others regulates unease while boosting purpose. When we lift people beyond ourselves, perspective broadens beyond what triggered anxiety. Our interconnection becomes clearer.

Case Study: Marissa’s Journey With Mindful Attitudes

Marissa has struggled with GAD and panic attacks for the past couple of years. But through embracing mindful attitudes, she has dramatically transformed her anxiety.

She now utilizes patience, allowing feelings to rise and fall without urgency. Trusting her resilience through past anxieties, she lets worries be rather than squashing them. Marissa has adopted a beginner’s mind, approaching triggering situations openly without painful preconceptions.

Releasing attachments to perfect outcomes, she works hard while letting go of elements outside her control. Anxiety has lost intensity, knowing things generally work out. Replacing harsh self-criticism with self-compassion has also been very helpful.

When anxiety becomes intense, Marissa tries gratitude journaling to uplift her perspective. Acts of generosity toward friends and family also lessen isolation. While anxiety still arises, its grip has loosened considerably through mindful attitudes.

Key Takeaways

  • Mindfulness helps overcome anxiety by transforming perspective.
  • Cultivating these ten mindful attitudes can reshape one’s relationship to anxiety.
  • Critical attitudes include non-judging, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance, letting go, gratitude, self-compassion, and generosity.
  • With consistency integrating these philosophies, anxiety begins to lose its power and control.
  • Research shows mindfulness meditation reliably reduces anxiety through brain changes.
  • Mindful attitudes create mental and emotional space for anxious thoughts and feelings.
  • Examples of each attitude demonstrate practical integration into daily life.
  • The case study depicts the fundamental transformation experienced by integrating mindful qualities.


As discussed throughout this piece, adopting mindful philosophies allows for relating to anxiety more constructively. Maintaining rigid resistance or hostility fails.

But what unfolds when we approach anxiety with non-judging patience, trusting our ability to handle challenges, and letting go of requiring specific results? The grip lessens considerably. The room is open to taking difficulties more adaptively.

While anxiety may come and go depending on circumstances, it becomes less central to one’s identity with mindful attitudes. We no longer fuse so strongly with anxious thoughts, progressively cultivating awareness. By making friends with oneself, we extend the same compassion given to a dear friend.