10 Ways to Practice Mindfulness and Reduce Anxiety

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10. Embrace being surprised.

Go into each situation, each experience with as few preconceived notions as possible. When we think we know everything about how something will turn out, we cloud our experience with a readymade attitude. But if we simply let life unfold, and observe the world around us with wonder and interest, we can give ourselves a break from trying to figure it all out.

If you’re going to start a painting class, or a new school, or a new job, or stop at a new restaurant try not to expect anything. Invite curiosity to hang out with you for the day. Begin your thoughts by saying, “I wonder how this will turn out.” Even if you’re going to do something you’ve done before, accept that each day your experience can change. The horrible dance class might not always be horrible. The bad family dinner might be really fun next time. At the very least, we might be able to pay attention to good aspects of the evening simply because we are open to it all – the good, the bad, and the in-between.

We can breathe deeply, knowing that we don’t need to know it all before it happens. We can bring excitement and joy back to our days because we invite surprises and unexpected emotions into our lives.

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