Create Space Between You and Your Anxiety

Creating some space around the feelings of anxiety so we can explore the experience directly, without being carried away by it.

In this class, we’ll continue on our journey of exploring emotions, and this time we’ll focus on anxiety. This is a pretty common emotion and experience in our modern world. I know it is for me. I work primarily with teenagers, and over the past decade I’ve noted a significant rise in how often they report grappling with this emotion. It seems like our lives are getting so full, so busy. Add to that the global news cycle and the vast amount of information we’re bombarded with every day, and it’s easier than ever to grow anxious.

Before we get down to our practice with anxiety, let’s revisit some of what we talked about last in the last class: remembering first to find something that’s neutral or pleasant in our experience before we dive right into a difficult emotion. This is particularly important when we’re working with anxiety, as it’s an emotion that can often feel overwhelming in the felt sense in our bodies. Sometimes the act of turning our attention to things such as the breath or the sensations in our body can heighten anxiety. And in some cases, this can turn into a panic attack. So, when it…

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About the author

Jessica Morey

Jessica is the co-founder, executive director and lead teacher of Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), a nonprofit that offers mindfulness training for teenagers, parents and educators. Jessica began practicing meditation at age 14 at the Insight Meditation Society teen retreats, where she has continued to practice mindfulness and compassion meditation for a quarter century. Over the past ten years, Jessica has taught mindfulness to thousands of teenagers and led over 60 week-long meditation retreats for adolescents. Before founding iBme, Jessica worked in clean energy and climate policy and finance. Read an article in Mindful Magazine, ‘Finding My Way,’ about her experience learning and benefiting from mindfulness throughout her young adult years.

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