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Melli O'Brien



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Anxiety Is Not Your Enemy

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

So, today we're going to explore a new way

of understanding and relating to anxiety.

So the reason we experience anxiety has

to do with the way that our mind evolves.

So for most of the last time, 200,000

years of human evolution, humans

lived in Hunter-Gatherer tribes.

It's only been a really short

sliver of time that humans have

anything like the way we live today.

So, of course our minds still

operate in much the same way that

they did in those caveman days.

Now, in the caveman days, life

was very dangerous and difficult.

So to stay alive, our ancestors had to

be constantly on the lookout for danger,

threats, and problems to be solved.

So the humans who were constantly

anxious, alert and on the lookout

for danger, they were the ones who

survived and passed on their genes.

Now, even though we live in a much

more safe and comfortable world

today, this mind that we've inherited

is still operating in the same way.

It's always on the lookout

for threats and problems.

So, you might notice in

your own life, right?

Even if everything's okay, the mind tends

to ruminate, worry and fixate on problems.

But now, instead of worrying about

saber tooth tigers or attacks from

rival cleanse, we worry about our

relationships, our health, our careers.

So, this constant stress, worry and

fixation on problems may have been a

great survival strategy in the past.

But these days it's unhelpful, painful

and debilitating to be constantly

stuck in that mode of being.

But I want you to really

take something in here.

Everything your mind is doing is in

an attempt to protect and serve you

Is trying to help you stay alive.

So all that worry, that feels

really unpleasant, actually

comes from a place of care.

Your mind is your friend,

and anxiety is not an enemy.

Anxiety is a normal, healthy emotion.

But when our minds get stuck in it, it's

a bit like a product of an out of date,

piece of software running in the mind.


So, but when we see this clearly, we

can learn to befriend our experience

and work with it in new ways.

We don't have to try and

get rid of all our anxiety.

In fact, there's no way to do that.

Anxiety's a natural part of being human.

What we can do is shift our

relationship to it, so it's

no longer debilitating for us.

Now, mindfulness is a tried, tested

and evidence-based path to unwind

and transform that old software

pattern in the mind that causes

stress, anxiety, and suffering.

With regular practice, you'll

become a more calm, kind, and clear

headed person — an island of sanity

and peace in a frantic world.

So in this spirit, I invite you to

join us for today's meditation, where

I'm going to guide you through a

practice to help you befriend your

experience and rewire your mind for

greater happiness and inner strength.

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