Observe Your Thoughts And Reduce Anxiety: DBT Skills For Life

Find a comfortable spot to sit, either seated or lying down. Take a moment to focus on softening your body and releasing any tension in your shoulders. Close your eyes.

Focus your attention on your breathing. Observe what it feels like to be "in" your body, in this moment, as you slowly breath in and then breathe out.  As you spend a few minutes here, Imagine that you are “riding the wave” of your own breath. You feel safe.

Next, shift your attention to your thoughts. Begin to notice your thoughts, remembering that they are just thoughts. Nothing to do in this moment but simply observe. If you'd like, you can imagine that they pass by on a cloud, or perhaps, these thoughts are gently carried along on a stream.

No need to chase them away or hold on to them. Simply watching. They may even disappear on their own. If you find that you've become fixated on a particular thought or demand, notice how or what took you away from just observing and noticing, then gently bring your attention back to awareness and any thoughts. It's normal to find yourself becoming stuck with a thought. Your only task is to bring your awareness back to observation.

When you are ready, return to your breathing after this thought observation exercise. Gentle, even breaths. Open your eyes. if you'd like, you can write your thoughts down about your experience in a journal or your smartphone. Do this exercise daily or as needed. It can help with  anxiety, sadness, anger or anytime you feel overwhelmed in your life.