Stress affects everyone to some degree. For some, it is a debilitating emotion that impacts most parts of their life, while for others; few things make them feel stressed. Mindfulness is one way of coping with the stress and reducing its negative impact.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that enables you to gain control of your thoughts and behaviours. People who practice mindfulness are often more focused even when they aren’t meditating than others who have never used mindfulness.
Mindfulness can be used to reduce stress because it stops the feeling of being out of control of a situation. It helps many people get through the day more calmly and productively. Mindfulness can be completed anywhere, at any time of the day in just a few minutes to achieve results.
Stopping the Stress Cycle
It’s important to recognise when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed because it allows you to stop and practice mindfulness. Use your favourite technique such as breathing, walking or focusing on your body to take stock and clear your head.
Techniques to reduce stress
Try these mindfulness techniques and use your favourite one regularly.
Learning how to focus on your breathing and nothing else can take some time but, once you have the skill, you will be able to draw on this technique whenever it’s required.
Sit on a chair with your feet on the floor then focus your attention on your breath. Feel the air moving from your mouth into your lungs and being expelled. If other thoughts enter your mind, regain your focus on your breathing again. With practice, you will be able to spend several minutes completely focused on breathing.
If you prefer to practice mindfulness while still completing another task, try this technique. Shift your thoughts to the actions your body is taking rather than the thoughts running through your mind. If you are working at a computer, concentrate on the movement of your fingers and your sitting position on the chair.
Going for a walk can be a stress reliever, but if you don’t leave your stressful thoughts behind, you may return feeling as stressed as when you left. Instead, concentrate on each step during your walk. Turn off other thoughts as you think about each movement of your foot hitting the ground and the senses around you – the sounds, sights and smells.
Power of Positive Thinking
Push the negative thoughts aside by repeating the same phrase over and over to yourself. A short positive message will give you self-confidence and the space to keep your mind clear of distracting stressful thoughts.
Mindfulness is a growing trend in the way people deal with stressful situations. Find a technique that works best for you and use it to combat the negative impact stress has on your everyday life.