4 Mindfulness Practices
to Manage Stress
Even if you’ve heard the phrase “mindfulness” before, you might not know what it means or even how to practice it. The practice of mindfulness is being mentally present in the here and now of whatever it is that you are doing.
Have you ever been driving a normal route and then, as you approach your destination, you find yourself asking, “How did I even get here?”. This is because as tasks become repetitive, your brain develops shortcuts, enabling your conscious brain to operate automatically. The same is true while dealing with stress; your brain is well aware of what your body requires. Regardless of how unimportant the stress is, the body will go into “fight or flight mode” and react as if there is a threat to your life.
The problem is that when your body goes into flight or fight mode because of being stuck in traffic or dealing with workplace stress, you are now working against yourself. The body naturally creates its own stress hormone, which can affect your immune system, as well as an increase in heart rate, dilated pupils, and body temperature. It’s critical to comprehend the dangers of your body being in constant “fight or flight mode” if you frequently feel stressed out. Health issues like depression, anxiety, hypertension, heart attacks, and insomnia may develop as a result.
Here at Cottages on Mountain Creek we use mindfulness as a complementary medicine along with other mental health practices to educate our residents on how to be more aware of thoughts, feelings, emotions, surroundings, and situations, and to reduce automatic responses. We believe mindfulness can also enhance emotional well-being of clinicians and staff, helping us develop beneficial therapeutic qualities such as acceptance, compassion, and presence that enrich our work and help us avoid burnout.
Making time to decompress throughout the day can be a powerful step toward stress management. Mindfulness is another technique for stress management. When practicing mindfulness, we are asked to stay present in any situation, which can be difficult when dealing with adversity. However, as you continue to practice mindfulness, you will notice how much you are able to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and how to best handle your triggers and stress.
The intention to move your body daily is what mindful movement is all about. Whether it’s through dancing, walking, or yoga! According to research, mindful moments can help reduce stress and anxiety. When you’re feeling stressed, put on some music and dance, put on your sneakers to go for a walk, or sign up for a yoga class!
When we try to calm someone down, we always say “take a deep breath,” which gives that person time to slow down their breathing and focus on the act of breathing. That is how mindful breathing works; it not only helps to activate your nervous system’s rest and digest division, but it also takes your mind away from the current issue and brings it back to the present moment, to your breath and the act of breathing. Slowing your breathing causes your heart rate to slow, reducing stress both mentally and emotionally.
Meditation can provide you with a sense of balance and mental calm. For many years, meditation has been used to manage stress and build mental resiliency. There are many different types of meditations, but mindfulness meditation is based on being aware of the present moment without judgment. Check out these mindfulness meditations!
According to positive psychology research, being grateful can improve your health and help you deal with adversity more effectively. One way to express gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal in which you write about the things you are grateful for.
With practice and consistency, you can start filling your Wellness Wagon with helpful gems like those mentioned above and pulling them out during stressful times. When we apply these mindfulness practices outside of stressful situations, your brain begins to create new shortcuts to these healthier stress coping strategies. Changing your mindset and outlook on stress management!
Visit www.theemochayoga.com for more mindfulness tips and be sure to follow us on all social media @theemochayoga and subscribe to our YouTube channel for free guided meditations search “Thee Mocha Yoga”
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