In our busy world, it is easy to get stuck on auto-pilot and focus on getting as much checked off on your “to-do” list. This can lead to burnout, mental fatigue, stress, and a host of other problems. Mindfulness is a type of meditation and is an effective tool to help slow yourself down and live in the moment without judgement. Mindfulness has shown to help decrease depression, increase emotion regulation, reduce stress and anxiety, increase cognitive improvements, strengthen relationships, and better physical health. Ultimately, mindfulness does not change the stressor, but it allows you to help create a more positive outcome. Try adopting some of the mindfulness techniques below and incorporate them in your daily life.
Breathing Methods – By concentrating on the flow of your breath you can slow your heart rate while reducing the feelings of stress, anxiety, or anger. Simply focus as you inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Try to let thoughts leave the mind and remain focused on your breathing.
Guided Imagery/Sensations – Focus on your 5 senses, sight, smells, sounds, tastes, and touch. This allows you to be in the present moment and can help quiet or calm disruptive or negative thinking.
Thoughts and Feelings – This is focusing on emotions and thoughts but without judgement and allowing the feelings to fall away. This put you in control of where to focus your energy and attention, but not ignoring the emotion itself exist.
Movement – Mindful movement is the act of brining awareness to the body to relive stress, improve focus, and burn energy. Don’t mistake this for a workout, but a way to strengthen the mind-body connection – mindful walking, guided stretching, yoga, tai-chi, etc.