Learn to Manage Stress by Practicing Mindfulness

July 30, 2019

Learn to Manage Stress by Practicing Mindfulness

In today’s busy world where multi-tasking seems to be the norm and we are constantly pulled in different directions, we get stressed out and forget to enjoy the little moments. In today’s blog, we learn to practice mindfulness.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is being aware of the present – your environment, your feelings, sensations, and thoughts. It is the opposite of stress, which is “caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’,” as defined by the famous spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle.

How to Practice Mindfulness?

The following are steps you can follow:

  1. Whenever you feel stressed, just stop for a moment. Drop your shoulders and release the tension in your tongue and jaw.
  2. Find a comfortable place to sit. Your back is comfortably straight and your legs and arms are comfortably supported.
  3. Allow your thoughts to flow by, leaving just as easily as they come to you.
  4. Notice how you feel as your breath flows in and out. Observe the sensations of your body as you do a mental scan. What do your socks feel like? Notice them, then let the sensation go. What do your elbows feel like? Notice them and let that sensation go. You recall that task you did yesterday. Acknowledge the memory and let it fade. You are right here and right now. Am I angry? Exhausted? Take note, then let it go. That plan you have for later? That’s later. You’re here and now, not there. Let it come and let it go, just like your breath.

 This is mindfulness, being attentive to where you are and what you are doing while you are doing it, and how you feel, without judgment. Buddhists call it sati and Zen.

The proponent of this meditative current was a doctor named Jon Kabat-Zinn, who began to investigate the meditation of Buddhist monks and how this practice had an impact on their physical and psychological health. Dr. Jon was very curious about the way these monks managed to keep their attention for several hours. This intrigued the mind of the doctor: could this mindfulness be applied to a day-to-day lifestyle with more awareness? That would be the seed of mindfulness, a lifestyle that is about living with full attention, fully aware of each of the moments that make it up.

Be here, Be now.

To practice mindfulness it is only necessary to be relaxed, and try to put all our senses in attention to perceive each stimulus of that precise moment with total awareness.

For example, we could start by smelling the delicious aroma of our body wash while we feel the drops of hot water running through our body and hair. The shower can also be a delight for us as long as we know how to enjoy it with full awareness.

Awareness comes with practice. We all have brains that flit, emotions that flash and bodies that strive, and we all have to find our own ways to come to peace with them.

The key is to enjoy moments without hurry. Take your own time and be present.

 




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