Stress-Busting Tips Series: Mindfulness

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Posted 149 days ago Latest
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Stress-Busting Tips Series: Mindfulness

Written by Dr Hannah Farnsworth

Finding ways to settle any anxious feelings can help you manage stress so that you feel calmer and more in control each day.

 

Mindfulness, or being present and aware in the moment, is a great tool for helping you manage difficult days or stressful situations. Try the following mindfulness suggestions as part of your daily routine or when you notice anxiety creeping in.

 

1 Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing is a powerful way of calming your body and mind. It can also help increase focus and concentration.

 

The 4-7-8 technique is popular – breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. At first, you may need to start with a shorter cycle, such as 3-4-5 (in for 3, hold for 4, out for 5), gradually increasing as you get used to the technique.

 

2 Body Scan Meditation

This type of meditation helps you relax your whole body. The aim is to tune into any sensations – good or bad – without trying to change them.

 

Lie down somewhere comfortable, such as the sofa or your bed, and close your eyes. Start by noticing any tension or sensations in your toes, and then move upwards through your body until you reach your head. This type of mindfulness aids relaxation by grounding you in the present moment.

 

3 Mindfulness Apps

Apps like Headspace and Calm offer guided sessions to help you manage stress. Choose the right session to suit how you’re feeling or the time of day, whether you want to wake up, focus, relax or sleep.

 

4 Mindful Journaling

Keeping a mindfulness diary is a good way to notice how you feel each day. It’s easy to drift through life without paying attention to our emotions, and we may not see what’s happening until stress has built up and we can no longer ignore it.

 

Writing down your thoughts, feelings and experiences can help you process emotions, reflect on how your day was, and identify your stress triggers. If you notice a pattern to your feelings, you can start finding ways to manage sources of anxiety or stress.

 

5 Mindful Walking

Walking is good for your physical health, but you can also use it to focus your attention on the present. This can help when you feel stressed or panicked. You don’t need to walk for long, but when you head out, pay attention to each step, the sensations you notice in your feet and the rhythm of your walk. Take a deep breath, and tune into your senses to notice the sights, sounds and smells around you, as well as physical feelings such as a cool breeze, warmth from the sun or splashes of rain on your skin.

 

 

Getting into the habit of focusing on the present moment through mindfulness can help you manage stress and anxiety. Once you use mindfulness regularly, you may find it becomes easier to keep stress under control.

Posted by Dr Hannah Farnsworth

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