Mindful Approach to Reducing Stress

Mindful Approach to Reducing Stress

I’ve always been a little anxious. I shake my leg at speeds that can shake a car when I’m nervous, stressed, feel bad energy (or even if I’m bored). It’s a involuntary reaction that I often don’t notice I’m doing until someone asks me to stop. Along with my anxiousness, comes stress.

Through the past few years, I’ve grown to become more mindful. Mindful in the way I talk to myself, the way I speak to others, the way I act when I’m following my ego instead of intuition, and of course, identifying things that stress me to my breaking point.

What triggers our stress is completely different than the techniques we use to cope with stress.

Stress, for me, is triggered by numerous things but usually comes down to either having to make a big decision or having too much on my plate to handle. I can physically reduce my stress by saying no to things, managing my time better, and not putting so much pressure on “big” decisions. But, that’s often easier said than done, right?

We can reduce the emotion of stress that we feel in the moment, by bringing mindfulness into play.

Here’s how:

1. Don’t Immediately React. Take a second to pause, think, and absorb the information you obtained. Remember that your reaction, is an action you own; be sure it’s the reaction you truly want to express.

2. Remember Emotions aren’t Facts. How we feel about something does not make it fact. Recognize your feelings and allow yourself to experience them, all while remember that we produce our own emotions to scenarios.

3. Write it Out. Sometimes we want to say things, but know in fact we shouldn’t. Often times if we’re upset and spew the first thoughts on our mind, it’s likely hurtful. Write out your emotions to get them off your chest; you’ll physically feel as if a weight as been lifted.

4.Mindful Breathing Yogi’s know that the breath connects us and allows us to slow down; it’s an easy practice that simply requires you to focus your attention on the inhale and exhale of your breath. While the practice itself is easy, keeping your attention on your breath can be difficult. If you find yourself slipping away and thinking of something other than your breath, bring your attention back.

Mindfulness is not an elimination of stress, but more of the awareness of your thoughts. Since thoughts provoke emotion, we’re often able to change how we think or feel about a situation, simply by being more mindful.

Don’t think mindfulness helps you cope with stress? Here’s an excerpt from the Harvard Business Review:

“The benefits of mindfulness meditation for business leaders are increasingly appreciated and confirmed by empirical research. Executives and high performing professionals increasingly use meditation to manage stress, maintain strategic focus, enhance cognitive performance, promote emotional intelligence, and improve interpersonal relationships.”

Next time you’re feeling stressed – identify what’s causing the stress, then mindfully center yourself by using the above techniques.

If you’re having a hard time slowing your mind down or thinking more positive – check out my book, “Mind Love”. It’s full of bite-sized thought nuggets to fuel your life!

With Love,