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Be Mindful | Stress and Anxiety Reduction

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

Mindfulness does not require technology or specialized knowledge. Mindfulness is a state of awareness of what is taking place in the present moment. Present moment experiences include one’s own thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.

A practical and natural way to cope with stress and anxiety is mindfulness.

The practice of awareness does not imply judgment or evaluation.

Mindfulness does not entail thought stopping or deliberate distraction. On the contrary, mindfulness simply asks you to be aware of your thoughts and sensations as they naturally occur. The practice of awareness does not imply judgment or evaluation. For example, if nervous, mindfulness is not about evaluations like, “I shouldn’t be feeling this way,” or “I need to get out of this before something bad happens.” On the contrary, mindfulness asks you to experience what nervousness feels like and observe the thoughts and sensations that run through your mind in the moment.

The Mindful Advantage

Advantages of mindfulness may include symptom reduction, improved concentration and focus, decreased rumination, ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and more management over your emotional experiences.

3 Ways to Start Being Mindful

Like any new technique, mindfulness takes active practice and the more you practice the more effective mindfulness can become. Below are 3 ways on how to achieve mindfulness.

1. Meditation

Find a nice comfortable and quiet place to sit down. Pay close attention to your breathing filling and leaving your lungs. Notice the physical sensations throughout your body. When your mind gets distracted with thoughts, observe your thoughts, watch them pass by, and resume attention to your breathing.

*You can also incorporate body scans into your meditation practice. Notice the physical sensations in your body as you meditate. Start with your feet and go up to your leg, abdomen, chest, back, shoulders, arms, neck, and face. At least 15 seconds per body part can be helpful.

2. Mindful Walking

As you are walking, observe your physical sensations with each step. Further, use your senses to take in your surroundings and observe yourself absorbing your environment.

3. Use Your Five Senses

When engaging in meditation or mindful walking, pay close attention to each sense and observe yourself. For example, focus on things you hear, see, feel, smell, and taste.

*You can also experiment by envisioning a relaxing location in your mind (real or imaginary), close your eyes, and go through each sense visualizing what you are taking in.

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