Here are eight ways mindfulness can help you manage the stress response :
- You become more aware of your thoughts. You can then step back from them and not take them so literally. That way, your stress response is not initiated in the first place.
- You don’t immediately react to a situation. Instead, you have a moment to pause and then use mindfulness breathing to help you to pause and not overthink.
- Find a way to switch on your “being” mode of mind, which is associated with relaxation. Your “doing” mode of mind is associated with action and the stress response. Use distraction techniques, pause, pause or challenge thoughts to counteract this.
- Tune in to your inside to manage your bodies reaction to stress. When you notice fast breathing and pains earlier then you can take appropriate counter action. (Distraction, breathing, challenge).
- Recognize when you’re feeling low, and find ways to be kind to yourself and take care of yourself. Top up your battery and build up your emotional intelligence. Make yourself a top a list and use it when needed.
- You can switch your attitude to the stress. Rather than just seeing the negative consequences of feeling stressed, you the stop technique to think differently about the stress itself.
- Catch your inner critic. When you’re not feeling well and the mind begins to ruminate, see it as “ruminating” your off in the story and find a way to keep the focus on your breath, even a few moments of doing this will help.
- Focus on what’s happening to regain control: planning, problem solving or time management. Being passive can make our problems seem worse. It can be very empowering to have strategies and focus and it helps reduce the stress response and makes us feel calmer and focused.
We have attached an audio link to one of our Senses Practice and tips on everyday relaxation techniques to help give you some breathing space and to bring you calm. Why not check out our mindfulness and relaxation products on our shop page.
- Close your eyes- Start by breathing in slow and deep with your eyes closed, using your entire body, you want to fill your stomach first and your chest second, and you want to breath slowly both in and out. When you have filled up your lungs, hold for a few seconds before you exhale. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out perhaps out through your lips, blowing out the stress and tension.
- Count backwards- Slowly count backwards on the out breath from 18 to one. You can do this in your mind, or you can do this out loud. Start over every time you reach one. Remember, slow, measured breathing is important. Repeat this until you feel your mind is focusing less on your stressful thoughts.
- Focus on your body -Concentrate on the way your body feels right now. Notice the areas of your body that are tense and direct the breath there , see if you can do this through every part of the body. You should feel yourself beginning to be less tense and that your muscles can let go. As if your entire body has gone limp and boneless and is now just floppy and if it helps, try to imagine yourself feeling heavy, warm, and tingly as though your tense muscles are no longer holding you up. Remember to relax your face and eyes and jaw and just breathe into the whole body for 6-10 breaths.
- Turn off each muscle- The best way to do this is repeat the above steps to turn off each muscle one at a time. Start with your feet, then legs and so on by imagining those areas feeling heavy and weak. Keep moving your way up until you’ve reached your face. Then go through it one more round, and make sure that each and every muscle feels turned off.
- Wipe negative thoughts away- When negative thoughts enter your mind, try and visualize turning them into an object and have some relaxing thing take it away as you breath out. For example put the thought in a balloon and let the ballon go as you breath out, or or put it on a leaf and let the wind take it away or blow it out into the air on the out breath. Continue the process until you can’t focus on your negative thoughts anymore, for as long as possible, or any time stress or a negative thoughts take hold and overwhelm you.