Mindfulness is a set of techniques that can help reduce stress. These practices can be used in conjunction with other coping strategies to maximize relaxation and minimize the effects of anxiety and depression.
When you notice that you are worrying or ruminating about something that is beyond your control, focus on what you can change, such as how you respond to this situation.
1. Breathing Exercises
Mindfulness is a practice of living in the moment, observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Research shows that mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental health, and enhance well-being.
One of the simplest and easiest mindfulness techniques is breathing exercises. These can be used anytime and anywhere, making them an ideal intervention or coping mechanism when you feel overwhelmed.
Deep breathing helps to lower stress levels by signaling the nervous system that it is safe. Taking deeper, slow breaths from the abdomen can also help to relax stiff and tense muscles.
Try the following breathing exercise: Sit comfortably, and count your breaths in for four seconds, then breathe out for four seconds. Repeat this as many times as you like. Over time, you can increase the length of each inhale and exhale. As you become more comfortable, you can add this practice to your daily routine. You can even incorporate it into your work or school day.
2. Guided Meditation
Many people use meditation to help relieve stress, anxiety and restlessness. A mindfulness meditation guided by a professional helps you calm your mind and focus on the present moment, which in turn can relieve some of the negative effects of stress.
Guided meditations are a great way to get started with mindfulness because they’re easy and can be done at home or on the go. You can try the 10-minute guided meditation below by Abide, or download their app for a free trial with 25% off premium meditations.
Often, we find ourselves thinking about things that are not happening or worrying about unknown outcomes, which can cause unnecessary stress. Mindfulness techniques can teach you how to observe these thoughts and identify when they’re unhelpful or harmful so that you can change them. Mindful movement, such as mindful walking or running, can also help with this by teaching you to tune into physical sensations, rather than just focusing on your thoughts and emotions.
The physical symptoms of stress, such as headaches, tight muscles, and racing heartbeat, can amplify the distress signals sent by the brain. Mindfulness exercises can help calm both the mind and body to prevent this vicious cycle.
Emotional pain often causes people to suppress feelings or engage in self-destructive behaviors, which can provide short-term relief. However, these impulsive behaviors lead to more suffering in the long run. Mindfulness teaches people to accept their emotions, such as sadness or anger, without acting on them.
The mindfulness techniques taught at Nystrom & Associates can help you reduce your overall level of stress and improve your quality of life. To learn more about these effective treatments, call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists at 1-844-NYSTROM. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you feel your best. Our clients love working with us! You will too.
Visualization is a powerful tool for achieving personal goals, reducing stress and fostering relaxation. It is used extensively by athletes, medical professionals, and police officers who work in high-stress environments.
Start by finding a comfortable place to relax and close your eyes. Try to engage all of your senses by thinking about what you see, hear, smell, touch and taste in the peaceful place that you are imagining.
For example, if you are nervous about attending a party because of your social anxiety, imagine yourself going to the party, talking to people and really enjoying yourself. This type of mindfulness practice helps to reduce activity in the part of your brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for switching on your stress response.
Mindfulness training can help you overcome anxiety and live a happier, healthier life. If you are interested in learning more, Nystrom & Associates has experienced providers who can teach you the skills you need to manage stress and live more comfortably. Call 1-844-NYSTROM or schedule an appointment online.