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Benefits of Mindfulness

Stress can be difficult to deal with on your own. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Spending too much time planning, problem-solving, daydreaming, or thinking negative or random thoughts can be draining. It can also make you more likely to experience stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. Practicing mindfulness exercises can help you direct your attention away from this kind of thinking and engage with the world around you.”

So how to you practice mindfulness? Here are a few easy steps to follow:

  1. Pay attention to your environment and your senses. Touch, sound, smell, sight and taste can be tuned in to with focus. For example, take time to feel the softness of a favorite blanket, savor the taste of delicious food, enjoy the sound of a relaxing melody or birds chirping outside. Be present in the moment, and push aside the intrusive stressful things you cannot control.
  2. Accept yourself. Give yourself the love, appreciation and forgiveness you usually save for your closest friend. Dedicate some time to admiring yourself as you are.
  3. Focus on your breathing. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath moving oxygen into your lungs, and then out, taking your stress with it. Any amount of time doing this can help, even if it’s only a few minutes.
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