Mental Health

Reduce Stress with Mindfulness

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516e6ad83d660b30b28e9e5ab389ff02
516e6ad83d660b30b28e9e5ab389ff02

5 minutes - Article

Being mindful isn’t always easy, but if we get a little better at it, we benefit in necessary ways.

By Elder Connie Forbister

Mindfulness is the practice of staying adjusted to what’s happening in the present moment. It can reduce stress, help reduce drug and alcohol abuse, lower blood sugar levels, and can help people succeed in careers and relationships. Meditation and deep breathing are some of the best skills we have to control stress, improve sleep and avoid illness. Having a cluttered mind gets in the way of deep, sharp thinking. Meditation, yoga and aerobic movements can help you achieve calmness of mind. It may even help you become a better person.

Meditation

Anyone can learn to do this on their own. It takes practise but it is a wonderful road to peace and contentment.

Minute 1: Breathe deeply

Rest your hands on the top of your thighs with your legs hip distance apart and your feet flat on the floor. Close your eyes and relax. Focus on your inner body. Observe how your feet feel on the floor; they feel tingly or you may sense the sharpness of the wood against your toes. Deepen your breathing, through the nose, mouth or both, inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for a count of six; slow and strong.

Minute 2: Fine your pace

Stop counting and let your breathing fall into an easy rhythm. Pay attention to your breath and how it feels, not deep or shallow. Tune in to the rising and falling sensation in your body. Experience it from your belly to your shoulders.

Minute 3: Stay focused

Be aware of your breathing. If thoughts pop into your head, like things you have to do or family etc., don’t push them away. Instead, imagine each of them as a harmless floating cloud. This will help you accept your worries without reacting to them.

Minute 4: Relax

Release the focus on your breathing and just sit. Remind yourself that there’s is nothing to do, correct or improve.

Minute 5: Give thanks

Look back and think of reasons to be grateful, such as spending time with friends, people you love, enjoying music, ceremonies, and children. Then turn your thoughts to how you physically feel. Feel your relaxed muscles and your strong steady heart beat. Open your eyes, stand up and greet the rest of the day. Stay peaceful and cool.

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