Mindfulness is a technique that combines awareness of mind and body with control of mind and body. It involves being in the moment and accepting the existing state of things without judgment. With a little research and self-discipline, you can train yourself to practice mindfulness to help you manage stress.
Although it can take a while to train yourself to be fully mindful, getting started is easy, and mindfulness will come more naturally with consistent practice. The great thing about mindfulness is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. Ready to get started?
Put yourself in a position in which you are both comfortable and alert, and focus on your breathing.
Do a mental scan of your body. Start at your head and move down to your toes. Focus on each body part, paying attention to how they feel.
Now that you’re aware of your body, put it in the moment by focusing on your senses. Be aware of what your body is seeing, smelling, etc., and accept those things for what they are.
Focus on your thoughts. Don’t think about anything in particular, just allow the thoughts to flow through your mind. Acknowledge them and any emotions that come, but don’t follow them. If you find yourself getting carried away with a thought, refocus on your breathing. The idea is to separate yourself from your thoughts and emotions: to be aware of them, but in an impartial way, so you can also separate yourself from their stress.
As you continue to practice, you will become more comfortable with mindfulness, and will be able to be mindful even when you’re active: at work, eating a meal, taking a walk, etc. Taking time each day to be fully in the moment and to be aware of what’s going on in your mind without judging it can put things in perspective, help you slow down, and reduce stress both temporarily and long-term.