Mindfulness

Simply put, this is the act of paying close attention to your thoughts, feelings and sensations as they’re happening. This is sometimes called being present in the moment. When your thoughts drift away from being “present,” just notice it and gently redirect your attention back without being critical of yourself. According to research, regular practice of mindfulness – even for short periods – provides a variety of health benefits, such as improving your focus, decreasing anxiety, reducing depression and boosting your immune system.

Mindfulness works because it helps buffer us from the habitual patterns of thought that often center on past worries or anxieties about the future. With practice, you’ll gradually gain more control over your thoughts and progress towards a healthier, more positive outlook.

You can practice mindfulness anytime and anywhere, such as during a daily activity like teeth brushing or while taking a walk or even while waiting in line. Just focus your attention on one or more aspects of that particular moment. It could be your surrounding sounds or the sensations of your breathing. When your attention wanders, just return your attention to your focal point.

Develop Your Own Mantra

If you could make one wish, what would it be? Creating a mantra may not guarantee that your wish will be granted, but developing a practice that helps you focus on one thing at a time may drive you in the right direction. This Monday, figure out one of your deepest desires and create a mantra that you can use to keep yourself on target.

Practice Loving Kindness to Spread Joy to Others

‘Tis the season to spread good tidings, and one way to do that is to practice loving kindness! This kind of meditation practice is a great way to calm your mind, develop compassion and empathy for others, and help you be more present. Take a few minutes this Monday to put out positive vibes for others while decreasing stress for you!

One-Minute Meditations for When You Just Need a Minute

Many people claim that they just don’t have the time to spare a moment for mindfulness. These are the people who need to take that moment the most. While it’s a good idea to follow a practice that sets aside 10 to 15 minutes of deep breathing or meditation, taking just one minute can still help you calm your mind and clear your head. This Monday, take a minute to destress with some one-minute meditations.

Take It In – Let Awe Have a Moment

Try to remember the last time something left you speechless – but in a good way. Has something ever left you overwhelmed, impressed, or flushed with a slew of positive emotions that took your breath away? Letting yourself exist in a state of awe for a little while can be beneficial to your well-being while relieving you of burdensome stress. This Monday, find an opportunity to bring something that is literally awesome into your life.

Laugh Out Loud, Lower Your Stress Levels

When life gets tough, an easy way to release tension is a good laugh. But have you ever considered “mindful laughing” while watching your favorite comedy? It might seem unlikely to think of comedy as a mindful experience, especially when the material could contain cursing, ranting, and raunchiness. But there is an argument to make for comedy as a sort of meditation. This Monday, make time to laugh out loud – for your health!

Square Breathing

It’s no secret that deep breathing exercises are a great way to reduce stress. Taking a few moments to concentrate and breathe deeply calms not just the mind but the body. There are several ways to practice deep breathing but it’s always a good idea to try something new. This Monday, try square breathing when you need to take a moment to settle down.

Take a Social Media Break

It’s not uncommon to reach for your smartphone when you find yourself trying to pass the time. You might even be checking your phone while doing something else, worried about the “fear of missing out.” According to a study by the American Psychological Association, 43 percent of Americans consider themselves “constant checkers,” logging in to their multiple social media accounts to see if anything is going on. But all of this “constant checking” might be causing us a lot of unnecessary stress. If you’re looking for one way to decrease your stress levels this Monday, try getting off of your phone!

Single-Pointed Concentration

If you find yourself in need of a quiet, slow moment amidst a storm of chaos and noise, single-pointed concentration might be a great solution. This practice has roots in Buddhist meditation, but even if you’re not spiritual you can still appreciate the focus and concentration you will learn. This Monday, take a moment to slow down, focus on a single point, and reduce your stress while training your brain.

Stay Calm in the Storm

Living a life free of stress is a noble goal but ultimately an impossible one. No matter how hard we try, outside forces will interfere with a seemingly uneventful day and cause us some level of stress. Since stress is a normal part of all of our lives, however, we can all learn to become experts in managing how we deal with it. This Monday, when the storm of stress hits, ride it out!

Find Your Happy Place

If you’re already dreading the week ahead when you wake up Monday morning, take a deep breath and find your happy place. Guided visualization is a relaxation tool used to reduce stress and provide a calming effect on the entire body. Rather than head into your week in a frazzled state, take five minutes this Monday to create a safe haven in your mind.