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.

Mindfulness 101: Where and When to Practice

All this month, DeStress Monday has been going back to the basics, explaining the fundamentals of building a mindfulness practice. Beginning with deep breathing techniques, we discussed being present and positive, then we learned the benefits of loving kindness. You may be thinking that all of this is great information – but when and where are you supposed to do this? This Monday, we’ll give you a few simple suggestions for fitting mindfulness into your schedule.

Mindfulness 101: Loving Kindness

Practicing mindfulness, as we have been learning all this month, has great benefits for reducing our daily stress. Even when done separately, deep breathing, being present, and being positive all help to calm the mind and help you refresh yourself in just a few minutes. This week, let’s take those benefits and extend them to others. Practicing loving kindness is a great way to build empathy and compassion; two things that help you look beyond yourself and put a stressful situation into perspective. This Monday, spread the good vibes and make it a great week for you and everyone around you!

Mindfulness 101: Be Positive

Once you’ve learned how to clear your head of daily worries with the basics of mindfulness, such as deep breathing and being present, the next step is to shift your state of mind. If stress has been causing you to have negative thoughts, try switching your direction and think positive. Look on the bright side this Monday and spread sunshine everywhere you go!

Mindfulness 101: Being Present

This month, we’re covering the basics of mindfulness so you can build a simple mindfulness practice from the ground up. Every Monday, we’ll discuss a key element that can work on its own or build upon last week’s element. Last Monday we covered deep breathing, which can help you focus on your breath as a way to relieve stress. This week, we’ll discuss being present, which is an important part of mindfulness that can also reduce stress and ease anxiety. You can even use deep breathing as a way to begin!

Mindfulness Monday 101: Deep Breathing

As we begin a brand new year, it’s a great opportunity to start paying better attention to self-care and managing our daily stress. Maybe you already have a few favorite activities that help you calm your mind and body, but consider adding one more tool to your anti-stress kit: mindfulness. Every Monday this month, DeStress Monday will present a new element of mindfulness that can be built upon to create an easy-to-follow practice that may help you reduce symptoms of stress. This Monday, we’ll start with the one of the most basic elements of a mindful practice: deep breathing.

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!