How Mindfulness Can Help Reduce Stress


Most people experience stress at some point in their lives – it's a normal part of being human beings. However, some people experience more stress than others; perhaps it's merely because of their personality or disposition. There is nothing wrong with feelings of stress, but that can interfere with living the life you desire. In some cases, medication can be helpful, but it should always be accompanied by a mindfulness practice that has no side effects and more chance of resolving the issue long-term. 

It changes how we react 

Stress is a big issue in our society today and a condition that can lead to various illnesses and unhelpful mental states. It's not possible to do our best work when we are stress, for instance, and stress can also cause physical ailments such as skin conditions and break-outs. Mindfulness is one of the best antidotes to a stressed mind and body as it can relieve both internal and external forces.

It can be hard sometimes to recognize the sources of stress, but doing so can be an important part of relieving it. External stresses can come in the form of a heavy workload, chronic illness, or negative emotional environment, while internal stresses tend to be negative self-image, unrealistic expectations, and excessive worrying. If you are mindful of the cause of your stress, it's the first step to relieving it. 

It improves our awareness

Suppose you experience stressful states of mind on a regular basis because of work or your life situation. In that case, you probably wish you could have a quick-fix solution, like a strip of duct tape that could solve the issue temporarily. Mindfulness can do a lot better than that, even in senior care. In fact, it can be a long term solution as well as a quick fix. 

Developing a mindfulness practice is about developing your awareness of yourself and your mental states. When you bring awareness to the stressful condition, it tends to transform in some way. Sometimes it will melt away; other times, there is onrushing stress first, like a tidal wave, before things settle down. The important thing is to stick with the practice and stay concentrated. 

It can be used at any time 

We've all been in those situations where we are too stressed to concentrate. This is an aspect of our evolution. When our mind perceives a threat, chemical signals are sent all over the body that actively shut down cognitive processes in favor of fight or flight responses. This can be very inconvenient, especially when you're in a professional capacity and need to function properly. 

That's where mindfulness comes in again. It's better than medication to relieve stress because it can be used instantly in those stressful situations, and it doesn't have any side effects. The next time you are paralyzed by stress before speaking at a public event or giving an important presentation in the office, pay close attention to your breathing. If you bring all of your attention and awareness to the breath, you will soon find you are relaxed and once again capable. 

It makes us more intentional 

Practicing mindfulness on a regular basis allows us to become more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It creates a distance between how we feel and what we think. So we live more in the state of how we feel and are less influenced by thoughts that may be stray or unhelpful. Because of this capacity for spacious awareness, we become more relaxed and less reactive. 

When you practice mindfulness, you will be less likely to react to an external stressor such as shouting or arguing. Your mindfulness practice will enable you to stay rooted in your awareness and not to be drawn into negative mind spaces. From this place of spacious awareness, it is possible to be more constructive and productive with external stressors. You will find that your life and work will progress more quickly with a sense of spaciousness than it did when you worried about the future. 

It helps us be ourselves

Part of the reason we get so stressed in life is that we don't know ourselves well enough. If we are not completely rooted in who we are and comfortable with who we are, it's likely that we will feel under-confident or that we are not worthy of certain things, whether it is a person or a promotion. Practicing mindfulness helps us get in touch with ourselves and accept who we are without judgment. 

Mindfulness Can Help Reduce Stress and Other Great Things for Your Brain