I bet everyone has heard of mindfulness lately and there is a good reason. By being mindful we can strengthen our inner resources to improve our resilience in our day to day lives.
We live in an increasingly stressful society filled with work, training, friends, family, study, healthy eating all competing for our attention on a daily biases. We have all seen those memes of facebook as below. I’m sure we can all relate. Everyday life can be extremely stressful and that is even before we throw in a major life event like illness, death, redundancy, divorce, etc.
This is where mindfulness can come into play. The definition of mindfulness is simply a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. Easy right?! Not always. When you are caught up on the phone with the IT department (#areyoufingserious #wheresthewine) or stuck at ANOTHER lot of roadworks mindfulness can be a hard mental state to achieve. Lets be honest in those moments we are usually more focused on not losing it.
However there are some quick and easy mindfulness meditation techniques which you could try to help relive stress and tension in your body. Below is just on technique which can be used anywhere.
DEEP BREATHING RELAXATION
How to use and when:
This exercise can be used at any time, either by yourself or in the company of others.
It may be done standing with your eyes open, or if you are alone, sitting with your eyes closed for a longer amount of time.
It can be used:
- Feeling tense
- Feeling Anxious
- Finding it difficult to relax
- In a challenging situation
- Start by breathing in slowly and deeply, so the breath fills the lower abdomen (rather than the chest). The abdomen should expand out.
- Then breathe out slowly, expelling all the air first from the lower abdomen and then the lungs.
- Continue breathing in and out slowly and deeply, right to the bottom of the abdomen, about ten times.
- Allow your breathing to return to normal.
- This can be repeated as often as required until you feel calm and relaxed.
Exercise plays a huge role in minimizing stress but we cant always go for a run or smash a gym session. So next time try the deep breathing relaxation technique and see if it makes a difference.