A State of Being
Mindfulness is a state of being aware of things only in the present state. Science has proven that mindfulness practice can ease stress. It decreases anxiety, reduces chronic pain, reduces insomnia, and possibly combats heart disease. But if you spend your life anticipating a bunch of stressful situations, you cannot relax your mind. If you worry about things outside of your control, such as your past or your future it can put your body in a stress response.
With that in mind, today we will go over how to make a habit of mindfulness and develop a new behavior into your life. It’s simple: When you start with a specific outcome, the easiest way to get there is to build a new habit to help you achieve your goal. Here are some guidelines.
1. Relax the Mind
When you want to relax your mind, breathe deep and full. Do not “think” about anything. Focus on your breathing; deep, full breaths. You will allow nothing but your present state of being. There are wonderful apps, (one of my favorites is CALM) MP3’s, CDs, and downloads to help you reach this relaxed state.
Use controlled breathing to de-stress, improve mental health, and improve your circulatory system. Being in a state of stress seems to get you stuck in energy that does not serve you well. This affects your circulation, as stress restricts your blood flow. This is the root of some blood pressure and heart issues.
What would it be like if you could accept this moment- exactly as it is? Click To Tweet
2. Observe the way you breathe
Focus on how you breathe in and breathe out. Monitoring this unconscious process helps you to focus on what is your true present moment. When doing this process, you temporarily set yourself free from worries and fears.
Inhale deep, using a count of four. Take a full four count in through your nose. Then breathe out for the same four-count, again through the mouth. You can use this technique anytime and anywhere, and it is great to practice right before bed to help you fall asleep.
You can also get benefits from abdominal breathing. With one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Breathe in deep through the nose, stretching your lungs. Breathe deep into your abdomen. Aim for six to eight breaths per minute, ten minutes a day, and see how clear and stress-free your mind becomes.
3. Progressive Body Scan
The are many relaxation body scan techniques. Dr. Herbert Benson revealed a technique that allows you to use stress and anxiety as triggers that promote mental health. Yes, you can use stress to make yourself think more clearly and feel better.
The concept is that you can act as your own internal x-ray machine and scan your body. You move your attention to different parts of your body and sense any tension or discomfort. With practice, you can learn to recognize the difference between relaxed muscles and tense muscles. Letting go of physical tension promotes a calming effect.
4. The Relaxation Response
In his book The Relaxation Response, Dr. Benson introduced this approach to relieving stress. His book became an instant national bestseller. Millions of people have learned the secret — without high-priced lectures or prescription medicines. Dr. Benson is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and author of twelve books that have sold over 5 million copies. He proclaims that focusing on using the power of your mind will deliver marvelous results. The Relaxation Response has become a classic reference. It is often recommended by most health care professionals to treat the harmful effects of stress and high blood pressure.
5. Get in Touch with Your Senses
Practice connecting with all your senses. Try to be mindful of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell. When your thoughts drift away you are not connecting all of your bodily sensations. Make an intention to focus on the present moment.
6. Stop Being Judgmental
When practicing mindfulness, you may find it difficult to overcome anger, sadness, anxiety, or frustration. It is best to acknowledge these emotions and not be judgmental. Acknowledge them, accept them, and then let them go.
7. Mindfulness improves attention span and memory
People who practice mindfulness experience an expansion of their working memory. This is because mindfulness helps to avoid intrusive and unhelpful thoughts and focus more on the task at hand. It also improves the ability to focus for longer periods by keeping the brain stimulated and engaged.
HEALTH IS A CHOICE-LEARN HOW TO USE IT!
I am Shirley Noah, an internationally known stress expert and entrepreneur. I would love to connect further with you to help you improve your health and wellbeing. If you are interested in learning more about stress management strategies, please take a look at my popular 8 days, FREE E-course, Worry Journal.