Stress is something that everyone has and comes up in everyone’s daily life. Some days are full of stressful events and others just have a smattering of small stressors. In most cases, we can handle our daily stress, but when the stress keeps piling on it can be difficult to manage. Mindfulness is one way you can manage your stress, recognize the triggers, and work through that stress to remove it from your life and move on with your day. If you aren’t sure how mindfulness will reduce your stress, or even help with it at all, here are a few things to consider.
Work Through What Matters
Stress can come from a variety of areas in your life and unfortunately some of those stresses don’t really matter in the whole spectrum of life. That is to say that they may matter in the moment, but they are not priorities. One way to reduce your stress with mindfulness is to focus on the items that are important and need your focus versus the things that do not. An example of this would be having your mind cluttered with what someone said about you or gossip that is affecting your day. These are things that can and need to be reduced from your life because they are causing unnecessary stress. Once these are removed you can focus on the things that do matter; the things that actually build you up and fill your soul.
Take Time to Breathe
This may sound like a very basic concept, but taking time to breathe can help you reduce the stress in your life. The trick to this is to actually learn breathing techniques that can help you reduce your heart rate and keep your body and emotions in check. Once you learn a few breathing techniques, you can apply them at the appropriate times and help refocus yourself, reduce the stress, and deal with any fallout from that stress effectively. Focusing on the length of inhale and matching the length of exhale is a good place to start. It allows you to focus on your body and breath connection and brings you into the present.
Often stress is caused from our immediate reaction to the stress-maker (the thing or person causing the stress). It is easy to have an immediate reaction and let it explode in our minds. This can cause a massive amount of panic or stress over something that likely doesn’t need that sort of reaction. An example of this would be reacting to a new item on your to-do list that is unexpected. You may panic wondering how you will complete the task with the other tasks you have. Instead, you can use mindfulness to refocus and find the solution, realizing that the task can be worked in with another task or handled quickly and moved to your completed list.
Though mindfulness does take some time, it can help you with the stress in your life and reducing that stress into manageable categories or amounts. As you get into mindfulness you will start to find new ways it can help you and new methods to use.