Mounting job pressures, financial matters and health concerns are among the leading causes of stress in the US; all of which will negatively impact your personal and professional life. Over 70% of people in the US regularly experience physical and psychological symptoms caused by stress. So it should come as no surprise that we routinely suffer from symptoms like chronic fatigue, diminished sex drive, overwhelming irritability and intense nervousness.
If you are among the growing number of people who could use help developing fortitude and inner strength so that inevitable physical and mental pressures have less influence on your overall well-being, read on—this is how mindfulness helps stress.
Inspires you to become more tuned into your thoughts. No matter what the outside cause, stress is quite often fed and sustained by your thoughts. It’s easy to let your mind wander down a negative path, worrying about situations and problems that haven’t even occurred. Turn this negative into a positive by recognizing and acknowledging this destructive pattern.
Because the conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time, your greatest weapon when dealing with stress will be your power to choose one thought over another. Train your brain to notice your habits—whether they are good or bad—so you have the freedom to choose your path.
The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past.
Encourages you to evaluate situations before you react to them. If you can change your thoughts, you can change your world. Take a moment to pause and reflect—call upon your wise mind—that place where your reasonable mind and emotional mind overlap, giving you greater control of the situation at hand.
Approach problems rationally and logically; focus your attention on solving the issue before you. Don’t allow unhealthy feelings such as fear and anxiety flood your system and sap your strength.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
Shifts you from ‘doing mode’ to ‘being mode.’ The job of the doing mode is to get things done. The mind travels forward to the future or back to the past and evaluates your current situation based against standards of what is required or expected. By dwelling on how things are, not as we would like them to be, it keeps you in the vicious cycle you long to escape.
The focus of the being mode lies in accepting and allowing what is without immediate pressure to change it. The mind has nothing to do and no place to go; it simply encourages you to live and be in the present moment.
Fully experience where you are and what you’re doing; give yourself the choice of what you are bringing to mind.
Trains you to be sensitive to the needs of your physical body. Chronic stress can have a ripple effect on the body, translating emotional strain into physical pain. Studies reveal that practicing mindfulness heightens body awareness and has stress-busting benefits to your overall health. Among the benefits, it has been shown to reduce heart risk, lower blood pressure, boost immune system, and relieve pain.
When you are living every day in crisis mode, you are constantly activating the body’s stress response. More than likely, you don’t even realize how physically stressed and unbalanced you are until you make some time for peace and quiet. Reducing your stress levels can not only make you feel better right now, but it will protect your long-term health and wellness.
Work with your body instead of being at its mercy. If you don’t change direction you may end up where you’re going.
Promotes compassion and connection to yourself and others. Studies show that mindfulness can help ease stress and foster positive emotions, helping to provide resilience against negative experiences. Compassion and understanding are important skills to have and are advantageous in both your personal and professional life. There is evidence that the practice of mindfulness promotes empathy and a sense of compassion; making us more likely to help those in need.
As your mind, body and spirit begin to connect, your emotional intelligence rises and you are less likely to be at odds with others. Foster peace and good will; see life as it is and not just the way you want it to be.
How others treat you is their path, how you react is yours.
Fosters a higher level of focus and concentration. The biggest shift of the century has been the world wide web. The internet’s steady stream of information and interruption can cause endless disruptions and distractions, easily leaving you feeling overwhelmed and frenzied.
Having a greater sense of well-being reduces your stress response and contributes to a more satisfied life. Research confirms what many religious and philosophical traditions have claimed for years, we experience our greatest joy when we are present and attentive. Practicing mindfulness will make it easier for you to be fully engaged and enjoy life’s pleasures.
You are the only person who thinks in your mind. You are the power and authority in your world.
Let mindfulness be your medicine.
Mindfulness may very well be the best stress lowering modality of all. If you allow stress to get in the way with your potential to live anything but a fulfilling life for a prolonged period of time, it will become hazardous to your health. The longer the stress lasts, the more dangerous it is for your mind, body and spirit.
In the end, you need to find balance in your life. Learn to shift into the present moment and make the practice of mindfulness a habit. Begin to see that you have a choice and enjoy living life to the fullest.
I am a corporate wellness consultant. As a master yoga instructor, I support in-house wellness programs, seminars, trade shows and executive retreats. I help business leaders build and maintain physical and mental well-being. If you would like to learn more about offering a health and fitness program to your busy management team contact me at [email protected] or 386.871.0582
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