Mindful Techniques When StressedLeave the first response September 3, 2012 / Posted in Mindfulness
Ryan Rivera of Calm Clinic shares some techniques to deal with stress.
Like the Running of the Squirrels, it is not the big things that get me. It is all the little things that overwhelm and take me in the direction of mindless rather than move me toward mindfulness..
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way:
on purpose,in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.
Stress and anxiety reduction should be one of life’s main priorities. Stress affects every component of our being. It makes fun things less enjoyable. It makes bad things linger longer. It hurts health, motivation, and the ultimate goal of achieving happiness in life’s adventures.
Mindfulness is one of the key strategies to reducing stress. Often one of the key issues that affects those dealing with stress is that many try to fight it. They either try to feel as though they’re not dealing with stress, or they allow the stress to overcome them while focusing on the problems causing stress, rather than simply controlling the stress itself.
Mindfulness helps people learn to control their stress and anxiety symptoms. A trained expert is the best way to learn mindfulness and relaxation techniques, but there are some quick and easy ways to integrate mindfulness-based practices into your life.
• Stress Embracing
Normally people fight their stress, because stress is a negative emotion. But generally if you try to fight your emotions, you experience more stress, so this technique doesn’t necessarily work.
A better strategy is to embrace stress. Once you’ve learned to recognize the symptoms of stress, you wait for them and use them as a trigger to go about your life. For example, if you’re often stressed at work, don’t worry about working too hard when you’re feeling relaxed (within reason, of course). Then, when you notice you’re feeling stress, be happy and use that stress as energy to complete your projects.
By embracing stress rather than fighting it, you still experience some stress, but you also learn to control it because it is no longer the enemy of your day.
• Game Making
Similarly, you can turn the experience of stress into some type of game. Using the same work example, chances are if you’re stressed at work there are a variety of causes. Normally, you try your best to avoid these situations, and when the stress hits you feel it deep within, and it essentially ruins your day.
Turning stress into some type of game can make stress something that you appreciate, rather than fight. For example, see if you can come up with 24 different causes of stress at work. If so, turn these different stresses into a bingo game. Any time you notice that one of those issues is causing stress, mark it out on the sheet. If you get a Bingo, go out and do something you enjoy (or buy something you like).
Harnessing stress in this way makes it advantageous and fun will ensure that it is not something that overwhelms you, and may even be something you start to appreciate.
• Writing Out Persistent Thoughts
An issue that often arises with stress is the way that it can overtake your thoughts. Stressful thoughts are extremely difficult to ignore, as your brain tries hard to focus on them, and takes away from focusing on life or sleep.
Generally, when someone is stressed with persistent thoughts, they do their best to think of something else. But this seldom works, and usually leads to further anxiety and stress. Instead, when a thought can’t seem to get out of your head, write it down in a journal. It’s been found that writing things down relaxes your mind, because it tells your brain that it’s in a safe and permanent place. Pay attention to your thoughts, and if there is one that you can’t seem to shake, write it down and you should feel better.
Maintaining a Stress Free World
These are a few simple techniques anyone can implement to take advantage of recognizing stress in the moment. They give you a way to recognize your stress as a thought or a feeling. You will find over time your stress diminishes as you observe it. Letting go of that stressful thought or feeling is often just a breath away.