Day 15 – Use Mindfulness as a tool to reduce stress
Stress causes all sorts of real, physiological effects on the human body, from increased blood pressure and inflammation to hives and skin rashes. Stress affects not only our minds but also our bodies. A big component to maintaining healthy skin is in managing everyday stress, which is much easier said than done. We can’t control much of the stress in our lives, but we can control our reaction to the stress!
A simple and effective tool to managing stress is the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Mindfulness involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
The practice of mindfulness has roots in Buddhist meditation, but the secular practice of mindfulness has entered the American mainstream in recent years and can be applied to all aspects of life, including mindful eating- a new weight management technique being used successfully by many. Both science and experience demonstrate how being mindful brings positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships.
The challenge for today: Read up on mindful practices and give them a try. http://www.mindful.org is a great web-based resource and the same organization also publishes Mindful Magazine which is full of fabulous articles, ideas and inspirations for bringing mindful practices to your life.
The concept of mindful behavior is simply slowing down to observe and really appreciate all that you do, from eating to the things you see as you drive down the street. Being mindful allows you to appreciate people, places and things around you and notice how you react to them. Simple, yet powerful!
Struggling to stay in the present moment? Read up on some reasons why this might be here.