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Appreciate More, Stress Less 

Mindfulness, it is a word not readily used in every day language and perhaps is not something that many people think about.

But I have found and used this technique in my life for many years and have found that it really does help in making life so much less stressful.

Managing stress using this method has enabled me to appreciate the good things in life and as a consequence, has allowed me to slow down and be generally more relaxed.

What Is Mindfulness?

It has its roots based in Buddhist teaching but is not a religious belief but a simple way of looking at life. It simply means:

  • Being still and aware of the present moment
  • Not dwelling on our past or on our future
  • Bringing our attention to our present activity

One of the best times I find in being mindful is when I am having a meal. For instance instead of putting one mouthful in after another whilst watching television or reading etc:

  • Notice the food you are eating,
  • How it tastes,
  • What its textures are like.
  • Slow down your chewing and pause between mouthfuls.

This method has three main benefits:

  • You enjoy the food and experience of eating
  • You allow your body time to digest the food better and this helps with reducing hunger which could encourage you to eat more than you actually need
  • You have relaxed your body and digestive system

It can be used in any situation for instance:

  • While driving
  • Taking a walk
  • Cooking
  • Watching TV
  • Having a conversation

By living in the present moment and appreciating the minute details of the activity, you are not allowing yourself to worry or stress about other things around you. It allows you to remain calm and collected and life will seem so much more fulfilling.

Of course this is a simplistic explanation of being mindful and there is so much more to it. To really reap the rewards and how it can help you deal with stress in your life, there are courses and training which can be undertaken.

What Is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

This is a specific program which brings together meditation and yoga and was developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre.

The program is designed to cultivate a better awareness of the harmony of mind and body and how our unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can have an adverse affect on our emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

Stress and stress related disorders are affected by our thoughts and feelings and medication has been proven to have a positive effect on a range of autonomic physiological processes, such as lowering blood pressure.

MBSR also uses some martial arts in its training program and this also helps to reduce stress due to a lack of physical exercise and condition.

This video is rather long but stick with it, it is really insightful and gives you a greater understanding of of the MBSR method and how you can use it in your life. So grab yourself a hot drink, sit back and relax as you watch this video. Enjoy 

› Mindfulness