“Mindfulness is probably one of the most powerful stress busters out there. It’s also a phenomenal way to become fully engaged with life. Practiced and taught by teachers in traditions ranging from Vedic and Tantric to Buddhist and everything in between, it’s a versatile practice that we often gain access to through meditation, but can easily transfer to everyday living.”
Here are just a few ways to be mindful in everyday living:
Now add some more ideas of your own
From HeartMath, Inc
April is National Stress Awareness Month. A great many of us believe our stress is increasing, so it’s a good time to redouble our efforts and take stock of what’s causing our stress and what we can do to minimize it.
We all know we should reduce our stress, but that’s easier said than done when we’re simply trying to keep up in these fast-paced times. The American Psychological Association’s (APA) most recent statistics are evidence that a lot of people are having a difficult time.
APA 2012 Stress Findings
• 69 percent of U.S. adults surveyed who reported experiencing high stress said their stress had increased during the previous year.
• 33 percent of U.S. adults said that they never discuss ways to manage stress with their health care providers.
• Although overall stress declined from 5.2 on a 10-point scale in 2011 to 4.9 in 2012, 35 percent of Americans said their stress increased in the last year, with 20 percent reporting extreme stress levels of 8, 9 or 10.
Changing Nature of Stress
We’ve long known chronic stress exacerbates problems with health, communication and performance. Many of us hear that inner voice telling us to live less stressfully so we don’t become casualties of excessive stress. By all estimates, stress is a major threat.
In the words of APA CEO Norman Anderson, “Stress could easily become our next public health crisis."
Not long before this new millennium, stress often was considered a major problem only after a life crisis such as trauma, illness, home foreclosure, job layoff, divorce, death of a loved one or other major life events.
Day-to-day life was different for most in many ways. We had more time between events like eating, sleeping and working. We spent more time with family and simple hobbies. There was actually time to unwind and recoup, whether at day’s end or on vacation.
Now we worry about emails piling up so high we wish we hadn’t gone on vacation at all. Advances in technology now make so much more possible and enable us to constantly multitask, take on more and be ever hyperconnected.
Today’s stress is more persistent and pervasive. With more to do than ever before, we do more. We expect more of ourselves and others. Life constantly accelerates and changes. Uncertainty about the future seems greater than ever.
It’s a placing an enormous amount of pressure on us, and not releasing it can send us into mental and emotional overload. Stress is our body’s way of saying we’re out of balance, risking poor decisions about health, relationships, schoolwork, job performance and more.
These HeartMath tips have worked for thousands worldwide.
Tip 1. Heart-Focused Breathing™
HeartMath research has shown that Heart-Focused Breathing, which only takes a few minutes, can help quickly reduce stress, anxiety and anger, especially in times of emotional overload.
• Imagine breathing through your heart, or the center of your chest. See yourself taking a timeout to refuel your system, breathing in an attitude of calm and balance. Breathe in for 5 or 6 seconds and out for 5 or 6 seconds.