Wellness: Mindfulness Over Matter: Combating Stress through Self-Awareness
Guided imagery: relaxation, aided by imagination.
Guided imagery uses words and music to help guide your imagination toward a relaxed, focused state. An instructor, tapes or scripts can help you through this process. You can use guided imagery to imagine a safe, comfortable place, like a beautiful beach or country road - a place where stress is not top of mind.
Deep breathing: one of the best ways to lower stress in the body.
When you breathe deeply, taking slow deep breaths, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Relaxation combats the symptoms of stress, such as an increased heart rate, fast breathing and a rise in blood pressure.
Mindfulness: focus on the here and now.
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing your attention on the present, and what you are sensing at that moment. By focusing on the here and now, you are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past. Mindfulness is often learned through meditation, which is a method of controlling your attention by focusing on your breathing, a phrase or an image. The key to mindfulness is allowing thoughts to come and go without judging them.
How to Practice Mindful Meditation
Most mindful meditation is done seated. One way to practice it is through a mental "body scan." To do this: