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8 Tips to Reduce Stress with Mindfulness

From relishing in food or running to music, people manage stress through various outlets. But reducing stress can not only be found from external sources, but may be conquered within. Find out how to lower stress with simple mindfulness tips and techniques!


Reducing Stress with Mindfulness

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a program aiming to teach individuals on how to lower stress through mindfulness, to be fully present and fully aware, and ultimately used to cope with illness, pain, and stress. The skill promotes paying attention and being aware of personal surroundings, emotions, thoughts, and feelings of the body. When being mindful, attentions are on one thing, and that one thing only. Being nonjudgmental urges individuals to not dwell on the past, as it can inhibit the ability to accept or solve problems and instigate more stress. Training your mind to focus in the moment dulls worry and encourages people to accept circumstances as they are, all in hopes to lessen stress and worrisome feelings.

And while being mindful is a subjective, personal moment, research continues to validate the importance of mindfulness stress reduction through compelling, objective data. A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine suggests mindful meditations can ease psychological stress, including anxiety, depression, and pain. Additional studies align with such findings; further implying mindfulness-based stress reduction programs can lessen anxiety symptoms in people living with generalized anxiety disorder.

8 Mindfulness Stress Reduction Tips

While the benefits of mindfulness continue to flourish and solidify, they can only exist if able to personally implement the skill. The following mindfulness tips strengthen mindfulness and may reduce both short and long-term stress.

1. Develop Concentration
Especially if new to mindfulness, focus all attention on developing concentration. The more practice you put into it, the greater the ability to recognize when the mind starts to wander and how to bring it back to the present moment.

2. Practice Breathing
Deep breathing is imperative to quiet the mind. In the beginning, practice mindful breathing for at least 10 minutes, focusing on the inhale and exhale of each breath.

3. Slow Down
In such a busy society, we learn to react and move in a quick fashion. However, it is important to slow down speed and breath in various environments, whether it be heading to work, waiting for an appointment, or eating lunch.

4. Be Patient
Patience truly can be a virtue, especially when it comes to being mindful. Be patient with yourself and the process to naturally increase mindfulness and awareness.

5. Let Go of Control
It is important to recognize some situations are out of our personal power. So rather than dwelling on past situations, let go of control and focus on present moments and aim to reframe them into positive situations.

6. Sit Alone
Sitting and being alone allows people to focus more on themselves, rather than becoming sidetracked by others. Individuals should try to sit down in a quiet area as much as possible, free of distractions for a clearer mind. And along with sitting alone, turn off the phone and other electronics to disconnect from external stimuli and stressors.

7. Be Easy on Yourself
Being attentive is an ongoing skill and takes time to fully control the mind. It is important to be easy on yourself, as recurring negative thoughts can counteract the effects of being mindful.

8. Enjoy the Ride
Drive to a mindful life, focusing less attention on paths behind you and the cross-sections and detours ahead. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on May 19, 2017. Updated on August 18, 2017.


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