According to the American Psychological Association, stress is a major health concern in the United States. Studies have concluded that too much stress can lead to heart disease, overeating, high blood pressure, hair loss, and a myriad of other health complications.
When you’re stressed, your life can be overrun with worry and insecurity. The bottom line is that stress will lead to an unhappy and unhealthy life. Thankfully, there is a simple solution to combat stress – mindfulness.
Mindfulness is your ability to be completely present. This means being aware of where you are and what you are doing and being completely engaged in the present moment. While the practice of mindful meditation is thousands of years old, its benefits have only been proven by scientists in the last couple of years.
The way it works is easy: by calming your mind, you can see your environment with better clarity and make better decisions about your life. Mindfulness also aids in solider emotions and greater inner strength.
So how does one overcome stress with mindful meditation? Here are eight ways to help fight anxiety through this ancient practice.
- Breathe Deeply
Belly breathing is the most basic form of relaxation and the foundation of most meditation practices. The best thing about this natural stress-reliever is that it can be performed anywhere, and at any time. Anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, sit down and close your eyes. Then proceed to take a long, deep breath. Focus on the inhaled air moving into your body. This exercise can decrease your stress level and immediately reduce blood pressure.
- Practice Mindful Walking
This practice is particularly useful while you are at work. If your boss or a coworker is getting on your last nerve, take a quick 10 to 15-minute walk outside. As you walk, pay close attention to your breathing while you avoid thinking about other things. Additionally, take each step with deep awareness. Keep it slow. By slowing down your steps, you force your mind to follow.
- Do a Body Scan
Get in tune with your body. One of the best ways to do this is by performing a body scan. This meditation technique requires you to focus your mind on one part of your body at a time and tune into how it feels without trying to change it.
- Say a Mantra Repeatedly
If you’re feeling stressed in a public or crowded place, mantra repetition is an ideal way to de-stress. A mantra is a sound or phrase that you repeat during your meditation. You can focus your energy on these positive affirmations and say it in your head so as not to disturb others.
- Take Stock
Negative emotions can bubble up when you feel like you’re struggling to maintain or achieve a certain lifestyle. While having goals is productive, having extremely lofty ones can cause stress. When you are mindful and in the moment, you accept yourself just as you are.
- See It and Believe It
Visualization is utilized by some of the world’s most elite people, including artists and athletes. It’s a healthy way to bring positive energy into your mind and boosting your capacity for creativity. You can draw inspiration from visualizing ideas and images that make you calm and fulfilled.
- Restate the Positive
As mentioned before, affirmations and mantras are great methods of reducing stress. Affirmations are also good to reinforce positive aspects of your life. Affirmations are designed to alter our beliefs about ourselves and also our actions. Try listing a few things you for which you are grateful for in your life. Repeat this list every morning before you go to work or start your day. Knowing what items are good in your life can reduce stress immediately.
- Make a Zen Den
If you’re serious about practicing mindfulness, consider creating a zone in your home dedicated to meditation. This “Zen den” doesn’t have to be super fancy. It just has to be a quiet, tidy place where you can go to practice mindfulness meditation. It can be a corner of your bedroom or home office.
The benefits of mindfulnessare a great way to combat stress. Try these doable tips today and fight your anxiety naturally.
- Resolve or Improve Health Issues Related to Stress
Last, as mentioned above, stress can lead to a variety of mental and health issues. When you scan your body and mind, make sure you take note of what physical manifestations are occurring as well. For example, many people experience hair loss and a cause of prolonged stress. In addition to eating healthy and nutritious foods, you can use organic shampoo for hair loss to combat this issue. According to , “Stress causes higher levels of the hormone cortisol,” and that seems to increase the amount of fat that’s deposited in the abdomen” among ten other physical issues. Taking care of your physical health is just as important as your mental health.