Another large topic to be discussed, but the consensus among research these days seems to be around the benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the opposite of mindlessness. Have you ever driven down the road and zoned out and been surprised that you can’t remember specifics about how you got home. That is mindless or careless. Biting your nails without thinking, or going to negative coping skills like drugs or alcohol can seem mindless. You don’t think before you do them.
Practicing mindfulness is a skill that can be worked on. There are many ways to start, one is by focusing on your breath or another simple activity. Focusing on your breath, the deep in and out breaths. Putting a hand on your stomach so your awareness is on your stomach as it goes in and out.
Breathing from your diaphragm, like babies breathe, and how adults breathe while asleep. It relaxes us, it also lets our body intake more oxygen which will destress us.
Focusing on your breathing will stop you from focusing on anything else. All the day to day stressors of normal life. And more specifically it can help patients who suffer from anxiety related disorders. Once you have mastered focusing on your breath, you can start to practice mindfulness in other areas of your life. Walking and doing tasks with intention, instead of the mindless malaise that life can sometimes turn into. Try walking from your car to the office door with intention of how your steps feel, is it cold on your skin, are there any noises you can hear.
Once you have practiced mindfulness in enough places, and yes you will need practice. This is a skill that is not easy to master; then when you feel those stressful thoughts or moments of the day coming, you can be better prepared. You can start to do mindfulness techniques while at work, while going to the grocery store, or while having arguments with loved ones; however your stress manifests itself.