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Mindfulness has taken over the world of well-being and mental health in the past year. It essentially involves being fully aware of your physical and emotional feelings in the moment, and while it’s often associated with meditation, there are many ways to practice mindfulness which have positive effects on your physical and mental well-being. Studies of mindfulness have shown that it relieves stress, increases productivity, improves mental and physical health, and even aids weight loss. Mindfulness is a way of reconnecting yourself to the world, heightening your awareness, and understanding your moods, but you don’t need a trained practitioner to see the benefits. You can try these five simple mindfulness techniques whenever you have a spare fifteen minutes – before bed, on your lunch break, or even during a quick trip to the bathroom!

Scan Your Body

Body scanning is a common mindfulness practice, involving focusing your attention on different parts of your body and noticing how they feel. Close your eyes and progressively pay attention to your body, from the bottom to the top – a minute on your feet, then your lower legs, then your hips, and so on. Notice any feelings of pain, heaviness, or tension to improve your bodily awareness and relieve physical stress.

Listen More

Extend mindfulness from yourself towards others by learning to listen mindfully in your interactions with friends, family, and colleagues. Instead of focusing on what you’re going to say next when someone else is speaking, pay attention to their words, facial expressions, and tone of voice. This will help you understand the other person’s aims more and form more meaningful responses in future.

Dance, Dance

Put on your favorite song and start moving your body to the music. Pay attention to your movements as you dance – what are the feelings in your arms as you sway them? Which parts of your body feel heavy, or light? How do you feel as you move? – and try to put other thoughts out of your mind. Dancing is an excellent way of centering yourself in the moment which is the central aim of mindfulness.

Breathe

Paying attention to your breathing is a great way of becoming aware of where you’re storing stress in your body and how to alleviate it. Spend fifteen minutes with your eyes closed, paying attention to the movement of your breath – follow it as it travels through your nose towards your belly and back again, imagining sending air to the knots of stress in your body to loosen them.

Search YouTube For Mindfulness Meditations

Guided meditation, where someone instructs you to gradually become aware of your body, is the most common way to practice mindfulness. These days, there are plenty of free guided meditation tutorials online so search YouTube for one of a length that suits you – ten minutes, half an hour, or more – and let yourself relax as a calming voice guides you through the process.

Research into mindfulness has shown that it increases grey matter density in the hippocampus, increasing your ability to learn and remember things, heightens the ability to handle stress constructively, and brings positive feelings and self-acceptance. Trying these easy mindfulness techniques a couple of times a week could improve your life significantly so give them a go next time you’ve got some spare time.

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Photos by: RR Abrot | Bảo-Quân Nguyễn | Yaoqi LAI

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Natural Stress Relief – 10 Simple Tips

by beconrad

Natural Stress Relief Tips

Whether you are feeling stressed out by your job and your demanding boss, or feeling the stress of dealing with your home and family, sometimes you just need a break. When you are craving relaxation, you need to look for creative ways to unwind and melt away the stresses of the day.

You do not have to spend big bucks at the local spa or take time away from the duties of work and family. Here are 10 simple, natural stress relief tips to alleviate tension and de-stress.

1 – A Long, Hot Soak

Treat yourself to a a soothing bubble bath. Nothing melts the cares of the day away quite like a tub full of warm bubbles. This relaxing indulgence costs only pennies, but it will make you feel like a million bucks.

2 – Take a Walk!

A brisk walk around the block or a relaxing stroll through the woods can relax your mind and make you feel better about the world.

3 – Curl Up With a Good Book

Reading a good book will engage your mind and help you learn new things. The next time you are feeling stressed, just head to your bookcase and grab your favorite volume.

4 – Give Yourself a Facial

Make a homemade facial mask. When you feel better about your appearance, you will feel better about your life. Just whip up a facial mask using ingredients from your own pantry and feel your stress melt away.

5 – Take a Power Nap

Napping in the middle of the day is a great way to treat yourself and unwind from the stresses of the day.

6 – Have a Cup of Restorative Tea

Drink some green tea. Green tea is good for you, and its soothing aroma will help you relax and unwind.

7 – Treat Yourself Sometimes

Indulge in your favorite sweet treat. Whether you scoop up a big bowl of ice cream or treat yourself to some delicious chocolate, the pick me up will do you good.

8 – Spend Time With a Friend

Have lunch with an old friend. The next time you are feeling stressed, just call a friend and schedule a lunch date or cup of coffee.

9 – Play!

Play with your kids. Nothing is quite as relaxing as playing with your kids. Whether you throw a ball around the back yard or watch them climb on the monkey bars, you are sure to have a great time.

10 – Zone Out for a While

Binge watch your favorite show. Close the door, turn down the lights, fire up Netflix and fall into your favorite TV show.

While we’d never say that you shouldn’t seek out medical treatment if you need it, natural stress relief methods are something that you can do for yourself every day to help stabilize your mood and relieve accumulated tension.

Stress is an integral part of modern life, but you do not have to let it get to you. The next time you are feeling stressed out and unsure what to do, just take a few minutes to pamper yourself and indulge in your favorite activities. You will feel less stressed, more relaxed and ready to take on the day.


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