Feeling stressed when you’re under the pump? Maybe you’ve been hit with a ton of work, or you’re going to make a presentation in front of colleagues. Whatever the situation, in moments of stress, staying focused and ‘on task’ can be a real challenge.
While it’s sometimes impossible to avoid stressful situations, practicing mindfulness in your day can help reduce your stress levels, especially when thoughts and feelings begin to spiral and take over.
Mindfulness – the awareness of the present moment – is a tried and tested technique to bring your attention back to the present. The best thing is almost anyone can practice it. We take a look at a few ways to practice mindfulness for stressful situations.
Stay in the moment
This is the best example of how to practice mindfulness in a moment of stress. When you begin to notice any emotional or physical stress, simply acknowledge it and start to notice whatever is present in the moment – maybe it’s a feeling, sound, or sight – and allow your mind to rest on that sensation. Then turn your attention to slowing your breathing. This will help calm your mind and allow you to feel more relaxed.
Try to slow down
Learning to slow things down will help with stressful moments. Finding the slow and steady approach in a constant world of interruptions can boost productivity and keep you focused on what you want to achieve.
You could even start now. Practice slowing down when you eat, write an email or talk to a colleague. As you get better at training your mind to slow down, you could schedule reminders for yourself each day. Maybe it’s an app reminder to take 5 minutes to sit quietly, or just a friendly self-check to monitor your stress levels. If you’re adventurous, you could even come up with your own mantra to inspire confidence in your daily schedule.
Consider working out
Think about bringing mindfulness to your exercise routine. This is an excellent way to tap into your emotions and can help you to let go of any distractions. Although it’s so easy to let your mind wander (like when thinking about your next yoga pose or counting your reps), practicing mindfulness can help you focus your mind and bring your attention back to your body. If yoga or weights are not your thing, even a simple activity like walking in nature while practising mindfulness can improve your concentration and bring your thoughts to the present.
The important thing is to manage your stress in a positive and helpful way. If you’re feeling stressed and want to do something about it, taking the time out of your day to practice mindfulness is great way to help improve your health and wellbeing.