Learn how mindfulness for stress management can help us cope with various mental health disorders and how you can determine the patterns that trigger stress and anxiety in you. But how can you tell if you are suffering from stress or anxiety in the first place?
Stress and anxiety are our body’s way of telling us “Hey, I’m experiencing too much stress all at once, so can you please slow down for a bit?” And trust me, this happens to all of us at least once in our lives.
But what can you do when that background noise in our heads of being “always on alert’ just doesn’t go away? Well, that’s when one determines that it’s very serious and that it’s finally time to seek some help.
And that’s when Mindfulness for stress management comes into the picture. Mindfulness for stress management is a very lucrative and growing field in medical and psychological terms, and it can also help us navigate the many different and effective ways in which stress and anxiety can affect our lives.
But please understand and note, this article is not supposed to or meant to diagnose or treat any of your mental health illnesses, such as depression, stress, and anxiety – it’s simply a collection of useful and proven research data and practices that can help you get back on track with your life.
Also, remember Mindfulness for stress management works, but not for everyone. And, even if it works. It requires some very serious time commitment and dedication from one’s end. So, if you are willing to give it some time and if you are determined to become more mindful, then prokensho is the right platform for you.
In this article, you will learn: how mindfulness for stress management helps stress and anxiety, and how you can identify unhealthy coping mechanisms.
I. Mindfulness for Stress Management: How Mindfulness Helps Stress?
Mindfulness as we have already discussed in our previous articles can be described as a human being’s basic ability to be fully present, and being aware of where they are, what they’re doing, of their surroundings, without being judgmental.
In simple terms, it can be defined as Paying attention, on purpose in the present moment without being too judgmental about anything or anyone.
So according to some research-based data, when we create a space between ourselves and what we’re experiencing right at this moment, our stress and anxiety soften. But it is also important for us to not get used to that low rumble of stress always being there because it can create stress a habit that is detrimental to our overall health and well-being. This is why it’s so vital for us to discern the primary difference between reacting with unawareness and responding with mindfulness.
(Related: How to Manage Stress? – Six Mindful Tips)
II. Mindfulness for Stress Management: The Best Ways of Coping with Stress with Mindfulness
1. Identify unhealthy coping mechanisms:
- Social Withdrawal
- Overeating sweet or fatty foods
- Mindlessly watching TV without caring what you watch and how it impacts you and your life
- Using medication to relax you
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Taking out stress on others (e.g. In arguments or furious outbursts)
2. Be Physically Active:
- Dance to your favorite dance track or song
- Walk to short distances or to a store, instead of driving all the time
- Walk your pet or a dog, or you can also borrow someone else’s pet for half an hour
- Take the stairs in your home or your office every time there’s an option.
- Find an exercise buddy who loves to work out, that way he/she can motivate you, and you can also go to the classes together.
3. Build and maintain your relationships:
- Ask a colleague to lunch
- You can also call, text, or email a close friend to catch up and hang out. You can also go out for some shopping or to a movie, etc.
- Invite your exercise buddy for a walk or chat
- Schedule weekly or monthly meetups with at least one of your close friends or a family member if you don’t live together.
- Get to know your neighbors, invite them over for a dinner, or meet new people by signing up for a new hobby class or an evening class or by joining a club
- Consider some volunteer work, which not only counteracts your loneliness but also allows you to give back to the world in a profoundly healthy and most satisfying way.
4. Change your attitude:
- Think about good memories and focus on positive thoughts, and always say positive things
- Stop overthinking every single thing you do or say in life
- Set “Worry or Negative periods” – only allow yourself to be anxious or stressed out for a very short period a day instead of wasting the whole day behind something so silly.
- Deliberately reframe life’s constraints and challenges – ask yourself what opportunities they might present and what you can learn from them?
- Make a gratitude journal or a Pinterest board- Write what and who are you grateful for in your life?
- Engage in active problem solving
- Find lessons in everything
- Put your problems into perspective- will you care about the present difficultly in a month or a year?
- Avoid perfectionism. Set some realistic and practical goals.
5. Develop a solid “Stress Relief” Toolkit:
- Walk-in a naturally beautiful setting
- Interact with an animal
- Book yourself a message
- Watch a comedy
- Contact one of your best friends
- Keep a journal
- Make a cup of herbal tea
- Have a hot bubble bath with your favorite scented candle, and some of your favorite relaxing essential oils
- Read a good book
(Also Read: Using Mindful Yoga to Build a Resilient Mind)
You can also read this great book: Mindfulness for Stress Management by Mark Goldstein