Combating Stress One Breath at a Time

Sky Stress seems to be pervasive in adult life. This could be financial, over committed (unable to say “no”), workplace deadlines, family matters, and so on. While it may be easy to just give into the encompassing stress with quick fix (unhealthy) remedies, it is much better for your mental, emotional and physical health to instead find a way to relax with healthier mindful habits.  Stress is known to have damaging effects, including decreased immune efficiency, accelerated aging process, and heightened blood pressure. These suggestions should help to battle whatever is causing you stress and find your balance.

One such known way to reduce stress is mindful meditation with focused breathing. There are many resources that can help you through guided mindful meditations, including videos online and apps such as Happify.  Mindful meditation is a great tool, and has been found to be able to actually help change the wiring of your brain.  Mindful Schools, (mindfulschools.org) states that mindful meditation is based on the concepts of present time awareness (alertness, clarity, stability) and equanimity (ease, momentary acceptance, and non-compulsion).  You do not need a deep dark incense filled sanctuary for mindful meditation.  You can bring yourself to a mindful state by simply acknowledging and naming your stressor (trigger point), and begin focusing on your breathing. Consider the air entering your body and filling your lungs, and then exiting your body. On each exhale, release the name or emotion of the stressor and repeat your focused breathing.  You can also count your inhalations and exhalations up to ten and repeat until you gain equanimity.

When in balance, you are healthier, more confident and better prepared to be a steward of your life’s purpose. Enjoy the air!

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