Mindfulness: How to Live in the Moment and Decrease Stress

Connie McKinney By Connie McKinney, 17th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Work Issues & Stress

Being mindful can help us to cope with a busy, stressful world. Here's how you can do it, too.

Mindfulness: A Way of Life

Life today is a blur of work projects, family commitments, chores and other items on our ever growing to do lists. No wonder so many people are stressed. But there are ways to cope with stress through the practice of living mindfully.
Mindfulness is a fancy term for simply being present in the moment. Whatever you are doing, you try to focus on that experience. If you are eating a sandwich for lunch, you slow down and savor the taste. Notice how the sandwich feels in your mouth. If you are brushing your teeth, focus on how the bristles feel and the minty taste of the toothpaste instead of thinking about your day ahead at work. If you are walking down the hallway of your work place, focus on the walk and nothing else. How do your feet feel when they touch the carpet? What do you hear as you walk down the hall?
This type of living and thinking goes against our modern way of life. We are taught to multi-task and constantly juggle several activities at once. What we don't realize is that multi-tasking has been proven to be a myth. No one can really focus on more than one thing at a time. Being mindful instead of multi-tasking can help us improve our concentration and focus and be more productive at whatever we are doing.

Meditation

Meditation is one technique that can help you improve your mindfulness. Simply find a quiet spot and focus on your breath. Notice how it feels when you breathe in. Hold it then slowly let it out. If your mind wanders to the deadline you have to make at work tomorrow, then just slowly bring yourself back to focusing on your breath. Don't get upset with yourself. Practice every day, and you will find that you can meditate for longer periods of time.
There are other types of meditations you may want to try. One is the body scan meditation. Slowly focus on every part of your body and notice what you feel.
Another popular meditation is the chocolate meditation. Use a small piece of chocolate such as a Hershey's Kiss. Take a few deep breaths and then take a tiny bite of the chocolate. Notice how it feels as it melts in your mouth. Savor the taste and smell of chocolate. Then, swallow and focus on that sensation of the piece of chocolate going down your throat. Now, take another tiny bite and repeat the above process.

Live in the Moment All Day Long

Look for ways to live mindfully all day long. When you are stopped at a stop light, take a deep breath and notice how you feel as you sit behind the steering wheel. When you take a coffee break, sip your coffee slowly. Enjoy the taste. When the sun starts to go down, stop and look. Notice the beautiful colors and the way darkness slowly descends.
Stay present in the moment and take life as it comes to you. Don't worry about the future or fret about the past. If you make mindfulness a habit, you'll find yourself more relaxed, more focused and more able to really slow down and enjoy your life.

Atribution

This article used some information on the body scan and chocolate meditations taken from About.com stress management. http://stress.about.com/od/meditation/ht/chocolate_meditation.htm

moderator Peter B. Giblett moderated this page.
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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
18th Jun 2013 (#)

Good post, Connie. Nowadays people are into multitasking but it takes a toll on our health. We need to enjoy the scenery too when we take the ride of our life. Reaching our destination is a foregone conclusion! siva

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author avatar Connie McKinney
18th Jun 2013 (#)

thanks, Siva.

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author avatar philpalm
18th Jun 2013 (#)

Good comment about multitasking Siva, I try very hard to not multitask and stick to one task.

Connie, I am glad not to drink coffee and I hope you find different things to work for you.

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