“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
Most of us experience stress on a regular basis but neglect to take time out of our busy days to reflect and centre ourselves. When we experience stress our bodies instinctively enter the ‘fight or flight’ mode and, in a chronic sense, this can cause physical damage such as anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction and heart disease. In fact, estimates show that 75-90% of doctor’s visits are at least partially stress related.
Mindful meditation is emerging as a front runner in stress management, because research shows it can go a long way in reversing your stress response.
- Take time to breathe.
It’s easy to flit between different activities throughout the day and rush from one thing to another, without taking the time to intentionally breathe. Take a moment to breathe deeply and focus. This will disrupt your usual stress patterns, helping to dissipate tension.
- Come to your senses.
Try not to get caught up in your thoughts and ignore the world around you. Consciously bring attention to the physical. Focus on your senses; feel sensations on your skin, smell the air around you, observe your surroundings using every sense.
- Use your perspective.
Take time to step back and evaluate a situation if you get caught up in what you’re doing. Try and focus on the bigger picture.
- Don’t be judgmental.
Most of us compare ourselves to those around us; striving to look or perform better. This creates unnecessary stress. Try not to be judgmental of yourself or others around you. See but don’t evaluate. However, if you find yourself judging – don’t judge yourself for doing so!
- Reflect and re-evaluate.
Try to step back and prioritise what is really important to you. Many of us get caught up in everyday, all-consuming, stresses and forget what is most important to us.
- Find out about the Stress Management Services provided by the Lloyd’s Wellbeing Centre.