It is important to find ways to manage and reduce stress in your daily life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic stress is a major contributing factor to many poor health outcomes and stress-related disorders in the United States. Too much stress can cause increased fear and anxiety, resulting in a negative impact on the mind, body, and spirit. To help cope with your stressors, a growing number of people are turning to mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you are sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Mindfulness can help you slow down, calm your mind, relax your body, and manage stress. It has also been shown to help people practice gratitude.
Some of the benefits of mindfulness include:
- Increased productivity, energy, and performance.
- Improved health, longevity, and healing time.
- Improved self-awareness, relationships, and creativity.
- Reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Reduced insomnia, bad habits, and pain.
It is important to remember that mindfulness is just one of the many methods you can use to help activate your body’s natural relaxation response. There are many relaxation techniques you can use to cope with stressors. Find the right technique that resonates with you and your lifestyle. Here are some simple ways to help get you started with integrating mindfulness into your daily life:
- Take deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose to a count of four, hold for one second, and then exhale through the mouth to a count of five. Repeat often.
- Take a walk. On your walk, pay attention to what you see, hear, and feel. Be aware and notice things you may have missed before.
- Eat mindfully. Focus on the texture and feeling of the first bite in your mouth. Be aware of the color, taste, and flavor of your food.
- Practice gratitude. Intentionally acknowledge and express your gratitude for things and people you are grateful for.
- Seek out mindfulness resources. There are many apps and online classes that offer both paid and free mindfulness meditation and relaxation techniques.
Your Employee Assistance Program Can Help
If you are struggling to cope during times of stress, your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has resources available to help. Your EAP provides free and confidential counseling to help you cope with and manage feelings of stress and anxiety. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, contact your Component EAP, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.