• Craig Behenna

Five Mindfulness Practices for Stressful Times

Here’s a short, simple list of things we can do to break patterns of stress, feel more grounded and bring a bit more presence into our days in tough times.

1. Stop and take a breath. This means stopping on the inside as well as outside. Take a moment. Pause. Breathe and let yourself focus on your breath, how it feels, and on how you feel right now. Let yourself feel better for a moment and drop the thoughts and inner buzzing about the future, stress, worries about things that haven’t happened yet. Pay attention to your breath and let yourself relax and ground.

2. Three breaths deep into the belly. Get your whole body involved in a full, deep breath. This is good for your mind as well as your body. Research has shown that the gut contains more than a billion brain cells. Breathing deeply and relaxing the belly has complementary effects on the brain as the gut cells communicate directly with the brain stem. If you’re up for more than three breaths, place your hand gently just below your navel and breathe slowly and deeply into the belly for two minutes.

3. Move your body. It doesn’t matter if it’s yoga, tai chi, qi gong, bike riding, a walk in the park, even zipping up and down the stairs in your building. Change your body chemistry, your breathing, get your body out of the habit of sitting.

4. Give yourself some compassion. Now, more than ever, it’s important to take care of yourself wherever you can. It really is okay to be struggling with thoughts and feelings in this time.

Trying to grit things out and being a productivity superhero might be the natural first response for some people. Many of us, though, will fall into this pattern as a coping mechanism to Do Something With All This Energy. Which is fine, but it might be that you’re better off admitting that you are experiencing some anxiety or worry about what’s happening. It’s okay to admit that to yourself and to give yourself a break to do what you need right now to feel better, rather than match achievements with people on social media.

5. Get in touch with people. Is a catchup on Zoom or Facetime as good as being together in person? No.But it’s a lot better than the occasional text saying, ‘You ok?’. Keep In Touch With Your People and Your Community. Hey are your link to the rest of the world and an important key to keeping your focus in the real world and avoiding the problem of ruminating on unhelpful thoughts and feelings. So get in touch. Let people know you’re there for them and you have care and compassion for them.

We’d love you to join us for an online meditation session. You don’t need to have done it before. Just come along and we’ll do the rest. Please drop in and say hello:

The link to join us is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/468437656

Monday-Friday at 8AM Adelaide time (in the US, that’s Sun-Thurs at 330PM Pacific)

And also Monday and Wednesday evening at 630PM Adelaide/9AM GMT


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