How can you escape from the harmful effects of stress in your normal daily life?
Feeling stressed can feel perfectly normal to most of us, especially when we have a busy lifestyle and in small doses stress can even help you accomplish some tasks more efficiently, at other times we can feel overwhelmed and unable to concentrate on the smallest tasks.
The good stress keeps us feeling alive and excited about life, feeling our pulses quicken when riding a rollercoaster, butterflies in our stomach when we are going on a first date, result in helping us to feel pleasure and be happy with life. When bad stressful situations occur and it feels inescapable our bodies are being exposed to chronic stress, we are then prone to having a weakened immune system, fatigue and anxiety related conditions.
Mindfulness breathing helps us to interrupt the stress cycle, letting us get some space away from the stressful situation. Using our breath as an anchor (our breath being ready available to us whenever we need it) bring your awareness to the physical sensations in your body whilst breathing, the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen, the warmth or coolness of the breath in and around your nostrils. Your mind will inevitably wander off, thinking, planning or just day dreaming. When this happens, gently with kindness bring your awareness back to the sensations of your breathing, this may happen a few times or many times, just keep bringing your focus back to the breath and the present moment.
Often when we are stressed we take shallow more rapid breaths, by bringing our attention to the rise and fall in our abdomen, it relaxes us by encouraging a slower more rhythmic breathing pattern, this will massage our internal organs improving blood supply supporting a healthy heart and brain. You can choose to be lying on your back, sitting up tall on a chair, crossed legged on the floor or even out walking when doing your practice. Start by doing a few minutes several times a day increasing it up to a complete 30 minute practice once a day, your practice will allow you to take the control back into your life and help to balance your emotions and thoughts, making choices and decisions with clear awareness.