With National Stress Awareness Month taking place during April, we’re focusing on what it means to suffer from stress and how to improve it. Mindfulness is a fantastic way to help reduce stress, but it can take a lot of commitment to master true mindfulness. Put simply, the practice is to help find peace in a frantic world, creating a sense of calm and being meaningful in all that you do.

If you are suffering from stress, trying to become more mindful can help you manage this. And may even eradicate stress completely. Read on to discover the full guide to mindfulness, to help you reduce stress…

Mindfulness Explained

To be completely mindful you must achieve observation without criticism. This takes you learning to be compassionate towards yourself. Our 21stCentury lifestyles can cause us to be very self critical, punishing ourselves for not being good enough, being too lazy, not being attractive enough, not being competent . You can see why there’s a worldwide problem with stress!

Being mindful means becoming more aware of your thoughts, actions, and the decisions that you make. Almost all of us are guilty of operating on autopilot. We carry out daily tasks and make decisions without even thinking. We even think damaging thoughts without even registering them. Every day we make hundreds of decisions. This includes what to wear, what to eat, and how to act and respond to people but mostly we don’t think about about it.

In becoming more mindful you can start to improve any damaging behaviour. You can take time to think about why you are doing what you are doing and why you think what you think. And you can work to improve this where necessary.

Becoming More Mindful

Mindfulness can sound like it’s very complicated, but it’s not really. To achieve complete mindfulness takes a lot of hard work and commitment. You practically have to retrain your brain. But, it is possible to become more mindful with just a few small changes.

Start by trying to bring mindfulness into routine activities. Pay more attention to the little things you do during the day. Focus on sight, sound, smell, taste and how all of these senses make you feel, try to notice more. This might not come naturally, so try to remind yourself throughout the day to become more aware.

Set the tone for the day by taking 10 minutes to meditate in the morning. There are some great apps available to help you master meditation if it’s not something you’ve done before. Meditating in the morning will help centre your mind and set the tone for the rest of the day. This will help you to be more aware and conscious of your thoughts and actions.

When your mind starts to wander, let it, but be conscious of it. Our minds are natural wanderers, and you shouldn’t stop your mind from exploring thoughts, memories and feelings. Be more aware of your wandering mind though, and if you find yourself thinking damaging thoughts, gently and non-judgmentally bring your mind back to the positive.

Mindfulness is all about becoming more aware of yourself, what you do and what you are thinking. It’s about learning how you might be causing unnecessary stress and upset to yourself and re tuning your mind to reduce this.

As well as being helpful in personal lives, mindfulness can be extremely beneficial in the workplace too. To learn how, take a look at our Workshop Wellbeing service pages.

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