In the second of my musings on mindfulness, let’s start with the physical. Exercise is really good for combating stress, anxiety and depression as it releases the feel good endorphines, increases neurone production and combats cortisol production. So start the day with some Pilates stretches on the living room floor
Avoid emotional triggers, whether it’s a violent movie or one that makes you blubber. Put any potential confrontational situations at arm’s length if appropriate, or deal with it if you have to, then box it off and move on. You may then need to do some meditation, mindfulness or read to really take your mind off the problem and calm the anxiety reaction.
Take time to learn meditation and breathing exercises, which can be hugely beneficial in calming the mind, or try a Sound Bath, a form of relaxation through music vibrations.
Understanding yourself and what you are dealing with is an essential part of healing yourself. For a lighthearted but fascinating read try Sane New World – Taming the mind by Ruby Wax and her second book Frazzled which is equally brilliant.
Cuddling, stroking and talking to a pet is very calming and good for mindfulness. And if you have a dog the exercise is great too. But if it’s needed, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) can be very beneficial if you have some issues (past or current) or stress triggers that you are struggling to deal with. It may be an incident that happened in the past, which is putting up barriers and stopping you from moving forward in personal or business life. Talk to your GP about this.
And finally, try to avoid being reactionary. If you are stressed or anxious you already have a heightened level of adrenaline, so a relatively minor passing comment can irritate and annoy you. STOP. Do not react straight away. Think about what has been said, then try and look at it from the other person’s perspective and why did they say or do that.. If it’s a text or email, read it several times as you can sometimes miss inferences or even words, that may affect how you react. Go away and think about it. Then if you need to reply or comment, do so in a calm, understanding, non-inflammatory way, saying ‘I do understand, perhaps….”. This quite often can defuse a situation from the outset, and reduce your own adrenaline reaction.
*Lay aside life-harming heaviness: Richard ii