Feeling Overwhelmed And Stressed? 8 Quick Ways To Practice Mindfulness

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It’s taken me a while to write this article. However, when I reflected on why that was the case, I realised I was struggling with the headspace to complete it, feeling overwhelmed and stressed with all the other competing priorities in my life at the moment. A friend of mine, who has also been struggling with lots of things her in life, painted a picture to me of how she felt; as she waved her arms in front of her, she said

“It’s like I’m in the brambles, trying to make my way through.”

How often have you felt you were in the brambles lately? This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, with the theme of Anxiety. My message to everyone this week is to be kind to yourselves and each other; you never know what people are going through behind closed doors.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to understanding how people might be feeling overwhelmed and stressed by the demands of everyday life. Whether it’s work, family, or personal commitments, it’s common to feel like there needs to be more time in the day to get everything done. However, practising mindfulness can help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being, even with a busy schedule. 

It dawned on me that I had let my practice slip; I was not doing as much yoga, journaling, or even my regular meditation practice; once again, telling myself I was too busy until yesterday, I made a commitment to myself to take that time, so off I went for a swim, a bit of reading, and some mindfulness and visualisation at the pool. Lo and behold this morning, I woke up early, determined to perfect and complete this article for you. My mind was focused and clear once more.

“Living mindfully helps us to live our life on purpose instead of reacting to what is happening in any given moment. It gives space to choose our response. When we are busy and stressed, it sometimes feels that life is something that happens to us, mindfulness practice gives us the awareness to stay on track, reduce distraction and regain control of our mind” – Mark Sidney, Mindful Therapies

Here are my top 8 quick mindfulness practices for people feeling overwhelmed and stressed:

1. Take mindful breaths: Taking a few deep breaths throughout the day can help you feel more centred and focused. Simply close your eyes, take a deep breath in through your nose, and slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes and notice how your body and mind feel more relaxed and calmer. Many forms of breathwork therapy involve breathing in a conscious and systematic way. These practices have become more popular and have even been featured on TV. For example, check out the Wim Hoff method

2. Practice gratitude: It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of daily life and forget to appreciate the good things around you. Practising gratitude can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life, which can improve your mood and overall well-being. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to reflect on three things you’re grateful for. This can be anything from a kind gesture from a friend to a beautiful sunset. If you need help sticking to a gratitude practice or are trying to figure out where to start, check out my daily gratitude book.

3. Engage your senses: Mindfulness is about being fully present in the moment. One way to do this is by engaging your senses. Take a moment to notice the sights, sounds, smells, and textures around you. For example, if you’re drinking a cup of tea, take a moment to savour the aroma, the warmth of the cup, and the taste of the tea.

4. Take mindful breaks: When you’re busy, it can be tempting to power through your work without taking breaks. However, taking regular breaks can actually improve your productivity and focus. Try taking a few minutes every hour to step away from your work and engage in a mindful activity, such as stretching, meditating, or going for a short walk. I have found this practice to be super important for the desk-based worker whose mind tires easily from the dreaded zoom fatigue of jumping from one conference call to the next with little time to think.

5. Eat mindfully: One of my favourite practices, for obvious reasons, is mindful eating; this involves paying attention to the food you’re eating and the experience of eating it. Instead of eating on autopilot, take a few moments to savour each bite, notice the flavours and textures, and appreciate the nourishment your body is receiving. Eating mindfully can also help you make healthier choices and avoid overeating.

6. Practice yoga: Yoga is a powerful tool for cultivating mindfulness and reducing stress. Practising a few yoga poses can help you feel more grounded and centred even if you only have a few minutes each day. Consider taking a yoga class or following a yoga video online to get started.

 “Yoga has anchored me through challenging, sad and uncertain times. Equally, it has empowered me to appreciate and celebrate life’s wonderful moments, from the everyday little things to the grand life events” –  Tiia Ourila, Lead Instructor at Yoga Kula VC.

7. Schedule in mindfulness: It can be hard to find time for mindfulness when your schedule is packed like mine. However, I find scheduling in time for mindfulness can help you make it a priority. Whether it’s a few minutes of meditation before bed or a mindful walk during your lunch break, setting aside time for mindfulness can help you stay focused and centred throughout the day. The science proves all we need is 10mins a day, so I am making my commitment to schedule this. Can you?

8. Use mindful journaling: If you’re new to mindfulness or struggling to stay consistent with your practice, mindful journaling can be a helpful tool. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on your thoughts and emotions and write down anything that comes to mind. This can help you gain insight into your patterns of thought and behaviour and can also help you release any negative emotions you may be holding onto. Throughout my darkest period, I discovered journaling, and it brought me back to light. As a result, I created a series of journals filled with valuable exercises to help keep our minds healthy and happy. You can find these on Amazon.

 Overall, if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, the key is to find a form of mindfulness practice that works for you and fits into your busy schedule. Even just a few minutes of mindfulness each day can have significant benefits for stress reduction and overall wellbeing. I’d love to hear more about your mindfulness journey and practices; stay connected and comment below.

I hope you found this article helpful, sending love – Gina Buckney

Contributors – who have both helped me dearly with my practices and this article – 

Mark Sydney – Mindful Therapies based in Newcastle.

Tiia Ourila – Yoga Kula based in Leeds.

To read more from this author on our site – click here

The post Feeling Overwhelmed And Stressed? 8 Quick Ways To Practice Mindfulness appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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