Take mindful mini breaks to conquer stress
Children experience wonder at the simplest things. Adults experience stress at the simplest things. Stress is endemic in today’s world. Wonder also exists in today’s world, though not as commonly experienced! What’s your current stress to wonder ratio?
You can choose to adopt a childlike sense of curiosity to transform your stress to wonder.
When was the last time you unplugged from your online life? Give your brain a chance to switch off, just be in the here and now, can be as re-nergising as a power nap.
Let’s start by doing a short practice
Turn away from your computer & smartphone and sit for a moment noticing the sensations in your mind and body. Soften your gaze and look at nothing in particular or close your eyes if that feels comfortable and appropriate.
Focus your attention on your breath. Pause for a moment and ask yourself:
- Where do I feel my breath in my body?
- How do I feel in this very moment?
- What can I hear?
- What do I notice about what’s happening right now?
Be attentive to this moment in time. If a thought comes in, recognise it and let it go. Gently bring your mind back to these questions and open yourself to awareness of the answers. Be wherever you are right now for a few minutes.
The aim of this practice is to become aware of what’s happening around you without getting involved or analysing it. Mindfulness is not about trying to make sense of anything, it’s about placing your attention and experiencing in the Now.
Now that you are more refreshed, you are ready to tackle potential stressful situations.
Research tells us that it’s your reactions to a situation, not the actual situation itself that determines your ability to manage stress. You have a conscious choice on how to respond when you encounter potentially stressful situations.
You can respond as you typically have done in the past. Often this reactive option creates stress in your life.
You can be conscious of yourself in that moment and consider your potential responses from a curious, mindful space, tapping into your innate child-like’s sense of wonder. It involves loosening the adult grip on the controls a little.
Cultivating mindfulness to consciously respond:
- Helps you to develop ‘observer’s awareness’
- Frees you from preconceptions
- Promotes an attitude of acceptance and openness
- Provides insights and allows for a more considerate response
- Balances out your stress to wonder ratio
- Allows for new possibilities and support your mastery over stress
Here’s a meditation to help cultivate wonderful moments:
Did it help you to look at stressful situations from a fresh new perspective? Share your experiences with us below.