Constant thinking causes stress
Most of us spend our days thinking - analysing problems at work, deciding what to make for dinner and adding things to our mental to-do lists. These are things we need to do, but thinking too much can consume a lot of our mental energy and be a source of chronic stress and anxiety. Stress in turn, can manifest in the body as headaches, back pain, trouble sleeping, and can lead to skin issues and unhealthy behaviours such as emotional eating, smoking and excessive alcohol intake.
So how should we deal with stress?
We all have our different ways of winding down, some healthier than others (ahem). But one method that is loved by experts and health professionals everywhere is mindfulness. Mindfulness is when you consciously focus all of your attention on what is happening in the moment by just being and experiencing, rather than thinking or doing, and accepting your experience without judgement.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
Practicing mindfulness can lead to decreased stress and anxiety, increased resilience against stress, sharper focus, improved sleep and better relationships. A study showed that people who practiced mindfulness meditation had significantly higher levels of self-compassion and overall well-being, and less often felt worry or difficulties with regulating emotions .
How to practice mindfulness in your daily life
If you want to try this out, attempt to focus all of your attention on what you’re doing, for example eating, talking to your friends or doing your novage-skincare-guide – and just that! Your to-do list can wait, because right now you are here, in this moment. Here is a short guide to how it works:
1. Whatever you are doing, slow down, take a few slow deep breaths to calm and centre the mind.
2. Engage your senses and notice each sight, sound, touch, smell, taste to experience the moment fully.
3. When you notice your mind wandering, gently bring your attention back to the sensations of the moment, and practice doing this every time your mind wanders.
Try this out daily for a week and watch your life change!
For more articles on this topic, check out:
Mindfulness Meditation: Ten minute meditation
Practice self-love: Five ways to practice self love