Learn to stress less with mindfulness

By paying attention to the present moment we can increase our ability to cope with the stress in our lives.

No matter our age, we go through periods of stress. It may come from health worries, family challenges, or budget concerns just to name a few stressors in our lives. Through being Mindful, by paying attention to the present moment, we can cope better with the stress in our lives. Mentally and physically we will feel better. By practicing mindfulness we are able to reduce cardiac risk factors, lower blood pressure and sleep better. Being mindful will improve our quality of life by helping us find meaning and purpose in our jobs and lives. 

Mindfulness begins with noticing how you feel. Paying attention to stress cues, such as:

  • Body tension and pain
  • Thoughts: are you thinking negatively or changing the negatives into positives?
  • Feelings and moods: happy or sad?
  • Relationships:  do you hurt the ones you love or do you work to make a positive environment?
  • Meaning of life: do you appreciate life and what you have?
  • Behaviors: do you have a quality lifestyle or do you do things in life that could harm you?

Once you are aware of your stress cues then you need to develop ways to shift out of “autopilot” by:

  • Noticing your body’s feelings
  • Shifting and slowing down and paying attention
  • Practicing paying attention to your feelings

With practice, Mindfulness can help you stay mentally and physically healthier. Mindfulness promotes resilience by:

  • Helping your mind and body to respond more skillfully to stress
  • Improving your ability to cope with your emotions and to regulate them so not to cause harm and fatigue to yourself
  • Improving your thinking skills so you are more focused and can make healthy decisions
  • Promoting and sustaining healthy lifestyle changes that will allow a better quality of life

By taking a Mindfulness workshop you can improve the quality of your mental and physical health. Contact your local Michigan State University Extension office to enroll in the next interactive presentation. 

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