As April is Stress Awareness Month, we want to bring light to the benefit of mindfulness in the management of stress. Currently, there are 822,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety, whilst 66% of school-age children are experiencing stress about school, exams and homework. These high figures emphasise the need for stress management and minimisation techniques. Most of the time, regardless of the situation we are experiencing, there are a variety of techniques out there to cope with what is happening. Practicing mindfulness gives us another great option for coping with and reducing stress.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
Being mindful makes it simpler to enjoy life’s pleasures as they happen, to get completely engaged in activities, and to cope with negative situations. Many individuals who practise mindfulness find that by focusing on the present now, they are less likely to be obsessed with anxieties about the future or regrets about the past and are better able to build strong relationships with others.
Improves mental health
Mindfulness is seen as an important element in the alleviation and treatment of several mental health illnesses. These include, stress, anxiety and depression, amongst many others.
Improve physical health
Mindfulness techniques can also help improve physical health. People often use mindfulness to help relieve stress, lower blood pressure, cope with chronic pain, and improve sleep.
How can mindfulness help manage stress?
1. You become more in tune with your thoughts.
You can then step back from them and not take the extreme ones so literally. That way, your stress response is not triggered in the first place. This leads to not immediately reacting to a situation. Instead, you have a moment to pause and then use your calm mind to come up with the best solution.
2. Your ability to focus increases
This allows you to complete your work more efficiently. Mindfulness can give you have a greater sense of well-being, and this reduces the stress response.
3. You can switch your attitude to the stress.
Rather of focusing on the negative consequences of being stressed, mindfulness allows you to think about stress in a new way. Observing how increasing pressure can make you feel more energised has a good impact on your body and mind.
4. You are more aware and sensitive to the needs of your body.
Mindfulness switches on your “being” mode of mind, which is associated with relaxation. Your “doing” mode of mind is associated with action and therefore, often the stress response. Through this “being” state of mind, you will be able to focus on how your body really feels and provide it with what it needs. You may notice pains or emotions that previously you could not pinpoint, and this allows you to take appropriate action to soothe them.
5. You are more aware of emotions.
Through mindfulness, and being in touch with your own emotions, your level of care and compassion for yourself and others rises. This compassionate mind soothes you and inhibits your stress response. As your emotional intelligence rises, you are also less likely to get into conflict with others as you have more understanding of their feelings.
Are you interested in learning more about mindfulness?
Our 6-week Mindfulness course teaches the learner what mindfulness is, the importance of mindfulness in relationships, the neuroscience of self-compassion, and an understanding of how to apply mindfulness in your life.
Our CPD Accredited Understanding Stress course teaches the learner what stress is, how it can be managed and prevented, and how you can support someone who is struggling with stress.
For more information on how stress, including stress-management through mindfulness, download our stress guide.
At Shawmind, we want to make it easier for you to handle moments of poor mental health by reducing stigma and increasing awareness and support options. That’s why all funds raised through our online courses support Headucation – our mission to train teachers in the basics of mental health support.