Did you know that stress is actually a global public health issue? A 2020 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association indicated people in the United States were actively facing a national mental health crisis. If you’re a person existing on Earth right now, some part of life is probably stressful! In addition to short-term stressors you may experience on a daily basis related to school, work, health, and relationships, traumatic events like the pandemic and ongoing global crises can lead to feeling overwhelmed.
Having effective ways to reduce some of that stress is important in order to keep our bodies and minds healthy. Mindfulness-based interventions in a therapy setting and learning skills to utilize on your own can help your body get out of an aroused state and into a relaxed state.
GETTING STARTED WITH MINDFULNESS
It’s important to keep in mind that it may take some trial and error to figure out what works for you and for these techniques to feel natural in your regular routine. Practicing different techniques with a mental health professional, as well as independently, will help give you more options when it comes to reducing stress.
In a therapy setting, you can learn about what triggers your stress responses, gain insight and perspective, and become empowered to regulate your personal response to pressure. Therapists at Heartland Therapy Connection regularly incorporate mindfulness exercises during individual and group sessions. Last year, Londonne Ayers wrote a blog post which includes a helpful step-by-step guide to mindful breathing.
The internet is also a great resource to access a variety of mindfulness tools. Studies show online tools are particularly promising for stress. YouTube videos and smartphone apps offer endless options for breathing techniques, meditation exercises, and many other mindfulness activities!
MINDFULNESS TECHNIQUE TO PRACTICE
Feeling stressed? Try this mindfulness exercise S.T.O.P. Allowing yourself a moment to stop and reflect is a helpful way to approach an experience of stress. Try incorporating this exercise in your day-to-day to become more comfortable with it. This way, you’ll be prepared in those stressful moments.
Slow down for a minute, stop what you’re doing
Take some deep breaths
Observe: Check in with your body, what are you experiencing? Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Proceed with kindness, accept your thoughts and feelings just as they are.
If you’re struggling to manage stress on your own, connecting with a therapist can be helpful. Contact us at Heartland Therapy Connection to set up a free 15-minute consultation or to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help!
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