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How to Be Mindful as a Way to Relieve Stress


It's true that we all lead busy lives. We wake up, take care of our kids, rush out the door, go to work, make supper, eat, clean, run errands, and on and on. We go to bed with the knowledge that we'll wake up and start the whole routine all over again. It's a frustrating cycle and it is one that can cause a considerable amount of stress.

It doesn't have to be this way. Sure, we can't avoid that we need to take care of certain things on a daily basis, such as going to work and making sure the family has nutritious meals to eat, but it doesn't need to be stressful. By learning how to be mindful, you'll not only start tackling your to-do list with ease, but you'll start having fun with life again. Here's a look at how you can practice mindfulness:

Start With Journaling



Instead of jumping out of bed to begin your hectic day, try setting the alarm for ten minutes earlier than you normally do so that you can write in your journal. Reflect on the ahead, write about anything that is stressing you out, and talk about anything that comes to mind. By putting all your stressors on paper, they are less likely to circle around in your head. This helps clear the mind so that you can have a more peaceful day.

You can also use journal prompts and other journaling tools to help you with your morning journaling. In the next section, I share an exercise on how to boost your awareness with the present as a way to relieve stress. Other exercises include making "favorites" lists, using the journal to practice gratitude, and simply journaling about the people in your life.

Focus on the Present



Bill Keane, the creator of the Family Circus comic strip, penned on of my all-time favorite quotes.

  • "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift of god, which is why we call it the present."

    To me, this quote is the ultimate when it comes to reminding ourselves to live in the moment. Focus on today's gift, the present, and resist the urge to look too far back or ahead. By fixating on both the past and the future, you can miss the gifts that are right in front of us.

    If you are struggling with staying present, consider spending some time journaling about the present during your morning sessions. Set the timer for ten minutes and write about everything that is happening in your environment at the moment at which you are typing. You'll want to use all five senses. An example of what is happening now in my present reality would look like this: I type at the keys and hear a clacking song. There's a cricket outside my window. I see my reflection in the mirror and smell my vanilla perfume.

    You can learn how to be mindful by journaling and focusing on the present. Once you learn how to pay attention to the present, you should find that you aren't as stressed out as you were before you starting practicing mindfulness.

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    Content copyright © 2015 by Katherine Tsoukalas. All rights reserved.
    This content was written by Katherine Tsoukalas. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Katherine Tsoukalas for details.

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