This article was originally written by Laura Hoxworth; therefore, inspiration for this blog was due to Hoxworth. Thank you!
When walking through the hallway in front of the fitness center on my college campus, I came across a large stack of bright green papers. I thought to myself, "odd" and I kept walking. Without rhyme or reason, I decided to turn around and pick up one of the sheets of paper. I'm glad I did, because it was exactly that I needed at the moment.
The headline of a short half-page article said, "Mind your 'mindfulness' to reduce stress." Perfect. That morning everything that could have went wrong did! I woke up late, spilled coffee on my pants, had to stop and get gas because I was too low (again), and I forgot to give myself even more time to print multiple class copies for a presentation I had that morning. Stress was the only thing on my mind.
The article was from USA Weekend (August 13-15 2010), and it gave me tips to clear my head and connecct with my body. Both those concepts were foreign to me that morning, so it was the perfect match. The article started by exploring meditation. "Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston, authors of Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness, advocate meditating daily by "paying attention with openness and curiosity to the present moment." Mindfulness is based on heightened sensory awareness, and studies suggest it can help reduce stress, increase attention span, boost creativity and strengthen the immune system, among other benefits."
Smalley and Winston continued by expressing that any person can practice mindfulness, even when walking, driving, exercising, etc. They went to explain three quick tips to separate yourself from your thoughts in order to become more mindful.
Clear your head
"Focus on the moment with an open and curious mind. If you find yourself stressed or overwhelmed, concentrate on your breathing." [Side note: this is especially helpful for me when I have my migraines. I simply concentrate on my breathing and clearing my mind. I don't think of anything. If you get migraines, the best thing to do is clear your head; no pun intended.]
Connect with your body
"Notice each physical sensation without interpreting or labeling it. If you're outside, feel the breeze on your face and notice the colors in the trees and the sounds around you."
"The more you do it, the greater the benefit..."
Good luck! Please comment.