USE MINDFULNESS TO MANAGE ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
As the holiday season passes and a new year arrives, mixed feelings occur for some individuals. Some feel joy and excitement; but for many, the post-family obligations, the high credit card bills due to holiday shopping, and lingering loneliness for some can make this time particularly difficult. Mindfulness can help ease anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness can help those individuals who felt depressed during the holidays cope by reducing their stress and bringing a sense of calm.
Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment without judging one self. This could include being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and your experience of the world around you. Learning to focus only in the present moment helps to train your mind to see things clearly without worrying about the future or getting stuck in past regrets.
Plus, people who have been practicing mindfulness even for a short time report increased joy and sense of well-being.
HOW TO USE MINDFULNESS
- Each person’s use of mindfulness is unique to them and you can practice mindfulness anywhere and anytime you choose. Here are a few ways to begin to practice mindfulness in your everyday life.
- Try to have a meal in silence. Focus on your food, being aware of its appearance and smell. Enjoy every bite by eating slowly. Notice the flavors and textures you are experiencing.
- Take time during the day to go outside for a few deep breaths. Notice the temperature of the air. How does the sun and wind feel on your skin? Visually notice any colors of the plants and in the sky.
- Can’t go outside? Create a peaceful space in your home dedicated to relaxation.
- In the morning, sit by yourself and just be in the present moment by focusing on your breathing. Listen to the sounds in your home and outside and simply observe.
- Go for a walk alone and walk slowly counting your breaths with your steps.
- At work, set a timer to remind yourself once an hour to stop and notice how your body feels. Take time to do a few deep breathes in and out to let calmness come to your mind and body.
- Practice mindful movement such as yoga.
While mindfulness takes practice and patience, it is an excellent tool to use all year long. HMC HealthWorks has certified coaches and a behavioral health team to assist you develop your own mindfulness technique and routine.