Written by: Dr Katie Manthey
We all encounter stress on a daily basis: from errands that need to get done, to meetings with other people, to social media that demands our attention, our lives are filled with encounters and tasks that demand energy from us. Mindfulness asks us to focus on turning stress to eustress, or positive stress, whenever possible, and holding space for the negative when we can’t.
So wait, what does that really mean? While it’s not necessarily easy, it is pretty simple: it’s about reframing our thinking and taking steps to make space for mindful living.
For example, experts recommend steps including:
Identify things that make you feel stress. Stress can be a specific feeling with ambiguous triggers. The first step to managing stress is to know where it comes from.
Stay in the moment. This is what we at Mindful Supply are all about. When we get stressed it’s often because we are focusing on future events that we can’t control. One way to be mindful is to recognize when you start feeling overwhelmed and make sure to ground yourself in the current moment. Find three things to focus on--three objects, colors, or sounds. Take three deep breaths. Think of three things that make you happy.
Don’t go it alone. Often, just talking to another person about what stresses you will make you feel better. Be sure to stay mindful of the other person’s stress level, though, and share the emotional labor in a way that’s reciprocal.
Move. Exercise releases chemicals that help to combat stress. The exercise doesn’t have to be high impact, either. Walking or yoga can be great stress relievers. If you’re in the Winston Salem area, check out our free Mindful Meditation event on Saturday July 7 at 10 am. (Click here for info)
Katie has a PhD in rhetoric and teaches professional writing. Her mindful practice includes baking, reading, and talking about TV with her dog.