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Changing Your Perception of Stress: sub-module 2 of 3 of stress management

This module will explain how to practice mindfulness to help combat stress. Mindfulness focuses our attention on what we are experiencing in the present moment. This practice helps us experience events as they are, instead of getting lost in the past or future.

 

Tips

  • Focus on the present.Don’t anticipate future feelings at the expense of acknowledging how you feel right now.
  • Notice your experience.Be aware of your thoughts and feelings in the moment.
  • Avoid distractions. When practicing mindfulness, it can be helpful to sit somewhere without a lot of sounds.

Let’s Practice a Mindful Moment (3-5 Minutes) Video

Watch the video or follow the steps below to practice a mindfulness moment. You can also download the Let's Take a Mindfulness Moment video transcript.

  1. Prepare: Find a comfortable place to sit down. Choose somewhere that is free from many noisy things that can be distractions. Make sure you are sitting upright with a tall spine, either on the floor or in a chair. Situate yourself in this moment and begin bringing your attention to your breath.
  2. Notice Your Experience: Close your eyes if you feel comfortable doing so. Deliberately become aware of your thoughts and feelings in this moment. What sensations do you feel in your body? What thoughts are you thinking? What are you feeling? Recognize these as your experience even if they are uninvited.
  3. Focus Attention on the Present: Begin to focus on your breath. Feel the air as it enters your body on the inhale and the air as you exhale. Simply become aware of your breathing without trying to modify your rhythm. Notice if your breath is long or short, rough or smooth. Is it cool on the inhale and warm on the exhale? Bring attention to the slight pause you may feel after each inhale and exhale.
  4. Return to the Present: You may notice your mind begins to wander to thoughts of the day, worries or fears. This is perfectly natural. Recognize these as thoughts and choose a word or phrase that summarizes and validates them. Gently bring your attention back to your breath as you inhale and exhale. Notice how your breath affects your whole body in a sensory way. Continue bringing your attention to your breath and body labeling thoughts and emotions as they arise.