Reduce stress through mindfulness – this is how it works
When it all becomes too much: lower your stress with our mindfulness method and create a better work-life balance. Read here how your toes can help you with this.
Mavie editorial team
Managing your stress through mindfulness. This term refers to directing one’s entire attention to the present, concentrating on the here and now and consciously observing the moment. The important thing to note here is that mindful observation should happen in a benevolent, unbiased and in an open way. As if you were looking at the world through the eyes of a child. Your left big toe can serve as the first object for practice. Strictly speaking, any toe is suitable. We’re just using the big toe here as an example.
Quick mindfulness exercise: feeling your toes
Here’s how: concentrate on your left big toe and on how it feels in the moment. Is your toe cold or warm? Can you feel the air or the fabric of your socks brush against your skin? Does your toe touch the front of your shoe? As a beginner, if you can direct your attention to the toe and away from stress even for a few seconds … it’s a good start. And best of all, you don't have to close the door behind you or hide somewhere to do it – you can do this anti-stress exercise anywhere; without colleagues or bystanders noticing.
Greater focus on routine = less stress
Most routine things – getting up, showering, brushing teeth, driving a car, etc. – happen almost automatically and without us consciously noticing the process. And yes, “just functioning” can be helpful sometimes. However when times are stressful, focusing on and being consciously aware of everyday things can serve as a calming anchor. Most of the time, it can help if, in a moment of great tension, you consciously think about how you are sitting or how the chair you are sitting on feels.
Mindfulness for greater resistance to stress
It has been scientifically proven that adopting a more mindful approach to ourselves enhances creativity, concentration and performance. We also become “immune” to stress. Why? Because adopting a more mindful approach to ourselves, we notice even small changes in our body. This gives us the chance to recognise almost preventively what we need to support our nervous system and to get us through challenging times.
Train and practise mindfulness every day
Of course your thoughts will inevitably wander when you are trying to “be mindful”. The mind wanders to memories, reveries and unfinished tasks. That is completely normal, that's just how our brain works. Do not try to stop these wandering thoughts. One of the arts of mindfulness and relaxation is to simply take note: “Oh, my thoughts are just drifting off.” Then, you can use your senses to help you reconnect with the object of your attention, e.g. your toe, your own breathing, your chair, etc.
I want less stress! Our counsellors at Mavie will support you in using mindfulness exercises and tried and tested strategies to manage stress to live more in the here and now and find a good work-life balance. Get in touch and arrange an appointment for a one-to-one counselling session (provided that your company has a contract with Mavie). Call our hotline or write us an email: +43 1 585 388 1 firstname.lastname@example.org