Part five of this five-part series on easy stress management has to do with the practice of mindfulness. This is another simple technique you can easily incorporate into your emotional responses, easing yourself away from conflicting emotions toward peaceful emotions. Mindfulness practice has been validated in numerous studies as actually reducing anxiety, depression, and symptoms of chronic pain with just eight weeks of consistent practice. Mindfulness or mindfulness meditation is based on the Buddhist vipassana meditation. Vipassana practice is allowing yourself to see the world as it really is, shedding the foggy cloud of judgment and emotion.
Another way to practice mindfulness is to eat a raisin or a piece of chocolate very slowly, savoring the texture, taste, and smell as you slowly chew. If other thoughts or emotions come into play, then just note them and go back to your sensory experience in the moment. Let this be an oasis of calm and peace for you.
Start mindfulness practice slowly, maybe for ten minutes at first and then build up to twenty minutes a day of calm time. Studies show that meditation actually increases activity in parts of the brain associated with positive feelings and also actually encourages healthy brain growth, offsetting the effects of aging on the brain.