Mindfulness is a practice that originated from Buddhist teachings. It has been applied as a stress reduction technique with great success to alleviate anxiety and depression.
In the late 1970s Jon Kabat-Zinn used the Buddhist practice of mindfulness to treat patients in chronic pain units in the hospitals. Since then mindfulness based stress reduction have been used effectively in countless hospitals to treat patients with stress, anxiety and depression.
Owing to its efficacy the application of mindfulness techniques has been researched and studied at Harvard, Stanford and UCLA. One study has documents lowered blood pressure in patients with borderline hypertension as stated in the Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Behavioral Health.
The study was conducted in a research group of 56 participants both men and women, it was found that mindfulness techniques could entirely prevent or delay the need for antihypertensive drugs.
Even though there is no drastic drop in the blood pressure levels after the application of mindfulness techniques, it is still significant enough to be used as an intervention. It could even effectively prevent the occurence of heart attacks and strokes. The effects of mindfulness on health over sustained length of time need to be studied.
Here are a few ways in which you can apply mindfulness techniques to eliminate stress and anxiety.
Set aside 20 minutes in a day to just be aware of your breath and move gently and mindfully. The practice of Tai Chi is meant to clear your mind with simple and elegant movements that are practiced with breath awareness. Follow these simple Tai Chi steps below to move mindfully.
Stand with your feet apart and breathe deeply and gently
Move your hands above your head in an arc and trace their movement with your mind
Lower your hands and breathe deeply watching the movement with your mind’s eye
The important point to keep in mind is that you ought to move very slowly and consciously and merge the movement with the breath.
Mindful Yoga Breathing
Watching the breath is the simplest ways to incorporate mindfulness. You may choose to watch your breath when you take a walk or when you have some time to relax at work. But the most effective way to do this is to set some time aside exclusively for this.
Sit comfortably on a chair or in a cross-legged posture on the floor.
Exhale fully and watch your breath flow out and hold for a few seconds.
Now inhale deeply and fill your belly with air once again.
Hold the air and release, paying attention to the flow of air the entire time.
Listening to very gentle and melodic music mindfully can also help one sharpen their awareness and reduce stress greatly.
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