STOP impulses through mindfulness
We live in a hustle and bustle world. We make lunches while watching the morning news, texting with a friend and eating breakfast. There is a constant barrage of stimulation vying for our attention. A consequence of this is a heightened alert system, which impacts our ability to relax and makes us more likely to end up reacting poorly to daily stressors.
Do you relate?
You have the best intentions to follow through on a new habit or behavior. Maybe it is to eat healthier or to stop snapping at your spouse. Maybe it’s related to interactions with your kids. You are doing pretty well until a stressor hits. It overwhelms you. We’ve all been there before.
So how do you keep these moments from derailing your progress?
You become mindful. Mindfulness is the technique of achieving an alert, focused, state of relaxation by deliberately paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations while withholding judgment.
Empirical studies show that incorporating mindful awareness on a regular basis can decrease biological stress markers (ie. blood pressure, heart rate), reduce symptoms of anxiety and increase feelings of connection and happiness. By reconnecting with the present moment, we are more likely to gain perspective and be able to regulate our responses.
Use This Mindfulness Trick To Slow You Down
S: Slow down. Push the pause button on your thoughts and actions.
T: Take a breath. Center yourself and come back to the present moment.
O: Open up. Address your thoughts and feelings in a journal, a trusted friend or group, or your counselor.
P: Pursue your values. Make decisions based on who you want to be rather than your initial impulse. Ask yourself how your ideal self would proceed.
The most powerful proof of how mindfulness can benefit you is through direct experience and daily practice. Begin to incorporate brief moments of mindfulness each day. This way the next time you find yourself overwhelmed or overloaded, you will remember to STOP and adjust rather than react on impulse.