Mind

6 Simple Mindfulness Practices You Can Start Today To Improve Your Daily Stress

Mindful Stress Mastery

If there was a magic wand we could wave across the stressors in your life to effortlessly make them disappear…we’d send one out to each of you! Unfortunately, we all know that’s not a reality. But what we CAN do is share some of the helpful tools we learned about stress management while on our Team Busbee retreat at Miraval in Tucson, AZ.  These insights can help you understand your stress, learn to identify how it shows up in your body and mind, and ultimately teach you to cope with stress in a healthy way. Notice we didn’t say “get rid of stress” …now we’re back to that magic wand that doesn’t exist. The truest way to improve your level of stress is to understand your own reaction to it. Learn how to live WITH it, not try to ignore it.

If you want to read about more of our Miraval takeaways and some wellness habits we are incorporating into our days, be sure to check out this post.

 

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Understanding Stress

The external forces in our lives have the ability to instantly change our thinking. A rude email or text, bad news about a relative or loved one, an additional “to do” we weren’t expecting…these in their own way create various levels of stress. But the more conscious we are of the effect these stressors have on us, the more intentional we can be about how to react to them. We aren’t going to tell you, “Don’t stress” because that’s pretty much the same as saying, “Don’t breathe”, right? BUT, there is so much power in understanding which stressors require action and which simply need to be acknowledged. The goal of understanding your stress is to first identify it and then find ways to mindfully respond to it rather than immediately react.

Recognizing Stress

For some, stress shows up loud and proud… a faster heart rate, headaches, sweaty palms, and muscle tension are a few examples. But it can also be more subtle and sneaky. Like an unsettled mind, racing thoughts, or cravings for sugar or alcohol…does that just sound like a typical Monday to you? We learned, recognizing and acknowledging the stress in your body, is actually half the battle. You first have to understand you are in stress mode in order to find a way out of it! Listening to your body is key. You actually don’t want to ignore the stress symptoms that eek their way into your day. Over time they can build and become unbearable. Managing them is better than ignoring them.

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Tools For Managing Stress

OK, now that we’ve identified that you are in fact going to experience stress in some shape or form…NOW we can get into the tools we learned to manage it. This is the fun part! Here are some of the takeaways we learned and are doing our best to put into action.

Start Your Morning Right

Each morning when you get up, instead of hopping out of bed…pause. Stay in bed for an extra 2-3 minutes and just feel and be in your body. Instead of scrolling on your phone or rushing into the shower, just “be” in your positive thoughts. Set an intention for the day. These calm moments, we’ve learned, can actually set the stage for how you’ll react to stressors that pop up throughout your day.

Redefine Notifications

Our body and mind are programmed so that when we see a notification on our phone, tablet, or computer, we jump into action. We feel like we have to look at it, get something done, or have an immediate response. Instead, reframe your relationship with “notifications” by implementing “bells of mindfulness” throughout the day. These bells of mindfulness (or notifications) give us the permission to stop, breathe, relax our shoulders, feel into our bodies, and find a sense of calm through the busy day. Right after our retreat, our team member Joy started sending us short, 1-minute relaxing videos, songs or breathing exercises that remind us to take a pause in our days. Honestly, when receiving these “bells of mindfulness” there are times that we think “Ugh, we don’t have time for this!!”…which is a pretty freaking strong indicator that oh, ya we do!

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Mindful Eating

This is one of our collective favorites…mindful eating! For mindful eating, turn off the TV and put your phone away. While you are eating, put down your fork in between bites and really experience what’s in front of you. Think about the way it feels in your mouth. How many different flavors can you taste? What about textures and wonderful smells? Does it bring up any memories? When you slow down and employ all of your senses, it’s not only calming but it’s such a heightened and enjoyable experience. If you’re in the “shovel it in at high-speed” club, we’ve been there too (like charged members!). But even trying to have just one mindful meal a week will make a huge difference in your ability to be mindful and ultimately manage stress!

Be Gentle With Your Thoughts

For anyone who is hard on themselves, touch is such a powerful sense. When your thoughts get negative, put your right hand on your chest or stomach. Then, place your left hand on your right forearm. This is a reminder to be gentle with yourself. This is also a good first reaction to stress. Slow down, and think it over. Talk to yourself the way you would comfort a friend that was dealing with a difficult issue.

Mono-Tasking

Stop multi-tasking…instead, try mono-tasking. Really focus on the one task you’re doing…whatever it may be (walking the dog, taking a shower, folding laundry, making coffee, etc.) Having that pause in your mind and in your actions will inherently create calm from within.

Mindful practices to improve stress-understanding stress, how to improve stress, how to recognize stress, how to deal with stress, stress indicators, erin Busbee-busbee style fashion over 40, miraval Tucson, AZ

Capture Pleasant Moments

Be conscious of 5 pleasant moments each day. This could be something seemingly insignificant like all of the socks in the dryer having a match (win!). Celebrate the wins so your mind gets used to feeling happy. When something feels good, allow yourself to fully experience that happiness or satisfaction. They explain in class that you can think of this as establishing a savings account. Once established, you can later draw from it when stress rears its head.

Are you interested in hearing more about what we learned in our Miraval classes? Leave us a note in the comments! We look forward to sharing the gifts and insights we learned with all of you. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to our this post so you don’t miss out on blog posts (like this one!) and our exclusive style resources. And…in the spirit of learning, Erin created a style course, Style Made Simple, that will help you get your style mojo back. Click here for more info.

Thanks for reading!

Busbee Style, Team Busbee, Erin Busbee fashion blogger over 40, susan Harold, kaitlyn Pettibon, rachel morgan, joy myers, denise Conklin, Alissa fulton, how to battle feelings of unworthiness, women feeling unworthy, self care women over 40, Miraval resort, miraval Tucson, AZ
Team Busbee
Susan Harold, Kaitlyn Pettibon, Rachel Morgan, Joy Myers, Denise Conklin, Alissa Fulton
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