Healthy woman practicing relaxation yoga at home

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

Let’s face it: At this time of year, many of us feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

So, how do you cope? Try this next time:

  1. Sit comfortably.
  2. Focus your awareness on your breathing.
  3. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.
  4. If your mind wanders, gently and with patience, bring your focus back to your breathing.
  5. Try this for three to five minutes, and notice how you feel.

You’ve now practiced mindfulness. Mindfulness is the awareness of the present moment, approached with curiosity, openness and a willingness to be with what “is.”

Mindfulness has several benefits, including:

  • Helps you reduce stress
  • Aids in reducing chronic physical pain
  • Boosts the body’s immune system to help fight disease
  • Assists you in coping with painful life events, such as the death of a loved one or a major illness
  • Helps you deal with negative emotions like anger, fear and anxiety
  • Improves your attention and concentration
  • Opens up the gateway for positive emotions, including happiness and compassion

This kind of practice can help center you in the midst of a stressful day, heavy workload and the holidays. You can go back to whatever needs to be accomplished feeling refreshed and renewed – and it only takes a few minutes.

The VEBA Resource Center offers Midday Mindfulness Refresh Classes. Mindfulness is an everyday practice you can do to improve your overall quality of life and sense of well-being. In this class, you will explore mindfulness of the body, breath, emotions and the heart. Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.