We all live under pressure.
Stress impacts our well being, our decision making processes, ways of solving conflicts and personal relationships.
It makes us anxious, restless and uneasy. It puts us on the edge with the smallest additional stimuli and adds tension to the conversations.
In a day-to-day life stress causes recurring headaches.
Prolonged stress exposure influences, among others, the development of gastrointestinal problems, obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. It also accelerates aging processes and may lead to depression.
Fortunately, stress awareness in developed counties is growing.
April was a National Stress Awareness Month in the USA. In the UK, 4th of November will be a National Stress Awareness Day (NSDA).
Efficient stress management is a valuable skill and a 'must-have' competence for the career proficiency.
Mastering of stress-reducing techniques is recognized as a high-impact expertise necessary to live a balanced, healthy and happy life.
There are many ways to decompress after a stressful moment.
We can swim or burn some calories in a gym or sign up for a combat class.
Some of us choose arts as a way of expression, others will go for less healthy options which include smoking or drinking.
But what about avoiding stress all together?
Is it a mission impossible considering how fast and competitive our lives are? Is a non-stress policy a privilege of the very rich or very unaware ones?
Actually, it's not!
Ways that help to exclude stress from life are known from centuries.
They include meditation, which may be practiced in different ways.
Recently, an activity similar to meditation has been being successfully employed by psychologists to help people cope with their emotions. Mindfulness, because that is the name of it, has roots in eastern meditation practices.
It stresses the necessity of being "here and now", aware of the present moment, no matter what is happening.
In this sense, mindfulness is a very special type of meditation - it does not aim to alter or improve us. Instead, it welcomes to eliminate judgmental thinking and just be present.
Mindfulness has been successfully adopted as a method to handle emotions.
This can improve quality of life and well being of the people who practice it.
Mindful thinking can be trained just like any other skill and that makes it a powerful and cheap tool available to anyone interested.
Practicing mindfulness for stress reduction relies on breathing exercises.
It can be done anywhere, but requires a full focus along with free, uninterrupted time.
For those who need unwinding the most, this may sound like a painful paradox.
Interested but disheartened? Don't worry.
The enthusiasm regarding mindfulness led to creation of numerous Apps, which can help you keep up with meditation sessions!
Many of them will guide you through your practice and some will allow to join with mindfulness community, giving access to teachers.
One of the growing mindfulness platforms welcomes professionals, who use mindfulness training in their work and allow them to connect with the practicing community.
So, are you ready for your new life?
Just be and breathe.