Steps to Become More Mindful and Reduce Stress

Steps to Become More Mindful and Reduce Stress


These days, there are literally thousands of different mental, emotional, and spiritual methods aimed at reducing a person’s stress levels to make them a healthier and happier person. While each individual is unlike any other, certain techniques seem to work better. As one of the most successful ways to eliminate stress and become a more well-rounded person, mindfulness meditation has become a popular option by people from all over the world.

At this point, you’ve probably already heard about the efficacy of mindfulness. The rumors are founded on truth. In fact, there is no a mountain of evidence supporting the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of such practices. So, what is this method all about and how can it help you?

What Is Mindfulness?

Being in the present and bringing the practice to your everyday life is not as difficult as it may sound. Simply put, we’re talking about a change in your state of consciousness – the position of being fully aware of yourself and your surroundings. Modern dictionaries, such as the one from Psychology Today, define it in the following way:

{NOUN} – “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations…”

This state of being is often used as a therapeutic technique for trauma sufferers, and is commonly used by individuals who are not experiencing trauma as a means to deal with everyday stress.

How Does This Practice Help Reduce Stress?

Recent research has done a lot to uncover the benefits of mindfulness and its various techniques. According to a study performed at both the University of Oxford and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, this technique does more than simply reduce stress – it can actually transform a person’s perspective on the world around them. By practicing a tailored regimen, individuals were able to slowly build character on a foundation of internal strength that prevented future stressors to have such a negative effect.

What Does Mindfulness Look Like?

With so much evidence supporting the mental and emotional health benefits of this meditation techinque, putting it into practice as soon as possible is imperative. To get started, understanding what this mentality looks like in action is beyond vital. Here are some easily recognizable examples of mindfulness in effect:

  • You stop reacting immediately to certain situations, especially those that trigger your emotions.
  • You experience a moment of pause to consider the optional outcomes before you say or do anything.
  • You feel more relaxed and therefore less driven to get things done quickly and efficiently regardless of your current state.
  • You become aware of your internal monologue, allowing you to step away from any given situation to determine your true position before reacting.
  • Your body’s sensations become more recognizable, giving you early insights into undiscovered health problems.
  • You start to recognize the emotions of others more quickly and accurately.
  • Your ability to care and have compassion for others seems to increase, making it possible for you to sympathize with others before becoming stressed about the situation.
  • You begin to see your stress for what it is – a temporary problem that simply requires a well-thought-out solution.

Interestingly, being in this state helps to reduce brain activity rather than increase it. In short, it improves the efficiency of your mental focus, which in turn improves your ability to avoid stressful situations in the first place. With this new ability to streamline your thoughts and emotions, it’s possible to experience an increased sense of well-being, happiness, and relaxation.

Quick Steps to Put it All Together

There are a lot of ways to control your thoughts, emotions, and actions. However, some work better than others. The following is a 10-step meditation process that’s been found to be the most effective:

  1. START thinking about a workable situation in your life that’s causing you stress.
  2. Do not try to tackle a seemingly impossible problem. That will work itself out as you move through the steps of becoming a more conscious individual.
  3. TRY to imagine all the details of the situation that are making you feel uncomfortable.
  4. If it helps, try to picture yourself as if you’re currently in the middle of the situation instead of being able to meditate on it.
  5. SEE if you can recognize any sensations in your body and note where they are and how they feel.
  6. Check for an elevated heart rate, sweating, nausea or nervous stomach, or muscle tightness in your back or face.
  7. LISTEN to your body and mind, feeling each fully and taking note of any emotions that you’re experiencing.
  8. Become aware of the location your emotion is originating to recognize patterns in the future.
  9. BRING your mindful perspective to the emotion or stressor.
  10. Practice acceptance, curiosity, and warmth.
  11. PLACE your hand on the location of the emotion you’re experiencing (often referred to as “self-soothing”).
  12. Show care and concern for yourself at this time.
  13. ACCEPT the sensation for what it is.
  14. Try to feel it pulsate together with your breathing pattern.
  15. PROMOTE an awareness in the present moment and the positive aspects of it.
  16. Reduce the amount of attention being paid to the painful or negative emotions associated with your stress.
  17. STRUCTURE a new perspective which allows you to define your personal perimeter more clearly.
  18. Be careful not to compromise your moral foundations to accommodate the situation.
  19. END the meditation to face the world with a greater sense of awareness.