It happens in life, perhaps especially at the moment and over the past year, that we experience stress and anxiety about issues we can’t fix.
For instance, none of us can dictate the course of the pandemic (even still) or make it go away for sure. If your job is under threat because of it, you will certainly be anxious and probably stressed because of it.
What is the point of mindfulness in such a situation?
Simple mindfulness practices can help to lower that level of stress even if it can’t create serenity for you.
Returning from fearful thoughts to awareness of your breathing or of your body for instance can lower the degree of stress, help you to get a better night’s sleep and bring you some clarity of mind. Deliberately paying attention to your breathing has been found to reduce stress in the emotional brain.
Cultivating acceptance – which is part of mindfulness – of what you have to accept can also lower stress and help you to see more clearly what to do next. Even accepting uncertainty can help.
Stress raises your blood pressure and can trap you in a vicious circle of upsetting thoughts which, in turn, can generate new upsetting thoughts.
So even if mindfulness in these circumstances isn’t going to turn you into a serene buddha, if it brings the level of stress down from – to use a traffic light analogy – red to orange, that’s good for you.
And it’s easier to move from orange down to green, when circumstances allow, than to jump all the way from red to green.
Learn many simple mindfulness techniques with my 15-lesson online course, Easy Mindfulness
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