If there’s one certainty in life, it’s that we can never know what will happen next. Whether it’s a sudden windfall, the death of a loved one, or a medical illness, life can shift unexpectedly, leaving us to adjust to the new normal.
In life, it isn’t what happens to us but how we react to it. Through mindfulness, you can adjust your way of thinking so that you more easily embrace changes in life or, at the very least, reduce the stress associated with them. Here’s what you should know about how mindfulness can help you.
The Stress of Change
Before you can learn to manage change, you first need to understand its impact. Studies have found that changes of all types, good and bad, can be stressful and that stress can take a toll on our physical health. That doesn’t just apply to unexpected changes. In fact, sometimes the period of time leading up to an anticipated change can be more stressful than the event itself.
So now that you understand the toll change takes on you, what can you do about it? Many people find that by forcing their mind into the present, they’re able to better manage their stress. The key is to learn to let the stressors pass through your mind without trying to manage them while you’re practicing mindfulness. By taking classes, you can learn the basics and start to build your own daily mindfulness habits.
Putting Mindfulness into Practice
One common misconception is that mindfulness requires setting time aside to sit in a cross-legged position on the floor. While that can help you while you’re learning, you can actually practice mindfulness throughout the day. It’s simply a matter of centering yourself in the present moment, especially if you’re dealing with a stressful situation. Look around, paying close attention to sights, smells, and sounds. Remind yourself that you cannot control circumstances around you, only your reaction to them.
The Value of Gratitude
One way to give your mindset a much-needed boost is to practice gratitude. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude increases happiness and improves relationships. Gratitude doesn’t eliminate the negative thoughts from your mind altogether, but it instead helps you put things into perspective. One way to do this is through a gratitude journal, which will prompt you to sit down every day and think about the many things working well in your life.
No matter what’s happened in life, make sure you’re in control of each day. One of the best ways to do this is by developing intentional habits that move you closer to reaching your goals. Living intentionally is about applying the question, “Why?” to every action you take, from eating healthier to taking a great class. As you focus on how these activities are helping you reach your goals, you’re actually practicing mindfulness.
The Marsh has helped many members adjust to change and reduce stress. In addition to mindfulness, we offer a wide range of classes that will help you become healthier, both physically and mentally. Check out our upcoming events to see how we can help you.