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    © 2018 by Heather Nicholson. Proudly created with Wix.com

    Take a Pause and Become Aware of the Present Moment

    Mindfulness is the perfect medicine when you are experiencing stress or anxiety. Being mindful does not always mean you have to dedicate yourself to a meditation practice for extended periods of time. I know we are all busy, but the good news is mindfulness can be incorporated into your everyday routine. You can do it sitting down (if you choose), standing, walking, or even while you are eating a meal. There are so many different ways to become present and I have decided to share some of my favorites!

    Here are some ways that you can take a pause throughout your day:

    1. Breathe

    When your mind is racing, take a moment to focus on your breath. Sometimes when people are under stress or experiencing anxiety, they can unintentionally hold their breath. This is the perfect moment to remember to stop what you are doing and just breathe. Give alternate nostril breathing a try next time you are feeling overwhelmed!

    2. 5 Senses

    Tune into your 5 senses- sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste. This mindfulness exercise is also known as “5,4,3,2,1”. Notice 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and one thing you can taste or one positive attribute about yourself. Use this skill to ground yourself when your mind is racing and you can’t seem to focus.

    3. Positive Affirmations

    Depending on what is going on with you at the moment, pick a mantra to repeat to yourself silently. For example, if someone has offended you, take a moment to repeat ‘breathe in,breathe out’ to help yourself remain calm and respond in a manner that will not take you out of your character.

    4. Say Hello

    Another way to get outside of your head is to shift your attention to the people around you. You can do this by simply looking people in the eye when they are talking to you or say hello and smile to people if you are out in your community or at work. This can help shift the focus off of yourself and onto other people.

    5. Go Outside

    Step outside and enjoy your natural surroundings. I know some of us have a tendency to hibernate when it is freezing outside-- myself included, but taking yourself outside, even if it is for a couple of minutes can always be helpful. Don’t believe me, try it out yourself!

    6. Create Something

    Lastly, be creative! When was the last time you drew a picture, wrote a haiku, or put a collage together? These are perfect examples of something creative you can do to break away from everyday life stressors. Also, being creative is a great way to increase your overall sense of happiness according to positive psychology researchers.

    Hope you have fun trying out these 6 ways to remain in the present moment and decrease symptoms of stress or anxiety. If you have any more ideas, please leave a comment and let me know! Thanks for reading!