Mindfulness Exercise Helps Reduce Stress

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Stress is just part of daily life, but for many dealing with stress can be challenging.

A technique called ‘mindfulness’ is helping some people relax and take control.

“It means being in the present moment with acceptance, without resistance, and without trying to control the way things are,” said Helen Vantine, a clinical psychologist.

The idea is to stop for a moment of reflection and relaxation to reduce stress.

“When we learn and train our minds to be aware and to be attentive, we actually reduce our reactivity and thereby reduce our stress,” said Stephanie Swann, with Atlanta Mindfulness Institute.

The Atlanta Mindfulness Institute offers an eight week course in which participants meet for two and a half hours a week to learn the basics.

Participants are taught to focus on their breathing, acknowledge any stressors, and then put them out of their mind.

Experts say, when we react to something out of our control, we tend to dwell on it, sending all of our energy resources to the problem – real or created – and that can cloud your thinking and even predispose you to illness.

“It wreaks havoc on the body. It raises the heart rate it shunts blood away from the frontal cortex which is where we do most of our high level thinking and decision-making.

And we shut that off and we don’t have that ability to think clearly,” said Vantine.

With mindfulness you can practice anywhere at any time.

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