Mindfulness: 3 ways to destress

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This is how I feel around this time of the semester. With 5 weeks left, we are burdened with all types of commitments, projects, and assignments to complete.

We put ourselves in this REALLY strange situation of this thing called school. It’s one of the most stressful events of our lives (if we allow it to be), along with the other stressors of life.

So today, I’m going to take a minute to give us some healthy coping skills.

(BTW, I stole this awesome graphic from mindmapinspiration.com. If you have never heard of this site, I would highly suggest checking it out!)

Mindfulness-Mind-Map

  1. Deep Breathing. This is a really great technique in which you can quiet anxieties and lower heart rate. It’s time to concentrate only on your breathing pattern and how it effects your heart rate. Taking just 2 minutes per day to practice deep breathing will significantly increase your ability to concentrate and reduce anxiety.
  2. Mindfulness. MY FAVORITE. Focus on one object. My favorite object to focus on is a candy, because then I get to eat it. It starts by studying the object. What does it look like? Is it wrapped? What does the wrapper feel like? Slowly unwrap it. What is the texture of the candy? What does it smell like? What does the candy feel like in your hand. What shape is it? Take a lick! What does it taste like, does the taste concentrate in one area of your tongue, or does it dissipate quickly? Put it in your mouth. What does it feel like on your teeth? Is the flavor stronger in one section of your mouth rather than the other? Continue on for 5 minutes focusing only on the candy.
  3. One thing at a time. Focus on the task at hand and only the task at hand. For example, if I’m washing the dishes, I would control my mind to focus only on the dishes. Repeat in your head or even outloud: Pick up the cup, I rinse the cup, I scrub the cup, I rinse the cup, I put the cup in the dish rack. And so on. Do this for 5-10 minutes. If you fall off and start thinking of other things, just ease your mind back to the task at hand. This helps you be in the moment, and ground yourself.

Of course there are hundreds of coping skills for reducing stress and anxiety, but these are my favorite three. Take time to hold these in your mind and use them throughout the day. It takes 3 months to develop and maintain a habit. So start today! De-stress!

Published by Amanda Porter

Hi! I'm Amanda. I'm from Traverse City, Mi and I'm a Junior Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major. I do research for the Fraley lab on the gut bacterial ecology of Pekin ducks and I work for the Chemistry department! Aspiring Neurosurgeon and LOVE to learn in all situations. Follow me on Twitter! @hopeamanda15

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