Na­ture

Better Homes & Gardens - - Better -

Go­ing for a walk is a stress re­liever, but turn the walk into a prac­tice in re­lax­ation by con­sciously con­nect­ing to your senses. (This is par­tic­u­larly en­gag­ing for kids.) Sim­ply count five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can touch, two things you can smell. “This is all about the process of notic­ing,” says mind­ful­ness in­struc­tor Dorsey Stan­dish. hat if there was a sci­en­tif­i­cally proven stress re­ducer that was free, didn’t take a lot of time, and could boost im­mu­nity, lower blood pres­sure, and help you sleep bet­ter? There is: A tech­nique called mind­ful­ness.

Be­fore you roll your eyes or worry that you have to com­mit to an in­tense pro­gram, know that the essence of mind­ful­ness is ac­tu­ally sim­ple. It’s about em­brac­ing the present and find­ing— or cre­at­ing—mo­ments of peace­ful pause through­out your day. “Be­ing mind­ful is about pay­ing at­ten­tion to what’s hap­pen­ing right now in a non­judg­men­tal way, says Dan

Har­ris, au­thor of Med­i­ta­tion for Fid­gety Skep­tics and an ABC news an­chor who em­braced mind­ful­ness af­ter hav­ing a panic at­tack on live TV.

Get ready to be more present so you can stress less and be a hap­pier, health­ier you.

wFor so many of us, do­ing a few things at once feels like the only way to get through ev­ery­thing on our plates. But mul­ti­task­ing of­ten back­fires be­cause your brain doesn’t know where to fo­cus. “You use a lot of en­ergy switch­ing from do­ing one thing to an­other, which means you lose ef­fi­ciency,” says Dorsey Stan­dish, chief mind­ful­ness of­fi­cer at Mas­ter­mind in Dal­las.

To help your­self fo­cus on the task at hand—whether sim­ple or com­pli­cated— set an alarm for 10 min­utes and chal­lenge your­self to not switch to check email or so­cial me­dia, for ex­am­ple, un­til the alarm goes off. Those few min­utes might be all it takes for you to find your flow, be­come ab­sorbed in what you’re do­ing, and stick with that one task un­til you’re fin­ished.

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