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.