May 12, 2020
Everyday Mindfulness - Tuesday Health and Wellness Tidbit - from Your (Rural) Stress Transdisciplinary Team
Let's begin by having everyone who is reading this stop and take a deep breath. Just one deep breath (breathing in slowly through the nose and out slowly through pursed lips) can begin to bring your mind and body together and create a sense of calm. People who practice deep breathing regularly can actually lower their heart rate and blood pressure, which breaks the stress cycle. You may choose any time or place to think about your breathing - even stopped at traffic signals waiting for the green light or standing in line to buy groceries.
The benefits of practicing mindfulness every day are many:
- Mindfulness helps to improve work-life balance
- Relief from stress, increasing the ability to relax
- Effective intervention for controlling pain in varying degrees
- Increased energy and enthusiasm for life
- Improved self-esteem
Two years ago when Extension Colleagues, Charlotte Shoup-Olsen and Debra Bolton, and I collaborated to create the "Everyday Mindfulness" fact sheet, (MF3424), we wanted to provide an understanding about what mindfulness is. But more than that we wanted to give readers encouragement to incorporate the practice of mindfulness into their lives each day. By sharing personal accounts about how deep breathing or doing a short meditation could help with pain control or improved concentration, we were able to cite research based studies to support these claims.
As I have presented "Everyday Mindfulness" for various audiences in the past two years, I have found additional resources, websites, and even phone apps, that support and encourage people of all ages to practice mindfulness. One excellent website is: Palouse Mindfulness: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction - http://palousemindfulness.com. Another resource is the Everyday Mindfulness class that was video-taped at the 2017 February FCS Update. The link to that can be accessed on the front page of our Cottonwood Extension District website.
We have had some excellent Health and Wellness facts shared the past few weeks from our colleagues who continue to help us adjust to a new way of living since COVID19 found its way into our communities. My hope is that you will put mindfulness exercises into your tool box and practice them every day!