Wash your worries away WITH ALEX KERTESZ

 In this space last week I discussed the prevalence of stress as well as its disastrous impact on our health, wellness, and performance. Mindfulness and meditative practice was introduced as a constructive and productive way to manage stress and improve many other areas of our lives. Continuing on from last week, this column will explore some different ways to comfortably practice mindfulness in our daily lives that do not involve sitting cross-legged burning incense whilst humming ‘ohm’.

 As mindfulness is simply maintaining a moment by moment awareness, it can be quite easily achieved. All you need is attention, focus, and discipline.

One way we can practice mindfulness is holding and releasing tension. All you need to do is tightly squeeze and flex your hands into a fist, holding this tension for ten seconds, and then relax and release the tension. Paying attention to how your hands feel while holding the tension, as well as when you release the tension. Repeat this 5-10 times and be aware of how focused and calm you become.

 Another way to get some mindfulness into your day is by going on a walk. Take a stroll and while you’re walking pay extra attention to what each stride feels like, what noises you can hear, and why and how nature is moving the way it is. As you become more aware of the moment in time you will also feel more calmness and focus come into your mind.

 Finally, after a stressful day on the tools, at the desk, or with the kids, one of the best mindfulness strategies is to take a warm bath in the final moments before bed. Fill up the tub, maybe some bubbles, oils, and candles and pay attention to the way your muscles feel relaxing in the warm water, the smell of lavender and or the way the candles flicker while your mind becomes more aware and calm with every passing moment.

 In the search to make all the ends meet in life and live up to your own and everybody else’s expectations, it becomes more important to de-stress and clear your mind. Concern, worry, stress, and anxiety can affect us all and have a massive negative impact on our health, wellness, and performance. Treat yourself to 5 minutes of your own time, take a bath, and wash all those worries away.