Ways to reduce stress

A rheumatologist writing in the magazine Joint Ability ,states that stress unfortunately aggravates arthritis. Under ways to reduce stress she includes Practising Mindfulness.

“The entire idea of mindfulness or being mindful (or living in the now) is to be completely engaged in the present moment. It is a state where you are not thinking, reflecting, judging, or deciding, but are instead simply experiencing the things currently in your available experience. Once achieved, mindfulness can provide a richer life experience and can be instrumental in helping you reduce and control anxiety and worry.

Mindfulness is essentially a relaxation technique in that it switches off the habitual stress response, and switches on a relaxation response. Standing back from the noisy mind, and observing how the mind drives up the anti, allows the dark clouds and the inner turmoil to dissolve quicker.”

With practice it becomes easier to watch thoughts in the mind. They present themselves constantly, like an ongoing cinema show.

Take a few minutes right now to close your eyes and watch the thoughts in your head. try not to comment on them; just be the observer

How did you find that? It can be quite a shock to realize how endlessly busy our minds are, taking us out of the present moment and into an imaginary world of past and future. the trick is to simply let the thoughts come and go without getting caught up in them.

Good luck with your efforts.

For an accessible and practical introduction to mindfulness try reading Living in the Now: less stress, more happiness  by Jill Jacques, available as a download on Amazon. NB Chapter 3 Creating Distance

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About Jill M Jacques

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have spent most of my life here doing the usual things - marrying, having children and caring for an array of pets ranging from dogs to silkworms and chameleons. I first became interested in philosphy and its practical application in everyday life in my early 20s and spent many years as part of a group that pursued this goal. Drawing on this experience, I have been running "How to live in the Now" programmes for over 10 years. I wrote this book in response to requests from group members for something "simple and practical". I tend to see the funny side of life situations and enjoy writing humorous back pages as well as short stories and some poetry. Some of these have been published. Being here now is what really matters.
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