Sitting Still – Take a Break

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Finding the time to sit still and block out all noise and distractions can be a very daunting task. With so many apps on our phones demanding our attention, like checking social media every hour, scrolling mindlessly on the Internet, and with a constant to-do list running through our minds, it can be overwhelming to just sit down and be alone and away from all technological devices. It’s no wonder that so many Americans are affected by some kind of anxiety disorder. In fact, according to Rogers Behavioral Health online, “anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults every year in the U.S., and according to mental health surveys, today’s students from elementary age to college are the most anxious ever” (The Power of Mindfulness For Your Mental Health, 11/12/18).

However, it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to reducing anxiety levels, especially in children. Studies have shown that taking just five minutes out of your day to meditate or practice mindfulness can cut anxiety levels by half. Think of it as a quick mental break for the mind to just relax and not have any kind of informational overload brought on by specific stress triggers. Stress triggers can include (but are not limited to): responsibilities that are overwhelming, feeling like a situation is getting out of control, worrying over something, undergoing any kind of change, and being under pressure. Taking five minutes out of your day to leave all worries aside and to block out intrusive thoughts can equip you with better stress management skills as well as promote long-term mental health.

It may take a few tries to finally feel comfortable enough to be alone in a room without any distractions, but once you create a daily habit and stick with it for at least 21 days, it will eventually just come naturally. Below you will find a few tips for adults (as well as children) to try out to ease in and practice mindfulness each day.

Sit in a comfortable position, with your back upright in a chair or on the couch. Relax your shoulders and place your hands in your lap.
Set a timer on your phone or watch for five minutes. Close your eyes and begin to count your breaths.
Let thoughts come and go, but don’t analyze or over think any of them. Just let your mind wander, but still focus on your breath.
Let go of anything that you think of that doesn’t make you happy or smile — radiate positivity while you practice mindfulness as much as possible!
Have fun with it. After some practice and incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine, you’ll be able to look forward to it!