How to Practice Mindfulness as a Means of Reducing Stress

Stress is a common experience that arises from various sources such as school, work, life changes, or events. While stress can be beneficial in some situations, like motivating us for important tasks or events, chronic stress can negatively impact mental health over time.

It increases the risk of depression and anxiety and can worsen symptoms for individuals with existing conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

According to the American Psychological Association’s 2022 report, three-quarters of American adults faced stress-related health problems in the previous month, including headaches, fatigue, anxiety, or depression. If you can relate to this, learning to manage stress becomes essential for safeguarding your health.

This is where mindfulness can play a significant role.

How Can Mindfulness Help

In case you’re wondering, mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment without judgment. This practice can be done while sitting on your couch, taking a walk, eating breakfast, or engaging in conversation.

The key is to keep your mind fully engaged in the present.

It’s important to note that mindfulness is not a substitute for conventional medical care. However, for many individuals, it can be a valuable tool in alleviating stress and anxiety. By diverting your mind from distressing thoughts, mindfulness may also contribute to reducing symptoms of depression.

Research even suggests potential benefits for individuals with chronic diseases. A 2019 review found that mindfulness practices could decrease mental distress, fatigue, sleep problems, anxiety, and depression in people with cancer.

Regardless of whether you have a chronic condition, simply relieving stress through mindfulness can positively impact your mood and overall well-being.

Tips for Practicing Mindfulness

The essence of mindfulness lies in being fully present in the moment. While it may sound challenging, there are various ways to practice mindfulness, and finding what works best for you is key.

To help you with that, here are some strategies that you can employ:

Deep Breathing

Engage in different breathing exercises. For example, the National Institutes of Health suggests inhaling through your nose for four seconds, holding for one second, and exhaling through your mouth for five seconds.

Body Scan

Direct your focus to each part of your body, acknowledging sensations without judgment.

Mindful Eating

Pay close attention to flavors and textures while savoring a meal.

Walking Mindfully

Take a stroll, concentrating on your breath and the surroundings—observe what you see, hear, feel, and smell. If possible, walk outdoors for added mental health benefits.


Practice mindfulness during yoga by being aware of your breath and physical sensations as you move through poses.

Tai Chi

Originating in China, tai chi involves mindful breathing and slow, deliberate movements. Learning from a class can guide you in proper tai chi techniques.


Keep in mind that it’s only natural for the mind to wander. If your thoughts drift, avoid judgment, simply acknowledge them, and redirect your attention to the present moment.

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