Meditation, breathwork and mindfulness practices are brilliant tools for reducing stress, lowering your cortisol levels, and switching your body into a parasympathetic (rest and digest) state.
Why do meditation, breathwork and mindfulness help with stress?
They help you pay attention to the present, creating a deeper sense of awareness and stillness in your mind, which can be brilliant for reducing stress and anxiety.
So many of us find our minds racing too much of the time. We jump from one worry to the next, sometimes catastrophising the future and rarely stopping or pausing. Learning to pause and keep your mind in the present doesn’t mean that you won’t have any thoughts and your mind won’t drift off. That happens to all of us. Instead, it’s about learning to notice when the mind does wander, when thoughts do pop into your head, acknowledge them without mulling them over, then let them go and deliberately bring yourself back to the moment.
You can bring yourself back by noticing your breath, the slow inhales and exhales, or by tuning into the weight of your body; how it feels against what you’re resting on, notice your senses, the words of the guided practice and what you can feel in that very moment.
You may well find that this gets easier over time, those little pauses and the ability to observe your thoughts without jumping down a rabbit hole of stress becomes more natural, and as a result, stress may become easier to manage.
Turning on a guided class is one of the easiest ways to get the benefits. Below are seven quick classes to support your mental well-being and lower your stress levels. Practice really does help here, so if there is a class that resonates, you might find it becomes more impactful the more you do it.